I feel this is a special edition of The Countertop Industry Insider because we are back from three of the most important trade shows for the countertop fabrication industry: the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), the International Builders Show (IBS) and The International Surface Event (TISE). We were excited to cover all of these shows, meet with some of the top suppliers and manufacturers in the business and talk to a plethora of fabricators who were fortunate enough to attend, such as Dave Stocket of Stockett Tile and Granite Company in Phoenix, Ariz., for instance. But, for those of you unable to attend, never fear, we were there in your stead and will keep you informed.
Tuesday, the first day of KBIS and IBS, started off strong. KBIS this year was amazing, although the multitude of walks to and from the North Hall and South Hall (with IBS smack in the middle in the Center Hall) to fulfill appointments proved to be excruciating after about the 15th time. At KBIS I met with most of the top surfacing material manufacturers present, including Vicostone, Hanwha, Wilsonart, Formica, Cosentino, LG Hausys, Santa Margherita, Neolith, Eos Surfaces, Icestone and too many others to mention. They all had a lot of great new products in the works to show off.
At the end of the first day, Wilsonart threw an amazing Austin, Texas, style party at the Gold Spike Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, and hundreds of people attended to enjoy the food, cocktails, live music and great company. It was really insightful getting to talk with professionals in the kitchen and bath industry outside of a business setting (and blow off a little steam).
The second day brought us to TISE, which included StonExpo and TileExpo. Here, I met with some of the most innovative manufacturers of CNC, cutting and finishing equipment, including Park Industries, BACA Systems and Alpha Professional Tools. In addition, it was a real pleasure meeting the folks behind the companies that supply ancillary tools, products and services, such as QuartzSource, Integra Adhesives, ETemplate, Glue Warehouse and Better Vacuum Cups, just to name a few. There was so much to see and do.
Thursday, I was back at KBIS and IBS, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I had the pleasure of speaking with representatives and executives from a few of the professional associations attending the shows: the Marble Institute of America (MIA), International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA), Stone Fabricators Alliance (SFA) and Natural Stone Council. This industry, without doubt, has a lot of great advocates to be thankful for.
Needless to say, we have a great deal of information concerning new products and company and industry news coming your way in the next month, and I can't wait to share it with you. As always, if you have comments, questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Jones, Editor/Content Manager