In February, we announced that the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) will be moving its Wood Flooring Expo to Orlando, Florida, July 7-9, 2021. I wanted to take this opportunity to bring you up to speed.
As you may know, the NWFA Wood Flooring Expo originally was planned for April in Baltimore. We worked on a contingency plan for several months, waiting to see if the city of Baltimore would be able to reopen its meeting facilities by April. As I write this, the convention center is serving as an overflow hospital for COVID-19 patients and is closed to meetings. Our host hotel is closed as well. In early February, the city confirmed it would not be able to host our meeting because the regulations restricting meeting space and hotels are expected to be at a maximum occupancy of 25 percent in April.
When we looked at alternative locations and dates, we talked with several other associations and trade show producers who, like us, have been unable to hold meetings in 2020 or so far in 2021. We decided to hold our meeting at the same time as Coverings at the Orlando Convention Center.
Coverings is the largest tile and natural stone event in North America. Show sponsors include Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association of Spain (ASCER), Tile Council of North America (TCNA), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), and Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA).
There were several deciding factors that led us to look at Orlando and planning a co-location with the Coverings show. The NWFA Wood Flooring Expo is traditionally too small for the city of Orlando to host, and so this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take our group to downtown Orlando. Coverings, like NWFA, typically holds its annual tradeshow in mid to late April and announced their move to July while we were considering options.
Both shows represent natural hard surface flooring, and we have worked well with the multiple associations involved in the Coverings show whenever opportunities have presented themselves. We believe we can generate more traffic for our exhibitors by holding both events at the same time.
The co-location will provide added value for our NWFA members who join us in Orlando. You will be able to walk the Coverings show floor at no additional cost. There are opportunities for working together, including education and networking. For those who traditionally attend both shows, or alternate between years, you’ll get two shows in one trip, creating efficiency and cost savings.
We also can share some meeting resources and work to keep costs down for both organizations as we emerge from the COVID-19 era. The two shows will be connected but separate, so we won’t lose the feel of the NWFA “family reunion” culture that NWFA members have come to expect. As always, the NWFA Wood Flooring Expo is focused on only real, natural, and authentic wood products.
We plan to use the Orlando Hilton as our headquarters and Coverings’ host hotel is the Orlando Hyatt. Both organizations will have several other hotel options as well, all with very affordable hotel rates.
The city of Orlando and the state of Florida have continued to host meetings with health and safety rules in place for public meeting spaces throughout the pandemic. There will be measures and limitations in place to keep our exhibitors, attendees, and staff safe. Everyone will be required to wear a mask indoors and remain six feet apart in meeting rooms. And of course, Orlando is home to major theme parks and entertainment venues that also have implemented safety measures to keep visitors and families safe.
Watch for updates and meeting/hotel registration to open at nwfaexpo.org in April.
If you have any questions, please contact me at 314.422.5651 or email@example.com.