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ICE 2010: Calling All Surfaces

Post Date: 13 Jan 2010    Viewed: 767

LAS VEGAS – The International Countertop Expo (ICE) may have its genesis in some previous shows, but it's a brand new event that's appearing here early next year.

Set for Feb. 8-10 at the Mandalay Bay Resort, ICE is the inaugural exhibition for the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) – an organization that also evolved from a previous incarnation.

The three-day event features an exhibition area, but it also plays up education for all types of countertop materials, including natural stone, quartz, solid surface and laminate.

"ICE is the first trade show that is all-inclusive in its scope and its vision," says ISFA President Sid Mackay, who's also president of Las Vegas-based fabricator Creative Surface Solutions. "Fabricators will find exceptional value in the new expo, because ICE is the one place they can see everything related to their industry under the same roof."

The Lehi, Utah-based ISFA may have a familiar sounding name; it used to be the International Solid Surface Fabricators Association until late 2008, when it decided to enlarge its scope to include a variety of materials use. That group's annual expo, sold to Cygnus Business Media in the early 2000s, ended its life as the Surface Fabrication and Design Expo earlier this year.

ICE is a different show altogether. Part of the design is a smaller, more-intimate event, according to ISFA Executive Director Russ Lee.

"There will be a lot of energy on the show floor as countertop materials are fabricated into working kitchens that will be donated to charity," Lee says. "There will be a design contest, industry awards, cutting-edge demonstrations and seminars, as well as plenty of networking opportunities."

The event also features a bevy of educational one hour sessions, with topics ranging from general business practice to the specifics of working with different materials.

One familiar face to the natural-stone crowd is Mark Lauzon, a founding member of the Stone Fabricators Alliance, a former Stone Business columnist and frequent instructor at stone events. He'll be offering Advanced Selling Skills on Feb. 8 at 8:30 a.m., along with Setting up a Successful Stone Shop - Hope is not a Business Plan ™ on Feb. 9, again at 8:30 a.m.

Alternative surfaces come into focus with several sessions, including Paper Based Products on Feb. 8 at 8:30 a.m. with Michael Butler of North Star Surfaces; he’ll also offer What Do You Mean by Green? at 9:30 a.m. And, Gene McDonald will offer the experiences of his own business, Refresh Interiors, with Making Money as a Green Fabricator on Feb. 9 at 9:45 a.m.

Concrete countertops will be featured with Setting up a Concrete Shop on Feb. 8 at 9:45 a.m., with Tom Fisher of Buddy Rhodes Studio. Concrete Sealers, at 9:45 a.m. on Feb. 10, includes Jeff Girard of The Concrete Countertop Institute (CCI), Bob Chatterton of Surface 519 and Jon Schuler of CreativeCrete, with SolidTops Inc.' s Evan Kruger serving as moderator.

Rich Vachon of Think Glass provides another take on materials with Glass Countertops, Backsplashes & Accessories at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 10. Fred Hueston of Stone Forensics also steps in on Feb. 8 at 9:45 a.m. with Advanced Quartz Fabrication.

The future of countertop materials also gets a close look with two Emerging Products panel discussions on Feb. 9 at 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. The CCI’s Mangum will moderate both, but each session will feature different panelists to cover a wide variety of goods.

Some of the issues with countertops in general will be featured with an Industry Panel Discussion at 9:45 a.m. on Feb. 9. Contributors include Russ Berry of Allegheny Solid Surface Technologies, Mitch Hires of Atlanta Kitchen Inc. and Mike Heyelmun of Cosentino USA.


Installation issues also get the spotlight for two sessions: Bonding Dissimilar Surfaces with Greg Rose of ITW Plexus on Feb. 8 at 8:30 a.m., and Installation Techniques – Avoiding the Pitfalls with Jon Blasius of Blasius Inc. at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 9. Blasius also takes on transport and other general shop issues with Shop Layout/Installation Trucks, a two-part session beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 8.

Other sessions on shop issues include How to Run a Countertop Shop by Richard Christ of Richard Christ Consulting on Feb. 9 at 8:30 a.m., and Turning Scrap Into Dollars on Feb. 8 at 9:45 a.m. by Todd Werstler of Tower Industries.

For design/client issues, there's Marketing to Architects & Designers by Grant Garcia of Sterling Surfaces on Feb. 8 at 10:30 a.m.; Eric Corey Freed of organicARCHITECT offers How to Reach Specifiers – an Architect Tells All at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 10. A transatlantic perspective comes from Martin Funck of Rosskopf & Partner AG, also at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 10 with European Design: The WOW Factor.

For business issues, Richard Christ presents Pricing Strategies on Feb. 8 at 10:30 a.m. Max Isley of Hampton Kitchens of Raleigh Inc. offers Beyond Countertops – Don't Leave Money on the Table on Feb. 10 at 8:30 a.m.; at the same time, the ISFA’s Jeff Pease presents Marketing on a Budget. And, Coleen King of King Media tackles online efforts with Using the Internet as a Marketing Tool on Feb. 9 at 9:45 a.m.

And, of course, there's the exhibit hall, open on Feb. 8 from 1-5:30 p.m., 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, and 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Feb. 10.

The complete package – three days of access to educational sessions and the exhibit hall – is available for a pre-registration fee of $175 for ISFA members and $275 for non-members; a two-day education/exhibit ticket is $125 for ISFA members and $200 for non-members.

A one-day education/exhibit package is $95 for ISFA members/$145 for non-members. And an unlimited exhibit-only pass is $25 for ISFA members and $35 for non-members.

Pre-registration prices are offered until Jan. 15; after that, prices go up by $50 for all packages except the exhibit-only passes (which will cost an additional $10).

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