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FCNews is looking for a few good men…and women

Last year, if you recall, FCNews and Hanley Wood launched the Best of Surfaces awards as a way to recognize some of the newer products to hit the market. (We define “newer” by making its Surfaces debut. That means the product is brand spanking new, or it was introduced sometime after the previous year’s Surfaces.)

The winners successfully marketed their victories throughout the year, helping to separate themselves from the masses. It proved the awards’ immediate value.

We are expecting the Best of Surfaces awards to only increase in value. In fact, we believe these awards will become the benchmark of product and program success at this industry’s most important trade show. Here’s why:

1. The name says it all: Best of Surfaces.

2. Unlike other Surfaces-staged recognition programs, there is no cost to enter.

3. The winners are recognized AT THE SHOW in addition to many months after. This provides even more value to the exhibitors who can showcase their recognized products on the spot.

4. Rather than segment the awards by product category, we came up with true measures of excellence: Innovation, style and design, sustainability, and technology. And because this awards program surrounds Surfaces, we also recognize the best booths—large and small.

What’s more, as the roster of first-year winners illustrates, size does not matter. Every Surfaces exhibitor, whether they have a 10 x 10 booth or occupy half the show floor, has an equal chance of winning. For example, last year’s winners included Kleendeck, Architectural Systems, Raskin Industries, HomerWood and Emser Tile. The judges agreed the winning products entered by these companies exemplified excellence in their respective category.

Speaking of judges, FCNews is once again reaching out to the industry, seeking a panel for each category. Last year we had an amazing group that took this very seriously and were completely impartial. Again, we are seeking retailers, ex-retailers, people who have an understanding of what constitutes style and design, innovation, technology and sustainability.

Some criteria: First, you have to be attending Surfaces. Second, you must be willing to evaluate some of the submissions in the weeks leading up to the show. Third, you must play well with others, meaning you will need to share your thoughts with other members of the panel. And most importantly, you must have a desire to help the most deserving floor covering companies gain their due recognition.

Here’s how this works: After we decide the category for which you will be judging, you and your peers will be given criteria on what to look for. You will then receive information on each of the entries. In some cases, it will be a description of the entry. In as many cases as possible, the description will be accompanied by a link to a website where more information and/or photos will be available. The respective panels will then come up with their five finalists, which they will view on site on day one of Surfaces. They will have the opportunity to visit booths and ask any questions. By the end of the show’s first day, they will have informed FCNews and Hanley Wood of their choice.

Aside from the recognition of being a Best of Surfaces judge, we are still discussing other tokens of our appreciation. As I mentioned, much of the Best of Surfaces success hinges on your willingness to participate.

Those interested in judging Best of Surfaces can contact me at steve@fcnews.net. I’m hoping your passion for this industry and enthusiasm to make a difference will fuel your desire to volunteer.