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My take: It’s time to start thinking about Best of Surfaces

September 5, 2016; Volume 31, Number 6

By Steven Feldman

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.46.11 PMThe summer of 2016 is just about in the rear view mirror. The upcoming Presidential election will command the lion’s share of our attention for the next couple of months. But there’s a lot more to think about, and Surfaces 2017 is among the list of topics. I’m not going to step up on the soapbox and list the reasons why everyone reading this column should attend. Not this week, anyway.

For now, I want to call your attention to our Best of Surfaces competition and remind manufacturers to get their entries in early. Last year I neglected to serve up subtle reminders in this publication and solicit entries, choosing instead to rely on other means. Bad move. Entries dipped considerably.

That’s not going to happen this time around. Now in its sixth year, the competition, cosponsored by Floor Covering News and Informa, owners and operators of the International Surface Event, has become a benchmark for product and program excellence. The deadline to enter is Dec. 22, and there is no cost to enter.

For those who have been orbiting some other galaxy for the past five years, the Best of Surfaces awards are designed to recognize those companies whose product, program, service, business practice or booth design are considered to be best in class. What separates Best of Surfaces from other awards programs is categories are not segmented by product type; rather, they focus on attribute. As such, the Best of Surfaces awards cite products and programs in the following categories:

  • Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Style & Design
  • Technology

In addition, there are two awards for exhibit space:

  • Booth Design (under 1,200 square feet)
  • Booth Design (over 1,200 square feet)

The products do not necessarily have to be new. However, they must have been introduced to the market within the past year. Of course, products making their debut at Surfaces 2017 are also eligible.

Contest rules are simple. Manufacturers and suppliers can nominate one product, program, service, business practice or booth per category by Dec. 22. A company may not have multiple entries in one category. As well, a particular product may not be nominated in multiple categories. There is no fee for submitting a nomination.

Between now and Dec. 22, FCNews will be forming the panel of judges who will be evaluating each entry on the criteria that has been established for each respective category. That arduous task will begin the following week and continue until the start of Surfaces. The judges will then have the opportunity to view their finalists on-site at Surfaces.

More on this in upcoming issues of FCNews.

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The following may seem a bit unconventional, but as we were going to press last week we learned that Sandy Montero, longtime publisher and editor-in-chief of our competitor, Floor Covering Weekly, would be departing after 22 years in that position. While Sandy and I did not see eye to eye on a number of issues throughout my 11-year tenure there as executive editor, I owe him a debt of gratitude—mainly for taking a chance on a young, raw kid who may have been a bit rough around the edges to sell classifieds. Dustin Aaronson and I would become fast friends and eventually co-owners of FCNews. Together we have achieved more in the last 10-plus years than I could ever have wished for. It is a true partnership and would never have come to fruition had Sandy not seen something in him. For that reason alone, I only wish him the best in his future endeavors.