Long before the sun came up on April 5, groups of designers, contractors and employees were gathering at D&B Tile locations in Sunrise, Pompano Beach, Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach in anticipation of a trip to Coverings ‘17, billed as the largest trade show in the world and held at the massive Orange County Convention Center. As part of D&B’s commitment to continuing education, an expense-free one-day round trip to this event was coupled with CEU credits and the opportunity to network with other industry professionals to see what’s new in the tile, marble and stone industry worldwide. Show promoters noted that some 1,100 exhibitors from over 40 countries were on hand to show their wares, meet with customers and develop new markets. The Coverings Installation and Design Awards celebrated outstanding achievements in the design and installation of tile and stone in residential and commercial projects. Another popular feature at the show was live “how to” classes offering attendees a close-up look at how top contracting professionals handle challenging situations. The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. They provide the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge recognized by the industry. Installers who passed the online test at home and the hands-on test in Orlando received $1500 in manufacturers’ coupons and were reimbursed by D&B for one night’s expenses during their stay in Orlando. A representative group of D&B managers, sales personnel, office and warehouse staff joined with architects, designers, installers and contractors to tour the massive exhibit and network with D&B’s major suppliers and manufacturers. Buses arrived back at the D&B stores around 10 pm. It was a long day but a great opportunity to meet with our manufacturers and suppliers, tour the exhibit hall and appreciate the enormous scope of the tile, marble and stone industry worldwide.