International Window Coverings EXPO ’17 Review
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2017
Contact: Grace McNamara, IWCE Show Producer—651.330.0574
International Window Coverings EXPO 2017 Charms in Charlotte
ST. PAUL, MN, MARCH 2017—International Window Coverings EXPO 2017 (IWCE) attracted nearly 3,000 attendees and 107 exhibitors to the window covering industry’s annual trade show and conference. Hosting the event on the East Coast boosted the number of first-time attendees, repeat visitors, and exhibitors. Attendees from 47 states and 25 countries gathered to celebrate new product innovation and excellence in design and fabrication.
The Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA) hosted a successful Introduction to Window Coverings Industry student tour, led by Michele Williams, WCAA’s past president, and current owner of Scarlet Thread Consulting. The 2016 Product Innovations Awards, which recognize ingenuity and achievement in the window covering industry, were presented at IWCE and hosted by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA). The winners for the 2016 Product Awards can be viewed on the WCMA’s website (http://awards.wcmanet.org/). Key participation in IWCE 2017 also came from the industry’s key and influential associations: Window Coverings Association of America-Charlotte Chapter, International Furnishings & Design Association-Charlotte Chapter, American Society of Interior Designers-Carolinas Chapter, The Network-America’s Window Coverings Buying Network, and WithIt.
An internationally renowned lineup of keynote presenters, including LuAnn Nigara, award-winning Window Treatment Authority, from Livingston, New Jersey, and New York–based Carl Dellatore, who conceived and edited the book Interior Design Master Class, energized audiences about the importance of interior design, on running a well-designed business, and on celebrating the industry’s passion and dedication. Heavy-hitting business panels and seminars, including the When to Move From Home to Store – or Not! hosted by Exciting Windows!, led a daylong session of roundtables and business seminars. Dozens of excellent seminars and special events rounded out the conference program.
The 2017 Annual Window Fashion Design Competition awards named Yelena Gerts with House of Style & Design, based in Holmdel, New Jersey, as Designer of the Year, and Elizabeth Gerdes with Stitch Above the Rest, LLC, based in Woodstock, Georgia, as Workroom of the Year for IWCE 2017.
EXPO Attendees Enthusiastic About Show
Monique Becker, Becker Home of Boyertown, PA, spent an entire day availing herself of numerous seminars covering topics ranging from installation made easy to successful styling strategies to closing high-end sales. “I really enjoyed the motorization seminar by O’D McKewan,” said Becker. “It was very thorough. I’d like to get better at selling motorized treatments and now I feel equipped to do it.”
Katrina and Chris Riley, Designer Drapes and Katrina Riley Curtains and Blinds, traveled from Wagga Wagga, Australia, specifically to attend the EXPO. “We came to the show in search of new ideas to take back home, and we got them,” the duo said. “We also enjoyed the historic tour of the Duke Mansion.”
Response Thrills Exhibitors
EXPO exhibitors and vendors were overwhelmingly positive in their assessment of the show. Rollease Acmeda, featuring its premier “precision in motion” hardware and shading solutions, awed attendees with a show-stopping, centrally located booth complete with interactive product pavilions, complimentary refreshments, and a comfortable lounge area which treated foot-weary attendees to much-needed respite throughout the two-day EXPO.
Tom Morgan, business development manager for Rowley said, “Response here in Charlotte was phenomenal. Rowley was the first booth attendees saw upon entrance and it set the tone for the whole show. We ran out of catalogues before the end of the first day and had to order more. We couldn’t have been happier.”
“The first day of the show was phenomenal. Brilliant. Beyond all expectations,” said Brian Robertson, president of Louvolite. “It was our busiest day ever, at any show. Charlotte rivals Stuttgart in that regard.”
Alan Meyer, president of America’s Window Covering Buying Network, Libertyville, IL, was also excited about the show outcomes. “We acquired at least 40 new members at the EXPO,” he said. “Traffic has been very good. This is the first time in a while that it’s been a stand-alone show, and that proved beneficial. We’ve had a great response and attendees really liked the seminars. I hope to see it expand to even more vendors in Tampa.”
The döfix booth, which offered frequent live demonstrations of its iron on tape system, which allows designers and decorators to create beautiful creations with no sewing, attracted a constant stream of attendees. Robert Doehlemann, president of the Stuttgart, Germany–based company, said, “Attendance is awesome and the quality of the attendees is great. Charlotte is centrally located—finally a show on the East Coast after so many years in the West. We’ll be back in Tampa next year.”
IWCE 2018 will be held at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, from March 27-28, 2018.
IWCE is sponsored by Window Fashion VISION magazine and is the major trade show and conference for the window coverings industry in the U.S. Grace McNamara has published Window Fashion VISION magazine since 1986 and produced the IWCE trade show since 1997.