Don’t look for Braxton-Bragg at Coverings in Chicago. We won’t be  there. And we haven’t been there for the last couple years. Here’s why.

Trade shows are time-consuming, exhausting for exhibitors, and awfully expensive. Furthermore, the stone industry is about the only industry that I know of where distributors exhibit at trade shows. In most industries, manufacturers exhibit and distributors walk the floor. In our industry, four to six distributors, and a handful of importer/middlemen, spend an enormous amount of money and energy to show products that most people are very aware of.  To make matters worse, this is a very small industry and we have a huge number of shows.  

Our accounting department has tallied up the full cost of Surfaces 2016, and despite our attempts to hold down costs we had a six-figure expense item on the P&L. That did not include all of the time and energy of our people and our vendors. Or the stress.

Each year, our reason for attending is that we have new products to show.  While this is indeed true, we don’t wait for a show to introduce a new product, we do it every week. We have videos on our website and on our YouTube channel. I can understand going to see the latest from Sasso, Northwood, Park and others, but do people really go to see Akemi adhesives or Viper Polishing Pads?

After eight years in this job and spending more than $1 million, I still have no idea why, in our industry, distributors exhibit at trade shows.  So, I am considering making Surfaces 2017 our last trade show. If you think this is a mistake, please let me know. If you agree, please drop me a line as well. I would like to know what you all think of distributors participating in trade shows.  You can contact me at

Have a good read,

– Rich