Introduction

Why Not?

Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego Vazquez / Unsplash

By Emerson Schwartzkopf

On April 20, 2020, I planned on doing my usual miles-long march through the aisles at Coverings 2020 in New Orleans to check out what’s new in the hard-surfaces industry. I didn’t expect, on that day, to be sitting at home and all-but-hermetically-sealed from the outdoors under orders to stay healthy. And I also didn’t expect for the aisles in the main hall of the Ernest C. Morial Convention Center to look like this:

Photo courtesy Louisiana Department of Health

Covid-19 changed (and is still changing) our world. In the small niche of hard-surface business, it made a mess of 2020 trade events after the end of January, with show delays, cancellations and attempts to open online exhibition halls. The coronavirus didn’t stop the rollout of new products during the first half of 2020, as companies continued to debut materials, machinery and other goods. The global shutdown stopped the shows, the demo days and other events for the trade, and robbed those new items of exposure – the good kind – to potential users and customers. This special issue of Stone Update Magazine gives those products a place to shine. Reset 2020 is exclusively for re-introducing those products at a time when the industry is gearing up for full day-to-day business. You may remember some of these from January shows, but most fell into the shadows as Covid-19 took over our business and personal lives. So, let’s start over for 2020 and see what’s new in a half-year where we’ll go full-steam.