In late January, the EPLF, Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (registered in Bielefeld, Germany), presented itself for the first time at the “Surfaces 2002”, the most important flooring trade show for the American market, in Las Vegas, USA. Close to the “Sands Expo and Convention Center“, where the trade show was held, in the Hotel “Treasure Island“, the association showed its colors with a reception for the American trade press, the members of the American laminate flooring association NALFA, and EPLF member companies. This event was organized and sponsored by Mead Specialty Paper (South Lee, USA). Through its appearance at trade shows in important export markets, the association aspires to expand its position on an international level. North America as such is one of the most interesting growth markets for laminate flooring.
Nearly half of the laminate flooring producers organized in the EPLF were present at the Surfaces 2002. On the occasion of the reception given by the EPLF, its president, Ulrich Windmöller (Witex AG, Germany), informed listeners about the structures and tasks the EPLF has and the work it does. Volker Kettler, chairman of the “Gütegemeinschaft Laminatfußboden im RAL“ (Germany), sketched the technical development of the product laminate flooring and gave an overview of the market development for the year 2001. Last but not least the event offered a chance to exchange information with the American trade press and intensified the contacts with the American laminate flooring association NALFA.
This appearance at the “Surfaces“ goes hand in hand with a line of international trade show participations, which have been systematically enforced by the EPLF since the beginning of 2000. The year 2002 began under the sign of the Domotex (Hanover, Germany), where the EPLF is present every year with an information booth and its annual press conference. At the “Domotex Asia/Chinafloor“, which takes place March 26th to 28th in the “Shanghai New International Expo Centre“(China), the association will not only be present itself, but has initiated a group participation of the German flooring industry. In 2001 the EPLF showed its colors at the ”National Floor Show“ in Harrogate (England) and at the ”Batimat“ in Paris (France). At the ”Floor Coverings 2001“ in Bejing (China), the EPLF premiered as an ideational sponsor of the trade show and participated with a presentation on the European laminate flooring norm, EN 13329, in a symposium on “Laminates” accompanying the event.