Cheng Concrete Exchange Raises Bar and Awareness of Concrete Countertops
January 2006—At the record-breaking World of Concrete 2006 (WOC) where 80,000 people gathered in Las Vegas, NV, Cheng Concrete Exchange’s booth exhibit of sculptural concrete countertops was again a show favorite, drawing a non-stop stream of an estimated 6,000 visitors to the booth throughout the four-day event. In the 32-year history of the international tradeshow, this year’s WOC was the largest yet with 1,800 exhibitors occupying over 800,000 net square feet, approximately 15% higher than 2005.
Fu-Tung Cheng, an expert on interior concrete applications and a pioneer in the decorative concrete industry, is the founder of Cheng Concrete Exchange, an online resource and marketplace providing building professionals and do-it-yourselfers with training, design ideas, business opportunities, and a full line of concrete countertop products. He is also the author of bestseller Concrete Countertops and Concrete at Home. Cheng was also a WOC speaker; his seminar was entitled “Beyond Countertops: More Concrete Opportunities inside the Home”.
This is the third year Cheng Concrete Exchange has participated at WOC, proving yet again to be a great venue to promote concrete countertop design. “Our highly trafficked booth is a strong indication that the growing decorative concrete sector is definitely a force to be reckoned with on the exhibit floors,” said Cheng.
“After attending the Cheng Concrete Exchange booth for the past two years, I am awed at the increasing awareness concrete countertops are receiving,” said Jeff Grzywinski, a Cheng Concrete Exchange Member.
Mike Moncrieff, another Cheng Concrete Exchange Member, noted enthusiastically that “it was awesome to see the vision and passion of Cheng Design […]. The booth displays were exceptional and the visual experience prepared for the WOC guests really generated a high level of engagement and passion. We are excited to be an active partner with Cheng Design in pursuing the unlimited design possiblilities of interior concrete.”
Rosemary Camozzi, Editor of Concrete Décor Magazine, agrees. “We’ve seen the buzz about concrete countertops grow exponentially each year, and the beautiful pieces on display at the Cheng Concrete Exchange booth drew crowds of contractors wanting to learn more.”
Major attractions to Cheng Concrete Exchange’s booth included speaking events by Cheng, who gave slideshow presentations throughout the day sharing his recent residential design and concrete projects and insights on the high-end market of concrete applications as well as technical approaches to complex formwork. Cheng also provided a day-by-day look at the curriculum and benefits of his popular Advanced Countertop Design Training, a five-day program that is often sold-out three months in advance.
“It’s my hope that Concrete Exchange will inspire more concrete professionals to expand their business and collectively raise the standard of craftsmanship on what is being produced in this burgeoning industry of concrete countertop design,” said Cheng.
“Beyond Countertops” Seminar
Fu-Tung Cheng’s Monday pre-exhibit seminar at WOC drew an estimated 300 attendees to hear him speak on the topic of “Beyond Countertops: More Concrete Opportunities Inside the Home.” Cheng engaged attendees with a three-hour presentation on new residential uses for concrete: fireplaces, water features, partition walls, columns and more. He showed many examples of his latest and past work, and also included work from other residential concrete experts.
Save the Children
For the second consecutive year, Cheng’s instructional DVD, Concrete Countertops D-I-Y, was a popular item at WOC once again—selling nearly 1200 copies. A total of $5,000 was donated to Save the Children, an organization that helps children in poverty as well as children in crisis in the United States and around the world. In 2005, Cheng donated proceeds from sales of Concrete Countertops D-I-Y at WOC to the Tsunami Relief effort.
As a fundraising effort to build a new building to house The Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program at Middle Tennessee State University, auctioneers sponsored a major fundraising event at the World of Concrete 2006. Cheng Concrete Exchange participated in the auction that raised nearly $250,000, by offering a Concrete Countertop Essentials Workshop.
Cheng Concrete Exchange announced a strategic partnership with Interstar, a leading international manufacturer of concrete products. Interstar will exclusively manufacture and distribute Cheng’s proprietary line of concrete countertop mix products.
New Training & Seminars
In addition to Cheng Concrete Exchange’s Essential Workshop (1-day) and the Advanced Countertop Design Training (5-day), Cheng is now offering a new Advanced Training, a 3-day workshop on Fireplaces and Architectural Formwork. In this hands-on workshop, 14 students will learn how to design fireplace, door and window surrounds. They will also learn techniques and Cheng trade secrets to implement their designs, simulate limestone/sandstone finishes, develop mix design, and work with stucco pigments.
Also added to the Cheng Concrete Exchange curriculum is a unique 3-day seminar (limited to 25 people), New Forms in Concrete: Advanced Design and Construction for Kitchen Islands and Architectural Walls in the Cheng Design tradition. Concrete artisans will learn the techniques of designing and building sophisticated, sculptural islands and exterior and interior formed walls. Both seminars are limited to Members of Cheng Concrete Exchange.
Training, Products & Design Ideas
For instructional products, training, design ideas, visit: www.concreteexchange.com or contact: Fran Muhaw, Tel: 800.877.6052 ext. 217, email@example.com