Every Expo is different. But I’ve attended nine of them now, and every year I see something new, meet someone I didn’t know previously, get a better understanding of new technology and products, make crucial connections for future articles in Advanced Textiles Source—and have a good time. I get to know my writers as people, and put names to faces. I even get to know my co-workers at IFAI better.
It’s hard to quantify and qualify this sort of experience. Yes, it’s a lot of time out of everyone’s busy schedules, and there are expenses involved, too. But what if you don’t go? You don’t know what you’re missing, as the saying goes. To be more precise, you could benefit from attending in ways that are hard to predict – and these could even be the most meaningful, in the end.
It takes effort while you’re there, and it can be exhausting. So many people to talk to! So many sessions for me to cover! So many products I need to inquire about! So many people to greet! I always go home knowing full well that I didn’t do it all, but I did try. Here I am, a month later, still writing about it, and I’m not done with that part yet, either.
There are bigger shows, and there are many smaller, more focused events, but there’s only one IFAI Expo. This one is truly about its membership, their business success and their leadership in the functional fabric industry arena. You don’t have to be a member to participate, but if you are, you’ll have advantages and services available to you all year long. Why stop at one annual show?
I’m an observer in all this, not the industry experts that you are; my job is to talk about what you folks are doing. But this is what I see—year after year.
And that’s my take on it.