IFAI Expo 2018 delivered new information and opportunities for business connections across textile market areas.
Industrial Fabrics Association International Expo (IFAI Expo) offered a variety of exhibitors, events and education and attracted more than 4,350 verified registered participants from IFAI Expo and 500 scanned leads from CAMX to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. This is the 98th year of the international event.
Attendees had the opportunity to meet with more than 800 exhibitors, including those from CAMX, hear expert advice at 70-plus educational sessions and gain inspiration at a rousing keynote address. About 30 “Campfire” sessions on the show floor provided information and sparked discussions in specific topics concerning advanced textiles, specialty fabrics and shade and weather protection segments, with many of the sessions enjoying standing room only crowds.
In total, 66 countries were represented at IFAI Expo 2018, a 14 percent increase over last year.
IFAI Expo 2018 co-located with CAMX, the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, which offered attendees a look at the technology and products within the composites and materials industry. IFAI Expo and CAMX are of comparable size in attendance and number of exhibitors. Both shows benefited from product and attendee crossover, as proved through comparable numbers of badge scans from each.
“We attend IFAI Expo every year. It is a great place to meet clients; we are constantly learning and teaching about our industry. Plus, it’s a great way to collaborate. Expo helps us innovate by finding new ways to manufacture and bring new products to the industry,” said long-time IFAI member Alex Petizian, Naizil Coated Fabric Inc.
Additional highlights at IFAI Expo included:
- Industrial Fabrics Foundation Night, a brand new event that kicked off IFAI Expo, Casino-style, at Cloud 9, a revolving restaurant by Wolfgang Puck which makes its home among the downtown Dallas skyline.
- IFAI Expo’s Opening Reception featuring the textile industry’s band, Hangin’ by a Thread, where hundreds of reception guests enjoyed food, fun and rock n’ roll.
- In his keynote address, Emmy award winning Mark Scharenbroich talked about the importance of making connections in a disconnected world.
- One of the most popular features of IFAI Expo was the Manufacturing for Good demo area where sixteen IFAI member companies collaborated to manufacture a product right on the show floor.
- Thousands of attendees viewed live equipment demonstrations and live manufacturing of duffel bags to benefit local charity, The Bridge North Dallas, which helps people facing homelessness.
More than 300 attendees participated in 14 Market/Division “Open Meetings” where members and nonmembers came together to discuss challenges and new opportunities in specific market segments. Another unique benefit of attending IFAI Expo 2018 was its “Mentor Meetings,” where attendees could schedule one-on-one coaching from an industry veteran.
IFAI Expo ended with its exclusive, sold out Shop Tours, where participants experienced first-hand how shops are finding success through innovation and technology. Attendees learned about production, inventory control, lead generation, estimating projects and staffing at USA Canvas Shoppe and toured the anchor testing lab, the repair center and tested a few of their newest tools at Hilti North America Headquarters.
IFAI Expo 2019 is scheduled to be held at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla., October 1-4, 2019. For more information, visit www.ifaiexpo.com.