Despite a relatively low attendance of 9,000 registered visitors at AWFS Vegas, many exhibitors and attendees said they found much to be commended at this year’s biennial show, including strong buying interest in the new technology and supplies on display.

In addition to domestic buyers, show management reported that Guatemala and Mexico were the two must active international delegations with regards to purchasing. For the first time, Iraq and Mongolia also sent a delegation of buyers.

In turn, many of the estimated 600 exhibitors reported better-than-expected sales leads. "We saw better quality prospects and have already closed on some new business," said Cami Waner of The Collins Co.

"The show was excellent for us," agreed Brent East, Thermwood Corp. "Both the number and quality of buyers were much better than I anticipated."

"The show was much better than we expected," said Mike Serwa of Vortex Tool. "We came in hopes of gaining market share so that when things turn around we'll be a few steps ahead of our competition."

In addition to the new products on display, several new initiatives, including the Green Desk and smartSHOP, also garnered interest among attendees. A strong lineup of educational seminars and programs included a presentation on "Leveraging the Digital World to Grow Your Business -- Strategies and Tactics," by Tom Denison, vice president of Vance Marketing Solutions, a division of Vance Publishing, publisher of Wood & Wood Products, Custom Woodworking Business and CLOSETS magazines.

Green Recognition

During the show, seven companies received the Sequoia Award in recognition for their production innovation and leadership in the green movement. They were:

  • Leadership in Product Innovation & Productivity/Components: Häfele America Co., for the Aerofix 100
  • Leadership in Product Innovation/Hardware: Häfele America, for the Moovit
  • Leadership in Product Innovation & Productivity/Tooling: SCM Group, for its rapid tool locking system for moulders
  • Leadership in Product Innovation/Power Tools: Precision Casework, for the TP-2000 hardware drilling system
  • Leadership in Product Innovation/General: Accurate Technology, for its ProCAB QC measuring system
  • Leadership in Productivity/Machinery: Delmac Machinery Group won for the Busellato CNC router with a linear flow automated load/unload system
  • Leadership in Green/Environmental -- Components: Collins Companies for Collins Pine FreeForm
  • Leadership in Green/Environmental -- General: Mohawk Finishing Products, for its waterborne finishing system.
  • A number of exhibitors also demonstrated their commitment to the environment and community through donation of product and equipment. They include:

  • Weima America, the official recycling partner. Weima provided a shredding system to grind all the demonstration wood scrap as well as any discarded packaging materials.
  • Delmac Machinery Group built more than 60 cabinets and bookcases for donation to the Las Vegas Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Delmac partnered with seven other exhibitors on the project: Funder, Häfele, Salice, Franklin Adhesives & Polymers, Chicago Dowel, Canplast and Freeman.
  • Also at AWFS, Southeast Tool made arrangements to provide tooling to The Happy Factory Inc., a non-profit company which makes toys for needy children.
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