What does the future hold for the International Woodworking Fair (IWF), the Western Hemisphere's largest woodworking industry tradeshow? IWF has acknowledged that hundreds of exhibitors may not return this year. This includes five of the world's largest woodworking equipment companies. What does this mean to you as an exhibitor or as an attendee? POST YOUR COMMENT BELOW.

Read related news here:

IWF 2010 poll: To go or not to go redux
IWF's impact on Atlanta economy examined by city daily
IWFchief: Show is alive and well
IWF: To go or not to go?

SCM Group announces departure from IWF 2010
Biesse withdraws from IWF
Economy prompts Delmac to cancel IWF participation
IWF committed to good show despite drop in exhibitors
Stiles will re-allocate resources and not participate in IWF
Weinig decides not to exhibit at IWF

Read related blogs here:
Are you on the fence about going to IWF?
Guest blog: Big iron firms should keep small presence at IWF
Will IWF rookies get the full experience in 2010 that past shows offered?
No more technology for the masses?
How will a diminished IWF impact the sponsoring associations?
Unexpected consequences?
IWF still has value
No more woodworking shows?

Recent Woodworking Network Visitor Reactions

"In these times I think that the big guys should just tone it down a bit with the big spaces that they have had in the past. I am not sure how the IWF and Atlanta has taken a look at it as far as trying to bring there costs down to the show, but I would expect that they should. That’s my two cents worth."
— Ralph Bruewer, Bruewer Woodworking
responding to Guest Blog: Big machinery firms should keep small presence at IWF

"The overarching position the big iron guys find themselves in is none of their own doing. Its a shame other sectors of industry than banking can't reach out for carryover help. Even the auto industry is downsizing by 60+ %. The machinery companies will have to downsize to a lower level of output till things balance and an upward trend is realized again. Even saving money through downsizing is expensive at every level in our world. Their presence as exhibitors can drop out for one year and not be noticed as anything more than being frugal when necessary, except by the trade show entities.
— Clifford Wieser
responding to Guest Blog: Big machinery firms should keep small presence at IWF

"The average company, taken from the ones you mention, incurs a cost between 1 and 1.3 million dollars. Lets us do some math: in these times one is lucky if the sale of a machine brings in a 10% gross profit. Assuming the average machine is sold at $100,000, we are talking $10,000. It would take selling 100 to 120 machines just to recover the cost of participating. How many machines would one company need to sell in one year in order to recover the cost of IWF (or the AWFS show in Vegas) and then also pay for its own operations during the rest of the year? And how many machines do you think they sell in one year? This is something that cannot be sustained, and after the present recession will be over, a new scenario will emerge."
— Giodano Checchi
Excerpt in response to Guest Blog: Big machinery firms should keep small presence at IWF

"As a manufacturer, we at RazorGage feel that in these difficult times it is important to support our customers though our continued participation in IWF. The show allows them to capitalize on the opportunity to compare and contrast the various technologies available in the marketplace, all under one roof. Our customers are having difficult times too, why add to their stress by making it harder for them to make an informed buying decision. Last show when the big guys backed out, we had a great show."
— Gary Simpson (responding to the article above)

"I think the whole country is having to rethink how we operate. I've been forced to change how I do business. I watch spending very closely in all areas and don't buy anything unless it's absolutely needed. My family is operating the same way. I just hope you are sending news of these developments in our industry to Congress. I'll bet most of us out here in the trenches are willing to tighten our belts and work our way out of this mess that they (Congress) have created. We just want them to do as those of us with common sense do. . . DON'T SPEND MORE THAN YOU TAKE IN !!!!!!"
— Neil Peterson (responding to blog: "Unexpected consequences")

"Honestly change happens. If I am a small business with a great idea the web presents millions of ways to make that known. If you have a few "good" equipment vendors and reps that you can call when you are presented with some sort of challenge they know someone who knows someone that can help you…. If people spent as much time and energy being innovative as they did complaining about change we probably would not have an unemployment rate. Just my opinion. If people spent as much time and energy being innovative as they did complaining about change, we probably would not have an unemployment rate. Just my opinion."
— Darrin Koone (responding to blog: "No more woodworking trade shows?" For his complete comments, click here.)

"I feel that another reason for the pullout at IWF is that the show is very expensive. Indeed, with the unions having to get you in and out, it pays a heavy toll in itself...especially when it's competing with the internet search engines at your fingertips. It is sad, nevertheless, that shows like IWF take a hit like this. I grew up going to this show since it started in Louisville, KY, and have always enjoyed seeing friends and customers in the industry in person."
— Art Rhodes (commenting on the news item about Delmac pulling out of IWF)

"It is a shame to hear that Stiles & Weinig (and I'm sure other big players are not far behind) are pulling out completely from the show. It does not show concern for our ailing industry as a whole, nor does it show the cohesiveness that is needed more now than anytime before. It seems to me their reasoning is based solely on 'cost of show' vs. 'return on investment,' which I agree in this economy is the number one factor that has brought this about. I would like to say this should not be the single deciding factor for this show and should not be the only reason for attending or not attending an event of this magnitude.....I would encourage any exhibitor who is thinking of not showing or has pulled out to take the needed steps to at least have some presence at the show and support their industry and do their best to show support to all the other suppliers who are feeling the pinch as well. Let's be more united and less divided and we will all come out of this stronger."
— Jeff Oliverson (responding to video "Breaking news on the equipment front." For his complete comments, click here.)

What do you think this holds for our industry? And more importantly, how do you think this will affect you? Let us know.

Traffic was brisk at IWF 2008. What will 2010 bring?

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