The duty of any IWF show is to be bigger and better than its predecessors, and following the resounding success of IWF 2004, you would think this year’s show might have troubles living up to the hype. Not so, says Patrick LaFramboise, IWF 2006 CEO. In fact, he says that IWF 2006, being held Aug. 23-26 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, is poised to be one of the biggest IWFs ever.

“Our registration numbers are strong,” says LaFramboise. “Whether or not it will be the largest attended show is too early to tell, but it’s certainly looking strong.”

In a sense, this year’s IWF is looking to pick up where IWF 2004 left off. A steady economy and strong industry are just a few of the reasons why LaFramboise and Russ McBroom, president of Mereen-Johnson and IWF 2006 show chairman, have the right to be excited.

“I think some stability in the economy, despite what you might read in the newspapers, has played a role in the show’s success,” McBroom says. “Companies are busy and they are looking for methods to improve their productivity. Productivity improvements are key to any business’ success, and I think the attendees will be coming to look for that.”

Atlanta and the Georgia World Congress Center again play host to IWF 2006. The show takes place Aug. 23-26.
IWF 2006 At A Glance

Dates: Aug. 23-26

Exhibit Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Cost: $10 for a four-day exhibit pass if purchased by July 21. After that date, the price rises to $25.

Location: Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA.

  • Building A: Supplies, Services and Upholstery
  • Building B: Supplies, Services, Upholstery, Light Machinery and Machinery
  • Building C: Machinery

Transportation: The IWF will again offer its free shuttle service, running between the GWCC and many area hotels.

Exhibitors: More than 1,379 domestic and international manufacturers and distributors of woodworking equipment and supplies (as of early July).

Seminars/Exhibinars: Educational programs covering a variety of different topics will be available each day. Find the complete schedule and cost information for both programs on pages 88 and 94

Challengers Awards: Judging will take place Aug. 22, with awards handed out on Aug. 23.

Design Emphasis Awards: Judging will be held on Aug. 21, with the awards presented on Aug. 23. For more information see page 92.

Show Sponsors: American Home Furnishings Alliance, Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America and Woodworking Machinery Industry Assn.

Information: Visit, or phone (404) 693-8333.

As of early July, 1,379 companies had contracts to exhibit at the show, and more than 9,000 interested buyers had already pre-registered. These numbers are strong, but as LaFramboise says, numbers aren’t everything.

“It’s really not all about numbers, and I’m not trying to use that as an excuse. At IWF 2004, which had a slight drop-off in terms of the total number of people who came to the show, most exhibitors had their most productive show in terms of sales and leads generated in recent memory,” says LaFramboise. “So it’s not just about the numbers. It’s about the quality of the buyer and the level of interest that a buyer has in making a purchase.”

For McBroom, a prosperous IWF 2006 will hinge on the mutual success of the show’s exhibitors and buyers.

“Exhibitors measure the success of the show by contacts made, sales completed and closed, and prospects to follow up on. The buyers who come to the show measure success on having the ability to find solutions to their situations. If they can come and find exhibitors providing ways to improve their productivity and meet their production needs, they will see this as a success,” McBroom says. “And if the show is successful for one of the parties, it should be successful for the other.”

Both McBroom and LaFramboise expect buyers at IWF 2006 to be in search of equipment and advice that can help them incorporate Lean Manufacturing into their production processes. With foreign competition continuing to drive the North American woodworking industries, the time is now to be doing more with less.

“Lean Manufacturing is a consistent theme throughout our industry,” LaFramboise says. “And this isn’t news, you’ve heard it before, but the focus is ever sharper on improving the manufacturing process.”

The Challengers Distinguished Achievement Awards

An estimated 96 entries submitted by 74 companies worldwide will compete for The Challengers Distinguished Achievement Awards, to be presented at the International Woodworking Fair, Aug. 23-26 in Atlanta, GA.

The biennially-presented awards recognize seven outstanding exhibiting companies who have distinguished themselves in developing innovative technology, services or manufacturing techniques or have made significant contributions to environmental improvement in the woodworking industry. The competition challenges IWF exhibiting companies to develop revolutionary, creative, ingenious, forward-thinking technology, materials, services or safety devices that advance the industry. The IWF Challengers Awards program dates back to 1966.

Winners will receive a Challengers Award bronze sculpture, designed exclusively for the IWF by well-known artist Carol Marks.

Old and New

The GWCC will again be home to IWF, and LaFramboise reports that show space is approaching the capacity point of 850,000 square feet between Buildings A, B, C and beyond. Also of note, since 2004 the GWCC has added more wireless internet spots throughout the facility.

“We’re maxing out the show floor, and because of the demand, we’re going back to the concourses and into the meeting rooms again — like we used to when the building was smaller,” says LaFramboise.

While the surroundings of this year’s IWF may be the same, the show’s dates are a little different. In years past, the show began on a Thursday and ended on Sunday. The dates for IWF 2006 have been shifted up in the week — beginning on a Wednesday and ending on Saturday.

The advantage to this small change, says McBroom, is that it looks like attendees are planning on staying through the final day of the show, whereas they might not have in the past. In fact, McBroom says that the number of attendees who have already committed to hotel rooms for the week is way up from 2004.

Design Emphasis

The 2004 Design Emphasis Best of Show winner, designed by Susan Link of Haywood Community College.

Design Emphasis, a furniture design competition for students, offers design students a unique opportunity to demonstrate their talent and originality before a judging panel of furniture industry designers, manufacturing and retail executives and members of the trade press who have design-oriented backgrounds.

75 finalists are invited to attend the fair and have their furniture pieces judged by a panel of industry experts. Six categories are recognized: Seating, Ready-to-Assemble, Casegoods, Contract Furniture, Occasional Furniture and Design Creativity. A prize is also given for the Best in Show.

The Design Emphasis Showcase at the International Woodworkers Fair in 2006 is located in the Northside Drive Entrance to Building C. Furniture pieces designed and built by students from colleges and universities throughout the United States are featured.

“A show is only good if people come to it and registration is one way to measure whether people will be coming or not,” McBroom says. “But the registration is inexpensive in comparison to guaranteeing a hotel room for one night, $175 versus $10. This is telling me that people are planning to come.”

Also new to IWF this year are two Exhibinars — technical sessions hosted by companies exhibiting at the show. Dekker Vacuum Technologies Inc. and TRAKware Systems Inc. will be the inaugural presenters at this year’s Exhibinars.

“It’s an opportunity for our exhibitors to be a part of the technical or educational portion of our program,” says LaFramboise. “Two companies have taken advantage of this opportunity and are getting a chance to get out in front of our public.”

What's An Exhibitor?

New to IWF this year, Exhibinars are technical seminars presented by exhibiting companies that will cover content in the areas of their industry expertise. The sessions, running between 2 to 21/2 hours, cost $30 if pre-registered by July 21. After that date, the cost rises to $40 per session. Look below for a complete schedule of this year’s Exhibinars, or find more information at, or phone (404) 693-8333.


1:30 - 4:00 p.m.: How to Improve Your Vacuum System to Increase Workflow, Quality and Profitability

Presented by Dekker Vacuum Technologies, Inc.

Speakers: Jerry Geenen and Tom Adent, Dekker Vacuum Technologies Inc.


9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Estimating for Success

Presented by TRAKware Systems Inc.

Speakers: Craig Senych and Randy Richel, Trakware Systems Inc.

The Home Stretch

LaFramboise says that the month leading up to the show will be marked by a comprehensive media blitz, ensuring that exhibitors are inundated with interested buyers come August. No matter what an exhibitor’s or buyer’s goal for IWF 2006 may be, McBroom and LaFramboise say that the show is certain to have something for everyone.

“The reason why I think that our registration numbers are holding up so strongly is that there is a lot of interest in purchasing equipment and supplies right now,” says LaFramboise. “And there is no better place to find them than at IWF.”

Learn Something, Too

The IWF 2006 Technical Conference Program kicks off on the Fair’s opening day, Aug. 23, and runs through Aug. 26. The sessions, running between 11/2 to 2 hours, cost $30 if pre-registered by July 21. After that date, the cost rises to $40 per session. Look below for a complete schedule to this year’s program, or find more information at, or phone (404) 693-8333.


9:30 - 11:00 a.m.: “Automating Your Finishing Line - Where's the Payback?”

Partner: Modern Woodworking

Moderator: Brooke Wisdom

Speakers: Jerry Claybrook, Eggers Industries; Ron Kollman, Schwieters Companies; Blake Harmon, Wellborn Forest Products Inc.; and Steven Bell, Pacific Crest Industries

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.: “Sustaining Competitive Advantages for the Furniture and Cabinet Industries”

Partner: Mississippi State University

Moderator: Dr. Liam E. Leightley

Speakers: Dr. Steve Taylor, Mississippi State University; Ms. Mary Frye, Home Furnishings International Assn.; Mr. Richard E Forbes, MasterBrand Cabinets; and Dr. Robert Smith, Virginia Polytechnic University


8:30 – 10:30 a.m.: “Achieving Manufacturing Excellence”

Partner: Virginia Tech

Moderator: Earl Kline

Speakers: Dr. Eileen Van Aken, Virginia Tech; Spencer Dick, TigerStop; Hal Mitchell, Atlanta Hardwood Corp.; and Barry Thomas, Merillat

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: “UV Curing: Higher Productivity, NO VOCs”

Partners: Wood Digest and Wood Digest Finishing

Moderator: Steve Ehle

Speakers: Phil Stevenson, Wood Digest Finishing; Don Hart, Mid America Protective Coatings Inc.; Bob Niemeyer, Wood Digest Finishing; and Bill Sparks, Radtech International

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.: “CNC Software 101 – Selecting Software for Design and Production”

Partner: AWPL, Georgia Institute of Technology; Southern Staircase; and South Georgia Cabinet Company Inc.

Moderator: Dr. Russell Gentry

Speakers: Alan J. Harp, AWPL; Hector H. Henry, AWPL; Thomas R. Clayton, South Georgia Cabinet Company Inc.; and Randy Scott, Southern Staircase

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.: “Profitable Decision-Making when Outsourcing Components & Products”

Partner: Wood Component Manufacturers Assn.

Moderator: Steve Lawser

Speakers: Reed Felton, TJ Hale; William Smith, Fuller Architectural Hardwoods; Rich Christianson, Wood & Wood Products, Custom Woodworking Business; Dave Groom, International Manufacturing Specialist for the Furniture Industry; and Walter Gahm, Kitchen Kompact Inc.


8:30 – 10:00 a.m.: “Got Wood Dust!!! How do you handle it?”

Partners: AHFA, WMMA, WMIA

Moderator: Andy Counts

Speakers: John L. Festa, PhD, American Forest & Paper Assn.; Dave Lowes, HAVCO Wood Products; and Roger Boyer, Designer Showcases Inc.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: “Increasing Profitability and Margins”

Partner: NASFM

Moderator: Klein Merriman

Speaker: John Mackay, Mackay Research Group

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.: “Error and Omissions in Human Resources”

Partner: WMMA

Moderator: Ken Hutton

Speaker: Nancye Combs, HR Enterprise

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.: “Lean Manufacturing: Continuing the Journey”

Partner: Architectural Woodwork Institute

Moderator: Kimberly Haynes

Speakers: Craig Johnson, Principle Fixture & Millwork; and Erik Fetzer, Fetzer’s Inc.


9:00 – 10:30 a.m.: “Material Handling: Lifting Your Efficiency”

Partner: FDM

Moderator: Karl D. Forth

Speakers: Don Clements, Atlanta Cabinet Shop; Dale Kufahl, Cabinetry Plus; and Ray Niemeyer, Material Handling Industry of America

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.: “CNC for the Small Shop”

Partner: Woodshop News

Moderator: Tod Riggio

Speakers: Mark Smith, Shiloh High School; Frank Staltaro, Domestic Kitchens; and Bernard Davis, B.H. Davis Company

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