Destination: Atlanta.

It’s where thousands of professional woodworkers, representing all segments of the industry, will descend in the next month for North America’s largest woodworking show. The International Woodworking Fair will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center, Aug. 23-26.

Along with the masses, the staff of Wood & Wood Products, Custom Woodworking Business and CLOSETS magazines will be converging on Hot’lanta in late August. For me, it will be the ninth trip down the aisles of Halls A, B and C to see the latest and greatest in new technology, services and supplies.

Finish First

Online registration is available for “Industrial Wood Finishing 2006: Making Water-Based & Other Compliant Finishes Work." The one-day seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 22, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta.

The seminar focuses on the latest developments in compliant finishing materials and applications and curing technology, as well as strategies for successfully implementing a new finishing operation or improving an existing one.

The program is organized by the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at the University of British Columbia and Wood & Wood Products. Cefla Finishing America Inc., Becker Acroma Inc. and DUX Area are major sponsors of the event.

For information about sponsorship and tabletop display opportunities, contact Iain Macdonald, associate director for the UBC Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, at (604) 822-1472 or e-mail [email protected].

A lot has changed over the years since I first attended the show. As a rookie on the staff, the thought of 778 exhibitors stretched over 500,000 square feet seemed incomprehensible. This year, the quest to see approximately 1,400 exhibitors, in 850,000 square feet of space, is merely daunting to my feet. (Back in 1998, we had a former editor strap on a pedometer. During his four days at the show, he walked a total of 34.65 miles.)

The best advice is to go with a plan of attack in place. This will be your best opportunity of the year to check out the range of technology and supplies which can help your company become the most productive it can be.

Show coverage begins on page 87 of this issue. Included with the show preview are: an exhibitors’ list, seminar information, award programs, as well as a sneak peek at more than 200 products which will be on display at IWF.

While at the show, don’t forget to stop by Booth A448 and pick up complimentary copies of our publications, as well as WoodExtra, our at-show tabloid packed with information about the show, Atlanta as well as industry news.

In the meantime, to get you revved up for the main event, here are some fast facts about IWF.

IWF Fast Facts

  • Show space is 850,000 net square feet — the equivalent of 18 football fields, including the end zones.
  • More than 1,379 exhibitors will be on hand to display their wares, a similar number to those at the 2004 event.
  • Based on pre-show registration figures, the 2006 show should beat the previous attendance figure of 42,040.
  • From start to finish, the ambitious attendee will be able to squeeze in a full 40 hours of showtime. IWF is open from 8:00 a.m. - 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.
  • IWF goes Hollywood in 2006. The show has partnered with The Woodworking Channel — an Internet television broadcast network devoted exclusively to woodworking — for worldwide coverage of new products and demonstrations, seminars and awards ceremonies.
  • A total of 96 entries, from 74 companies, will be vying for this year’s Challengers Distinguished Achievement Award. Judging will be held Aug. 22, with awards given out on Aug. 23.

The Challengers Award dates back to 1966, when it was known as the “Challenge to Change” award, presented at the National Association of Furniture Manufacturers’ International Supply Fair, held in Louisville, KY. The original winners were: Roberts Consolidated Ind., Bechtold Div.; E.R. Carpenter Co.; Ekstrom-Carlson Co.; C.O. Porter Machinery Co.; Apex Machines; and R.S. Brookmon Ltd.

To date, 134 companies have won the award, with the Weinig Group holding the record at eight times.

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