Attendance figures show a slight increase over the previous show’s total, and those who came to IWF 2006 were in a buying mood.

Reactions from the 2006 International Woodworking& Furniture Supply Fair were upbeat following the four-day show, with a large number of exhibitors commenting on the high amount of interest shown by buyers in the products and services on display.

According to preliminary figures from show management, a total of 43,192 exhibitors and attendees participated in the event, a 3% increase over 2004 figures. The 24,886 verified buyers (total participants less exhibiting personnel) included representatives from all segments of the secondary woodworking industry: cabinetry, architectural millwork, office and residential furniture, store fixture, panel processing, etc. (See the chart on page 70 for a breakdown by industry segment.)

And buy they did. Roaming across the record-breaking 851,520 net square feet of space throughout Buildings A, B and C of the GWCC, representatives from companies of all sizes — from one to more than 250 employees — looked, listened and left from exhibitors’ booths with products or ideas for making their companies more productive.

“This was the best show ever by IWF,” said Russ McBroom, IWF 2006 chairman and president of Mereen-Johnson Machine Co. “Leads were strong, and sales of machinery and supplies were in abundance.”

“This IWF show was the best in our company’s history,” said Len Beusse, CEO of Vecoplan. “Not just the best IWF, the best trade show period. I have 20 years of these things to compare with, including some industry shows that are much larger than IWF. We sold 16 machines/systems and took home approximately 450 leads. That’s not bad for auxiliary machines, such as wood grinders.”

Gene Veening, president of Royce//Ayr, and Jeff Davidson, president of Weinig Group America, also said they found IWF 2006 to be one of the “best ever.”

“How was IWF 2006? In a word, fabulous,” added Davidson. “It was a great show for us. We had record orders from the show and we saw a strong reception from the attendees at the show, which is good for the industry. It means [the woodworking industry] is still very healthy.”

Of the 22,553 domestic buyers in attendance at IWF, preliminary figures show most came from the South Atlantic region (37.8%), with the East North Central (13.0%) and East South Central (12.9%) ranking second and third respectively. The other regions in decending order of attendance were: Middle Atlantic (6.4%), West South Central (5.9%), West North Central (5.4%), Pacific (4.0%), Mountain (2.6%) and New England (2.2%).

IWF 2006 was truly an international event, with 9.4% of attendance coming from outside the United States and its territories. Of the 2,333 international buyers, preliminary figures from IWF show 46.1% were from Canada; 13.3% from Mexico; 10.7% from South America; Europe at 10.5%; and Asia at 7.2%; with Central America, the Caribbean, Pacific, Africa and Middle East accounting for the remainder.

“[Customers] came to be informed and with business on their minds,” said Peter Kleinschmidt, president, Stiles Machinery Inc. He added that the company also enjoyed a record-breaking IWF.

Biesse too issued a statement that the company collected orders totaling $7 million during IWF and immediately thereafter, with order values up 16.7% compared to the 2004 show.

“Activity and attendance at our booth was definitely up from previous years,” concurred Dave Ortmayer, COO, Italpresse USA Inc. “It was my impression that a lot of people were at least talking about purchasing machines. I noted a stronger buying indication than in past years, but time will tell. It takes a few months typically to get the full impression of the show.”

More than 43,000 attendees came to IWF 2006 to view the latest products and services on display by the 1,383 exhibitors.
Of the 24,886 verified buyers at IWF, more than half were from companies posting sales in the millions. Design Winners Are Sitting Pretty
Industry Segments Represented by Attendees(preliminary figures)

Cabinetry — 6,788

Architectural Woodwork, Store Fixtures,

Millwork & Moulding — 4,844

Residential Furniture — 3,696

Distributor, Machinery & Supply — 2,365

Office Furniture — 1,444

Windows, Doors, Flooring — 1,224

Machinery, Tooling, Hardware — 1,193

Panel or Dimension Manufacturing — 564

Primary Process Manufacturing — 526

Veneers, Plywood — 481

Gifts, Toys, Accessories, Specialty Items — 452

Laminated Panels, Solid Surface — 368

Plastic Fabrication — 242

Software, Education Materials — 173

Unspecified — 526

Total — 24,886

Source: IWF
Seven students from various schools across the United States were named winners of the 2006 Design Emphasis Awards, with an additional 12 students recognized for merit and honorable mention. The awards were presented during the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta. A record 271 entries were received from 44 schools.

Winner of the Best of Show award was Sandor Pratt, Art Center College of Design, for his bamboo dining chairs. Other category awardees and their projects were:

Case Goods — Winner: Casey Pryor, University of Kentucky, Again the Line plane mass table; Merit: Dean Vande Griend, Iowa State University, table with three drawers; Honorable Mention: Katie Banks, Georgia Tech, dresser.

Contract — Winner: Jang Won Yoon, Art Center College of Design, stacking chairs; Merit: John Niero, Art Center College of Design, Flex stacking chairs; Honorable Mention: Ali Qabazard, University of Kentucky, coffee table.

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