Thousands come to IWF: Here’s why

A wide range of woodworking machinery and supplies will be on display at the show. Photo: IWF

A showcase for new machinery, materials, supplies and services, the International Woodworking Fair plays host to an international audience of professionals involved in the production of cabinetry, furniture, architectural millwork, retail fixtures, closets, components and other industry segments. Owned and sponsored by the Wood Industry Association, the biennial woodworking trade show and conference will be Aug. 6-9 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, with show hours in halls B, BC and C from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. Building A opens at 7:30 a.m. each day.  

“People come to IWF to see what’s new, to see how they can grow their business,” said Chris Hacker, 2024 IWF show chairman. “In a four-day period, you get to experience hundreds of different machines and products, exhibitor booths, and educational seminars.”

IWF Show Performance research bears that out. In a survey following the last event, 85 percent of attendees said IWF was the most important show for their business, 80 percent said IWF was their primary source of new woodworking products and technologies, while 75 percent said IWF gives them business insights unavailable at any other show.

Bigger & better
Already the show exceeds 2022 figures for exhibitors and footprint. As of mid-May, IWF boasted an estimated 1,100 exhibitors and approximately 733,000 square feet of exhibit and display space, spread across 1.2 million square feet in the three GWCC buildings as well as the B/C exhibit hall. Attendance is projected to be north of 27,000, Hacker noted. 

For comparison, total registered attendance in 2022 was 25,524, with exhibits and displays by the 900-plus exhibitors occupying roughly 663,000 square feet.

“We’re looking forward to a large North American presence, as well as [a larger] international presence than we have seen in a number of years,” he said. 

“Going into ‘24, it really has been about growth,” Hacker added. “Everything’s open now (post COVID), and everyone has the opportunity now to come to Atlanta. We’re seeing that in the number of exhibitors here to date for the ‘24 cycle, but in addition, just the overall mood and the overall scope of the show tells us there’s going to be growth as far as the number of people that want to attend, exhibit and do business.”

Woodworking Network, Booth A11037, will be among the 1,100-plus exhibitors at IWF.

More reasons to attend
This year’s theme is “All about your business,” and IWF delivers that with a wide range of technology, trends, products and education sessions to suit the needs of companies of all sizes and from all segments of the woodworking industry.

“People view IWF as a brand in Atlanta to come do business,” Hacker noted. “And when you have that model, people then say, ‘It’s worthwhile for me to go. It’s worthwhile for myself and my team or a new engineer or a new salesperson or a new CEO to view our industry in a much better way.’”

Along with the thousands of new products showcased by manufacturers and suppliers, there will be show floor demonstrations and plenty of networking and educational opportunities. 

Action begins even before the show floor opens. August 5, the day prior to the start of the fair, features all-day workshops, including Woodworking Network’s CNC Bootcamp, sponsored by KCD Software, and the Closets & Organized Storage symposium. The IWF Education Conference also offers sessions on business management, manufacturing and design, marketing and business development, workforce maintenance and organizational culture, and exhibitor EDUs. For additional information on the symposiums or seminars, visit

Show favorites & new features
Other show favorites and new features for IWF 2024 include: 

  • Challengers Awards. On Tuesday, 11 a.m. at the Challengers Award Gallery in Building B, the IWF Challengers Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes outstanding companies for technological innovations in products, services, or manufacturing techniques that will advance the industry.  “There is a robust list of qualified exhibitors that are introducing new innovation and technology,” Hacker said. “It will be head-turning for many folks to see what’s new.”
  •  Design Emphasis. The IWF Design Emphasis Student Furniture Competition showcases furniture designed and built by students from colleges and universities throughout the United States, with prizes awarded to the top entries in five categories. Finalist entries can be viewed in Building C, with winners announced at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
  • Night at the Tabernacle. Back for 2024, IWF Night at the Tabernacle on Aug. 7 features live music, networking, cocktails and overall fun after hours, from 8-10 p.m. More than 1,000 attendees and exhibitors connected at the 2022 event, and this year’s event is sure to be great, event organizers said. Visit for details and tickets. 
  •  IWF AI Chatbot. Have a question about the show? Check out Taylor, IWF’s new AI Chatbot that provides on-demand assistance 24/7. Taylor can be accessed online or through the IWF app for quick answers via text. “The AI chatbot is an additional platform for folks to get basic information as they navigate through the show,” Hacker noted. “Taylor will answer a scope of simple questions, plus we have an incredible IWF staff that will be on hand the entire time to answer any questions.”
  • Other features. New items on tap include the IWF Design collections, showcased in C and BC, and the mass timber conference programming.

“Come to Atlanta to do business, come to Atlanta for education, and come to IWF in Atlanta to see what’s new,” Hacker said.

IWF at a glance
Date: Aug. 6-9 (All-day symposia: Aug. 5)
Location: Georgia World Congress Center
Show hours: Hall A, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Halls B, BC, C 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Show closes at 2 p.m. on Friday
Challengers Award: Winners announced Tuesday, 11 a.m., Challengers Award Gallery, Building B, Level 2, overlook area.
Design Emphasis: Winners announced Wednesday, 10 a.m., Design Emphasis Gallery, Building C

For updates visit


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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at [email protected]