Attend a trade show without traveling
August 16, 2010 | 7:00 pm CDT

When professional woodworkers are asked why they don’t attend more trade shows, one of the most common responses is the cost in money and time to travel. That’s not a problem with a new trade show being launched by CabinetMakerFDM because you don’t have to even leave your office to go.

Scheduled for Nov. 18, the daylong CabinetMakerFDM Woodworking Business E-vent uses new technology to bring the trade show experience to your desktop.

Everything you expect in a show 

“There are all the things such as exhibitor booths, conferences and networking opportunities you would expect from a trade show, but without the hassle of travel,” says Bruce Plantz, publisher of CabinetMakerFDM and vice president, director of content for WATT.

Looking much like the interface for a sophisticated video game, the E-vent offers an exhibitor hall with virtual trade show booths. When you see a booth that interests you, click on it to enter. Then you’ll be able to take advantage of a variety of information streams depending on the booth. Some options include downloading product information, viewing videos, even live chat with product representatives. You can collect information in your virtual briefcase for later consideration. See an exhibitor list here.

Education programs 

Similarly, a conference center presents dynamic education programs and panel discussions throughout the eight hours of the show. During conferences, attendees can send in questions to be answered by the panelists in real time. And unlike most traditional trade shows, the conferences are recorded and archived for later viewing.

Scheduled topics include lean manufacturing for small to medium-size shops and a panel discussion on the future of the industry. Sessions on marketing, CNC machinery and software are also slated. See the full schedule and list of speakers. 

Network with peers 

Lots of people like trade shows for the chance to network with colleagues. The E-vent provides networking opportunities through a virtual Networking Lounge with instant live chat with other attendees and town hall meetings sponsored by industry associations such as the Cabinet Makers Association and the Wood Component Manufacturers Association.

There is no charge for attendees to participate in this cutting edge technology. However, you do need to register. To learn more and sign up, go to You will also find there a link to a short video presentation that demonstrates key features of this virtual event.

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About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editorial director of Woodworking Network and FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.