Today’s fast-paced and ultra-competitive economy means you have to stay on top of the industry at all times. But that’s hard to do when your time and budget are tight. To the rescue comes the CabinetMakerFDM Woodworking Business E-vent, a virtual trade show and conference that you can attend for free right from your desktop.

SimCity for woodworkers? 

In a sophisticated format that has been compared to the popular SimCity computer game, the E-vent puts you at the center of a dynamic virtual trade show. When you enter the E-vent interface, you’ll see an exhibit hall, conference center, association complex, and a networking lounge.

Click to enter the exhibit hall and be transported to a mezzanine view of the trade show floor with more than a dozen exhibit booths arrayed out before you. Front and center are spotlight exhibitors such as Stiles Machinery, Laguna Tools, Planit, Thermwood, KCD, and Binks. Scroll right or left to see even more booths.

Double-click on a booth to be transported into an interactive trade show booth right on your computer. Enter into live interactive chat with people in the booth. Download free brochures and information into your virtual briefcase. Watch videos and live demonstrations.

Top level speakers 

There’s a lot more to this show than just the exhibit hall. Check out the five conference sessions scheduled throughout the day of the show featuring top experts from the industry.

Want to know where the industry is headed? Sit in on the keynote conference session, “Beyond 2010: What would it take for woodworking industry to survive?” It features Michael Dugan, former president and CEO of Henredon Furniture Industries for 17 years and author of “The Furniture Wars: How America Lost a 50 Billion Dollar Industry,” along with Art Raymond, Vice President – Operations at Hooker Furniture Corporation, and Gero Sassenberg, longtime industry consultant.

Want something more nuts and bolts? Listen to Scott Cruickshank from Stiles Machinery walk you through the process of choosing the right CNC equipment to meet the needs of your business. How do you decide between a CNC router, point-to-point machining center, and a CNC panel saw? Cruickshank uses his decades of experience to explain what systems work best with which kinds of manufacturing operations.

There are also sessions on lean manufacturing, marketing, and getting the most from your computer software. All the sessions are designed to have plenty of time for live question and answer sessions. Check out a full schedule at www.wattevents.com.

And if you don’t have time to attend all the sessions live on the day of the E-vent, they will be recorded and archived for 90 days for registered attendees to view at their leisure.

Networking opportunities 

What a lot of people say are the best benefits of attending a trade show are the opportunities to network with your peers. The E-vent virtual format gives you plenty of chances to do just that.

Three major associations have co-sponsored the E-vent. The Architectural Woodwork Institute, the Cabinet Makers Association, and the Wood Component Manufacturers Association will all be participating in the association area of the E-vent. Attend a town hall session and meet with your fellow members or learn more about joining these associations.

Click to enter the Networking Lounge and see who is there. Exhibitors and attendees can all visit the networking area and enter into live random chat sessions with other attendees. You can also use search functions to find specific attendees.

Also, every attendee can create a custom profile to improve networking opportunities. Upload a photo of yourself or choose an icon from the provided list. You can post a personal bio and a personal message.

It’s not over when it’s over 

If all of this sounds like too much to take in for one session at your desktop, you may be right. But the E-vent has you covered there, too. On-demand content, including the conference presentations and sponsor booth information, will be available online for 90 days after the event.

Learn more or register for the event by going to www.wattevents.com. There you will also find a short video demonstration that shows you how the E-vent platform works. Start planning your virtual trade show experience today!

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