We have coverage of next month’s IWF exhibition in this issue, and there is a lot more online at www.cabinetmaker.com and in our IWF Pre-Show Planner, which is being updated several times before the Aug. 22-25 show dates.
In the planner and elsewhere we recommend planning ahead (get it?). Make a list of what you want to see at IWF. Address your most important needs first, before leaving home. It’s better to have a plan and change it than to have no plan. Check the exhibitor list online at www.iwfatlanta.com, and you can register ahead of time here also. Plan which seminars will best help your business. Include someone from your team who has never been to the show before. They’ll welcome the opportunity to travel, and their experience can give others a fresh perspective.

In the planner, we suggest studying your list and the show guide, and moving through the aisles, seeing as much as you can. Stop and talk to the people in the booth. If you’re a woodworker, they definitely want to talk to you. Ask them about their product or service. Tell them about a problem that you’re having.

Cover the companies that are most important to you, taking notes as you go. Even though your list of products and problems in your business should be your priority, experienced attendees often tell us of a useful tool or accessory they saw at the show but did not know about previously.

If they weren’t on site, they would never have seen it.

If you plan carefully, you can get a lot out of a few days at a big event like IWF 2012, but you can’t plan everything ahead of time.
You might see something on the show floor that would be a great problem-solver for your business. Something unexpected. You may learn something you hadn’t thought about in an educational seminar, or even gotten an interesting perspective from another attendee over lunch.

There’s no substitute for being there. Even in our digital age, nothing beats a live event.
You can buy songs available for immediate download, and still buy music CDs, but a live event still rocks. Atlanta native Tommy Roe sang “Everybody,” perhaps suggesting the potential audience for IWF 2012.

There is also the advantage of being in the same place with literally thousands of woodworkers, people with problems and questions similar to yours.

There will be more woodworkers in Atlanta the last week in August than anywhere else.

There’s no reason why you can’t be one of them.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.