What’s your plan for IWF this year? Here are some suggestions to get startedand to get the most out of the experience.
--IWF is Wednesday, August 20 to Saturday, August 23, 2014.Show hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. the first three days, and 8:30 a.m. to 4p.m. on Saturday, at the Georgia World Congress Center.
--IWF is a large trade exhibition. Planning ahead isessential. Make a list of which you want to see. Address your most importantneeds first. This should be your first task, before leaving home. Check the exhibitor list in this planner oronline at www.iwfatlanta.com.
--Register ahead of time. This might save you some time,especially if you arrive at the opening of the show. You can register or findmore information at www.iwfatlanta.com
--The Georgia World Congress Center is located in downtownAtlanta at 285 Andrew Young International Blvd. It is within walking distance ofdowntown hotels, and can be reached via cab or MARTA, Atlanta’s rapid transitsystem. Shuttle buses will take attendees from many of the downtown hotels tothe GWCC. Shuttle buses will also connect many Midtown hotels, about threemiles away. Additional hotels are available around the airport, south ofdowntown, and the Buckhead area, about seven miles north of the GWCC. Moving farther out, hotels in the Perimeterarea are 12 to 15 miles from the convention center.
--Can you drive? Yes. There are parking lots (about 3,000 spacesnear the GWCC). Other lots are available downtown and are within walkingdistance. Try not to arrive or leave during rush hour.
--Wear comfortable shoes, and comfortable clothes, too. Khakisand a dress shirt are what most people will be wearing. It’s usually hotoutside in August.
--Study your list and the showguide, and move through the aisles. Try to see as much as you can. Stop andtalk to the people in the booth. If you’re a woodworker, they're waiting totalk to you. Ask them about their product or service. Tell them about a problemthat you’re having back at the shop.
--Cover the companies that are most important to you, taking notes as yougo. Once you’ve moved through the companies on your list, you can walk up anddown the aisles and stop wherever you see a display that interests you.
--Try to plan your booth visits so you’re not going back andforth between Hall A and Hall B, or from one end of Hall B to the other. Mostmachinery exhibitors are in Hall B, while Hall A holds most suppliers, servicesand upholstery companies. A quick check of the exhibit floor map will save timeand energy.
--Even though your list of products and problems in yourbusiness should be your priority, experienced attendees often tell us of theuseful tool or accessory they saw at the show but did not know aboutpreviously.
--Sometimes exhibitors areinterested in selling a machine displayed at the show rather than shipping itback to their main office. This is more common than you might think. We’veheard of good deals being had. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
--Include someone from your team who has never been to the show before. They’llwelcome the opportunity to travel, and their experience can give others a freshperspective.
--Look over the list of the Technical Conference Sessions atIWF and see which are the most useful for your business. An ideal showexperience would be to combine the exhibit floor time and include severaleducational sessions.
--You'll be with thousands of other woodworkers in one place. Say hello to the personnext to you in line. You might have a lot in common.
--The companies involved in the IWF Challengers Awards are always worth a lookand represent important innovations in woodworking technology. You can learnabout the finalists before arriving at the show, and see the actual winners.
--Consult our show coverage in this special pre-show planner,go to cabinetmakerfdm.com for more information, or direct to www.iwfatlanta.com for updates.
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