The internet notwithstanding, wood industry professionals really learn – and close deals – in person, at least judging by the growing numbers of conferences and trade shows. And the trend is global. As those hotbeds of competitive production in Asia and Latin America mature, the standards for technology and best practices flatten the world.  No wonder the market for events, including those centered on research and design trends, are robust.

For North America, major technology suppliers stage education events and technology demonstrations at showrooms and regional sales sites, and during user group meetings – an increasingly popular venue.

Woodworking Network has expanded its reach into live events following its acquisition by CCI Media. Supported by its publications FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage, Woodworking Network leverages its strong audience engagement to bring together buyers and sellers at three industry events in 2017:  Cabinets & Closets Expo, Wood Pro Expo, and Canada’s largest woodworking show, the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo. Woodworking Network also staged three day-long symposia at IWF 2016; and will produce two more (one on Finishing, the other on Closets & Home Storage) at AWFS Fair in July 2017.

Cabinets & Closets Conference and Expo runs April 11-13 in Schaumburg, Illinois – about 20 minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. A day-long conference April 11 covers three track: Closets, Cabinets, and Lean Manufacturing. The Closets Conference, produced with the Association of Closet & Storage Professionals, includes on-site ACSP Level 1 Certification for closets designers – the first time this has been offered at the show. The exhibition April 12-13 is expected to outpace last year’s in Pasadena, California, which drew more than 800 attendees to view nearly 100 exhibitors.

Wood Pro Expo runs October 19-21 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, at the Lancaster Host Resort & Convention Center. This regional show is aimed at professional woodworkers fabricating and finishing both solid wood and panel products. Wood Pro Expo provides practical education and training, and a wide range of materials and technologies on display, in a more accessible location than the big national shows.

The 2017 Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo (WMS) features a broad educational program during its run Nov. 2-4 at the International Centre in Toronto. Two seasoned professionals in the trade show arena – Harry Urban and Barb Demaria ­–have joined CCI Media to spearhead the expansion of this show, as well as to develop other properties such as the Wood Industry 40 Under 40 Awards, launched at IWF 2016 in Atlanta and running again at the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas; and the Market Leadership Forum planned for July 18, the day prior to the AWFS Fair at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Here are more key 2017 events:
• KBIS/IBS Jan. 10-12, Orlando, Florida, www.buildersshow.com or www.kbis.com
• Global Shop  March 28-30, Las Vegas, Nevada, www.globalshop.org
• Cabinets & Closets Expo April 11-13, 2017, Schaumburg, Illinois, www.cabinetsandclosetsexpo.com
• NWFA Expo April 11-14, Phoenix, Arizona, www.nwfa.org
• High Point Market April 22-26, High Point, North Carolina, www.highpointmarket.org
• Wood Industry Conference April 25-28, Palm Springs, California, www.wmma.org/events/wic2017.cfm
• Executive Briefing Conference April 23-25, Detroit, Michigan, www.executivebriefingconference.com
• KCMA Annual Convention April 6-9, Ponte Verde, Florida, www.kcma.org
• interzum May 16-19, Cologne, Germany, www.interzum.com
• Ligna May 22-26, Hannover, Germany, www.ligna.de
• NeoCon June 12-14, Chicago, Illinois, www.neocon.com
• AWFS Fair July 19-22, Las Vegas, Nevada, www.awfsfair.org
• WCMA Fall Event TBD, www.wcma.com
• WPMA Fall Event TBD, www.wpma.org
• KCMA Fall Management Conference Oct. 14-17, Louisville, Kentucky www.kcma.org
• Architectural Woodwork Institute Annual Convention, Oct. 29-31, Charleston, South Carolina, www.awinet.org
• Wood Pro Expo Oct. 19-21, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, www.woodproexpo.com
• WMS 2017 Nov. 2-4, Mississauga, Ontario, www.woodworkingexpo.ca

A continuously updated list of events is presented at www.woodworkingnetwork.com/events-contests/calendar.

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