WMS 2017 closes on a high note, with attendance up 12 percent
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Reflecting the continued vibrancy of Canada's dynamic wood industry, the 2017 Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo ended on a high note Saturday, with attendance up 12 percent over the last edition of the show in 2015. 
Preliminary figures show nearly 4,400 attendees visited the exhibit floor, with an additional 1,440 exhibitor staff participating. The international character of the WMS continued from years past, as visitors traveled from 21 countries to Toronto. Acimall, the Italian Wood Machinery Manufacturers organization, used WMS for a promotion of Xylexpo 2018, the Milan exposition running May 8-12 that is the next stopping point in the international circuit of major Western wood manufacturing events. (Wood Taiwan, the Taiwan Woodworking Machinery Show, runs April 2-5, 2018 in Taipei.)
Canada was of course well represented, with visitors from 9 provinces and 2 territories. And 34 of the U.S. states were represented among attendees for the three-day exposition, which ran November 2-4 at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, near Toronto. 


WMS 2017: Scenes around Canada's national wood industry event

Thousands of woodworking professionals converged at WMS found new equipment, supplies, and services for all segments of the industry. 

“Exhibitors were positive about the show from start to finish,” said Harry Urban, WMS Show Manager. With more than 270 companies and brands were represented in exhibitor displays, Urban said WMS 2017 - the national event for Canada's wood industry - featured dozens of products on display in North America for the first time. 

“This year’s exhibits featured many interactive displays, including immersive reality headsets, hands-on demonstrations, and real-time video feeds to remote plants and offices,” said Urban.

Expanded WMS Conferences and Plant Tour

WMS Conference sessions included four tracks, two per day, covering Cabinet Manufacturing & Design, Woodshop Best Practices, Panel & Hardware Trends, and Finishing Materials & Techniques.
"Our two program included full days of sessions on topics ranging from Best Practices to Social Media Do's and Don’ts to Finishing and Materials know-how,” says Urban.  A pre-show event November 1 was staged off-site, focusing on surface preparation for high gloss finishes, at Taurus Craco's demonstration center in Brampton.
“One of our goals was to re-dedicate the educational aspect of WMS, and the participation of attendees this year was strong," Urban says, indicating an embrace of the expanded program.
“For the first time, we included two stellar keynotes presentations by Sylvain Garneau of Groupe Lacasse in Montreal and Scott Hodson of Superior Cabinets in Calgary," notes Urban. 
Dates for the next two editions of the show were also announced. WMS 2019 will be held Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2019; and WMS 2021 will run Oct. 28-30, 2021. Both shows will be staged in Halls 1 and 2 at the International Centre, in Mississauga, Ontario. For more information visit www.wmscanada.ca

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.