Excitement is growing among attendees and exhibitors set to arrive at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Aug. 22-25, for the International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair. The largest woodworking fair in North America, the biennial trade show highlights new equipment, supplies and services of more than 850 exhibitors, along with education, innovation and network opportunities that encourage business success – all in a single venue.
Pre-registration is up 40 percent ahead of the previous IWF, “and we are delighted to see that trend continue as we head into the final stretch before the show,” said Patrick LaFramboise, president and CEO of IWF. “IWF is recognized as the must-see event for the industry and this year’s edition is a spot-on example. With 850-plus companies spreading over Building A and Building B of the Georgia World Congress Center, there will be something for everyone to see and provide them with immediate solutions for today’s workplace.
“It is a fair statement to say that the industry is energized and looking forward to IWF,” he added.
Both Fred Stringfellow, executive director of the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America (WMMA), and Riccardo Azzoni, executive director of the Woodworking Machinery Industry Assn. (WMIA), concurred with LaFramboise’s upbeat assessment for this year’s show. Sponsored by the WMMA, the WMIA and the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), the 2012 IWF marks the final year for AHFA’s sponsorship; the furniture association agreed this spring to sell its shares of IWF to the WMMA and WMIA.
Commenting on the general optimism for the show, Azzoni said, “From the WMIA side, I can add that we have over 75 of our member companies exhibiting at the show, with the best and newest technology designed to help our customers become more competitive and profitable in the marketplace.” He added, “Despite the still difficult economic times, our association has added nearly 20 new companies to our membership since the beginning of the year, and many of these new members are exhibiting at the IWF show for the first time.”
According to show management, more than 150 companies will be first-time exhibitors at IWF. Attendees to IWF also will find, “opportunities to meet with industry manufacturing, technology, design and material experts [as well as] thousands of innovative products,” said Michael Burdis, IWF 2012 chairman and president of James L. Taylor Mfg.
Noting the wood products industry’s resurgence in North America, along with a pent-up demand for woodworking machinery, supplies and technology, Burdis said he expects to see at this year’s show, “a more enthusiastic buyer audience that has done their homework and are prepared to make a buying decision or be close to making a buying decision at IWF.”
In agreement, John Schultz, president of Super Thin Saws and also the WMMA, cited economic improvement, combined with the pent-up demand and recent technology developments as reasons to attend IWF 2012. “For many exhibitors, IWF 2010 was a better show than people expected going in, but quite a few things look better this year,” he said. “Anticipating a busy show after all these years, exhibitors are planning extra sizzle into their booths. It should be an exceptional year for looking at new products.”
He added, “It is clear we’re going to have a vibrant, busy show. I expect it to be throbbing with the energy of business being done.”
Knowledge Offers Advantage
Demographics from past IWF shows indicate attendees come from more than 80 countries and all 50 states covering all aspects of the wood products industry. Product knowledge, education and networking feed into IWF’s influence on the woodworking marketplace.
IWF offers a variety of symposiums and educational sessions ranging from green manufacturing, to effective marketing strategies, to financial planning and business management. Show management is offering show discounts for attendees including a buy one get one free symposium or a buy one get one 50 percent off educational session. Go to IWFAtlanta.com for a full listing of programs.
“This year’s education conference program is our biggest ever,” said LaFramboise. “Real-time answers and solutions from industry-recognized professionals will cover the gamut from business management, manufacturing, and production, to developing strategies and a marketing plan for the ‘New Normal.’”
Also making its debut is the New Technology Theatre, which will provide an opportunity for “audience and exhibitors to come together for introductions of latest tech trends breaking into marketplace,” LaFramboise said.
Returning this year, the user-friendly myIWF GPS tool will help attendees locate exhibits by company name or product offered among the 850-plus booths spread over 365,000 net square feet of space. Attendees also can use the free online data service to schedule appointments or connect with companies after the show.
Challenger & Design Winners
Winners of the 2012 Challengers Awards will be announced Aug. 22 during IWF. This year, 21 finalists were culled from 80 entries highlighting innovative technology, manufacturing method or service, or products have made contributions to environmentally driven manufacturing techniques. In the 23 editions of IWF, 156 Challengers Awards have been doled out for products entered by exhibitors from all over the world.
Also exclusive to IWF, the Design Emphasis Awards program will be in full throttle as student designers are recognized in five categories: seating, casegoods, commercial/office/hospitality furniture, accent furniture/accent tables, and design creativity. The winning projects, along with finalist entries, will be on display throughout the fair in the Design Emphasis Showcase.
Stay up to date on IWF news at WoodworkingNetwork.com/IWF.
Get Social with Woodworking Network
Woodworking Network, the umbrella of Wood & Wood Products, Custom Woodworking Business and CLOSETS magazines, is the official IWF 2012 Show Videographer. Join us at Booth #2429, the Innovation Soundstage, for an online interview about your shop, what brought you to IWF, what’s new in your business, and great ideas you’ve seen at the show or would like to share.
Also at Woodworking Network:
Twitter Q&A: Woodworking Network bloggists Jared Patchin and Bernie Bottens will be available Aug. 22 and 23 to answer any and all woodworking and wood finishing questions during separate 30 minute live Q&A sessions which you can also follow on Twitter using hashtag #IWFPatchin and #IWFBottens respectively.
Market Leaders Forum: Also on Aug. 23, the Market Leaders Forum will begin at 3:00. Watch live interviews and discussions by industry leaders.
Demeter Fragrance Sampling: Woodworking Network has also teamed up with Demeter Fragrance Library to offer sample spritzes of fun, unique scents such as Sawdust and Mahogany.
Facebook: “Like” Woodworking Network on Facebook to watch videos, see pictures and read articles from different events and exhibits during IWF.
Twitter: Follow @WoodworkingBiz to stay updated with IWF happenings whether you’re home or at the show. Use hashtag #IWF2012 for all related updates and news coming from the showroom floor.
Dates: Aug. 22-25
Hours: 8:30-5:00 – Wednesday to Friday; 8.30-4:00 – Saturday
Location: Georgia World Congress Center, Buildings A&B. The footprint is projected at 365,000 net square feet.
Exhibitors: More than 850
Challengers Awards: Judging will be Aug. 21, and awards are given Aug. 22
Information: Visit IWFAtlanta.com or phone (404) 693-8333
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