I’m sitting inside the Las Vegas Convention Center, trying to avoid the 108 degree heat outside and wondering how true that statement will seem 5 days from now. I have been walking around the exhibit hall, watching people hard at work setting up displays for the AWFS Vegas Fair that starts tomorrow. There is so much work and planning that goes into having a booth at a major trade show like this, it is amazing how it all gets done.

When you see the show floor the day before opening -- when floors are still bare concrete, crates are piled everywhere, lights are being installed, carpet is being laid and machines being set up – one realizes how impressive it is that hundreds of companies accomplish what they do in such a short time. With the economy so slow, the big question is how many professional woodworkers will be on hand to appreciate all these efforts.

A major trade show still offers the best opportunity there is to see new products and equipment first-hand, and there is always something new to learn, even if a company isn’t actively “shopping“ for anything. But money is tight. So right now it is anybody’s guess how many woodworkers will make the investment and attend. Hopefully, it will be more than anyone expects, and there will be a collective sigh of relief as everyone involved realizes that companies are surviving and moving forward.

I’ve got my fingers crossed – and I’ll be at booth #2335 ready to discuss all the new things our publications have in the works with anyone who stops by.

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