It’s only been a few hours, but already at Xylexpo I’ve been introduced to new technology for panel processing, finishing and rough mill operations. In this one venue are located hundreds of experts with solutions for optimizing the production—and productivity — of any operation in your plant.

The biennial Xylexpo, which runs through May 8 in Milan, features 652 exhibitors spread across 42,500 net square meters. Over the next five days, an estimated 80,000 attendees from all over the world are expected to take advantage of the opportunities to improve their business.

Although Xylexpo is down approximately 200 exhibitors and 30,000 net square meters in space from 2008 figures, some of this can be attributed to competition from the new Technodomus, held a couple of weeks previous in Italy. Overall, it does not appear as though European trade shows have taken the hit that the North American woodworking fairs are facing.

I understand that the economy has forced hard decisions for woodworking suppliers and manufacturers alike, but it is a mistake to not make trade show attendance a priority. Today, more than ever, we need these venues for introducing new technology and production solutions for large and small, production and custom operations and for the educational and networking opportunities they offer.

Take the opportunities available to learn and improve — attend trade shows. They’ll prove their worth.

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