AWFS Fair: Game on!  
Crews work on booth set up on Tuesday in
preparation for today's opening of the AWFS
Fair in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, NV -- The AWFS Fair begins its four-day run at the Las Vegas Convention Center today, ready to provide the latest test of the U.S. woodworking industry's resolve to invest in the future.

The Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers, organizer of the show, is hoping that the combination of an improving economy, return of marquee machinery companies and expanded education program will help grow attendance from the 2009 event. 

The 2011 AWFS Fair hails the return of several major machinery companies that did not exhibit at either the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta last year or the last AWFS Fair in 2009, including Biesse America, Stiles Machinery and Weinig.

The show also will be the first in North America to feature SCM Group since its recent merger with Delmac Machinery, the resulting spin-off of Casadei-Buselatto as a separate entity.

The show features strong exhibition support from the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America and the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association. Hardware stalwarts Blum, Grass, Hafele and many others will be on hand as will software specialists 20-20 Technologies, Mastercam, Microvellum and Planit among others.

A wide assortment of finishing, adhesive, board products, edgebanding and fastening companies will also be on hand - nearly 600 exhibitors in all.

Show Loaded with Extras
Product displays and demonstrations are the top draw, but this year's AWFS Fair has a strong supporting cast of events, including:

* The Sequoia Awards,  a competition that honors the best new products for creativity, quality, and innovation.

* The Freshwood Student Design Competition, which celebrates outstanding construction and design achievements by students from leading high school and post-secondary woodworking programs in North America.

* The WorldSkills Cabinetmaking Qualifying Trial, pitting two extremely talented high school woodworkers vying for the chance to represent the United States in the 2012 world championship in Germany.

The expanded College of Woodworking Knowledge, featuring dozens of technical and business management seminars and workshops.

Green Desk, which offers attendees an opportunity to consult on a variety of environmental topics with industry experts from a wide range of industry groups, from the U.S. Green Building Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative to the Composite Panel Association and Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Assn.

Just for fun, there's the Belt Sander Races.

Woodworking Network in Force
In addition to filing daily reports on the AWFS Fair, the the staff of Woodworking Network will play a starring role at the show in its own right.

At noon, today, Group Publisher Laurel Didier will present "State of the Woodworking Industry and Current Trends."

At 9:00 a.m. on Friday, July 22, Associate Publisher Rich Christianson will moderate a panel discussion on government regulations that impact the woodworking industry.

At noon on Friday, July 22, Steve Reiss, vice president of Vance Publishing Corp. will speak on Digital Marketing and Best Practices.

Also, Custom Woodworking Business columnists Rick Hill, marketing; and Bernie Bottens, finishing, will make special appearances at Woodworking Network's booth 2139. Bottens appearance is made possible by the generous support of M.L. Campbell.

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