LAS VEGAS – Though floor traffic was light, most AWFS Fair exhibitors that the Woodworking Network staff spoke with seemed content with the quality of leads their displays generated.

Against the backdrop of a struggling economy, the AWFS Fair took center stage July 15-18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Exhibitors were expectantly nervous about how the show would unfold. Many companies down sized their booths to reduce costs. Many others opted not to display, even though they had paid for most or all of their exhibit space.

On the first day of the fair, several exhibitors said they heard pre-registered attendance was 8,000 visitors, about half of the 2007 show. By the fourth and final day of the show, most exhibitors said that while they were disappointed in the volume of traffic, the show met their expectations, with a few saying it exceeded them. The nearly universal comment from the couple of hundred exhibitors we spoke to was that the quality of visitors was very good.

Angelo Gangone, vice president of the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers, organizer of the fair, said he thought the show overall went well considering the challenging economic times facing the industry. “Hopefully this will be the shot in the arm our industry needs,” he said.

The next AWFS Fair is scheduled forJuly 20-23, 2011 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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