ATLANTA – The International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair (IWF) said it opened its doors on Aug. 20 to an industry looking for answers to manufacturing and economic challenges.

“It’s tough out there and we all know it but, even during difficult times a show like IWF can find a way to turn a negative into a positive and propel the industry into new chartered waters for economic growth, stability and expansion,” said Charles R. (Tommy) Tomkins, IWF 2008 chairman and president of Galatin, TN-based Cresent Fine Furniture Co.

IWF 2008 began with $105,000 being awarded in credit vouchers for winning companies to buy products from IWF exhibitors. “The IWF Buyer Bucks was a great way to jump start the show, and provided added incentive for industry professionals to purchase the products they need to succeed, and most importantly profit, in today’s marketplace,” added Tomkins.

While the 2008 show did not set records for attendance, it did not disappoint, as millions of dollars of machinery, supplies and services were purchased at the 2008 Fair and millions more will be purchased in the next six months, IWF said in a release.

Buyers came from 80 countries and all 50 states. With 1,324 exhibiting companies and over 813,000 net square feet of exhibits, the International Woodworking Fair ranks #2 in the industry world-wide and is the largest show for the industry in the United States and the Western Hemisphere.

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