"That many exhibitors have decided
 to return,  including several that have
sat out an entire show cycle, is an
extremely encouraging sign," says
Joan Kemp, AWFS board president.


-- The Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers says several major woodworking machinery makers, including C.R. Onsrud, Stiles, SCM Group, Biesse and Weinig, have signed on to exhibit at the 2011 AWFS Fair.

The July show in Las Vegas is the U.S. wood industries' largest exhibition this year.

The news is especially noteworthy because Stiles, SCM Group, Biesse and Weinig did not exhibit at the International Woodworking Fair last August, an event that coincided with a low point in the economic downturn. In addition, Stiles, Biesse and Weinig did not participate in the 2009 AWFS Fair. (C.R. Onsrud was at those shows.)

"We have missed participating in the major trade shows for the past two years, and we are excited to reunite with the industry in Las Vegas this summer," said David Rothwell, Executive VP of Stiles.

AWFS Fair, which is organized by AWFS, also says a large number of exhibitors are returning from the 2009 edition of its bienniel show. In addition to C.R. Onsrud and SCM Group, AWFS notes that Hafele America, Blum, Timesavers, Salice, Thermwood, Planit Solutions, Grass America and many others have recently signed on to exhibit.

“The fact that many exhibitors have decided to return, including several that have sat out an entire show cycle, is an extremely encouraging sign for the entire industry,” says Joan Kemp, president of AWFS board. "We couldn’t be happier.”

After a stronger fourth quarter in many sectors, the woodworking industry is also recovering, says John Gangone, president of SCM Group North America. “Business has steadily gotten better and shops are definitely getting busier.”

AWFS says home renovation activities are expected to blossom, citing an IBIS World Industry Report projecting growth of household disposable income will drive spending on remodeling. The cabinet, bathroom vanity and countertop manufacturing industries are projected to grow to 3% per year to $14.7 billion during the five years to 2015, and millwork is posed for annual rise of 4.8% for the next five years, according to figures from IBIS provided by  AWFS .

That forecast is also borne out in the recent growth for next month's Closets Expo in Charlotte, NC, which has more than doubled in size since last year's show.

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