Education conference courses are the hot tickets at the 2014 International Woodworking Fair, to be held Aug. 20-23 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. This year’s conference kicks off with all-day symposiums on Aug. 19, a day before the show starts.

At the largest woodworking event in North America, woodworkers and business owners from across the world will be on hand learning business management tips, best practices and exploring new market opportunities from industry experts as well as discovering new products and supplies during the show.

With IWF 2014 on track to outpace 2012, show organizers are expecting a large turnout with thousands of companies sending key decision-makers to view and test new products. As of July 14, nearly 1,000 exhibitors have signed up and advance attendee registration is strong throughout the United States as well as internationally. Over 10 buyer delegations are participating in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program.

“We are up across the board, more exhibits, more products and more attendees,” says Rick Hannigan, IWF 2014 chairman and director of marketing for Weinig/Holz-Her. “The importance of seeing products first-hand and engaging face-to-face with industry experts is key to our industry’s growth.” 

The strong interest in IWF 2014 tracks with improving economic conditions overall. As the market continues to gain strength, many business owners are now looking for an added edge that will enable them to re-position their companies in a re-ordered environment, the result of going through the largest recession since the Great Depression.

IWF’s Education Conference provides attendees a forum to learn the innovative strategies needed for increasing efficiency and productivity. The sessions also will offer tips and techniques on a variety of topics from finishing to closet design. 

Learn from Industry Pros
IWF has expanded its 2014 Educational Conference to include more than 50 sessions during the course of the show, with a number of them geared towards smaller, custom woodworking shop owners and workers.

Associations such as the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA), Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), Association of Closet & Storage Professionals (ACSP), the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA), and the Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) will be participating with educational sessions centered on their areas of expertise.

Woodworking Network is sponsoring a symposium on Aug. 19: Woodworking Inventors, offering attendees insights into entrepreneurial endeavors of woodworkers who have created new products as well as markets.

IWF 2014 is offering discounts to attendees purchasing all-day symposiums. Attendees who purchase one educational session at $55 receive the second registration 50 percent for a price of $27.50 per individual registration.

“We want to give the attendees the opportunity to attend as many educational programs as possible,” says Hannigan, “to stay informed on important topics of interest to our industry. Industry experts will conduct and participate in a wide range of educational opportunities.”

All-day symposiums scheduled for Aug. 19 include the following:
• Wood Finishing ... The Path to Profitability, presented by NueMedia, 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

• New Direction in Decorative Surfacing Business, presented by the International Surface Fabricators Association, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

• Veneering Symposium, presented by CabinetMaker+FDM, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Woodworking Inventors: Creating New Products & Business Processes, presented by Woodworking Network, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Watch a free webcast on the upcoming inventors symposium.)

The International Surface Fabricators Association symposium covers design basics, healthcare infection control, and ultra compact surfacing on Aug. 19. On Aug. 20 it presents the ADA for the Decorative Surfaces Industry.

The Cabinet Makers Association will provide a complete set of courses for its CMA Certified Professionals program, launched at IWF 2012. Curriculum sessions contain required knowledge to pass CMA testing; and CEU sessions are offered for cabinetmakers already CMA certified, who need to earn 4.0 CEUs per year and to pass applicable testing.

“You do not need to be a CMA member or enrolled in our certification program to attend any of these sessions,” says CMA Executive Director Dave Grulke. CMA Certification session topics at IWF 2014 are listed below:

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., CMA4 - Working with Designers and Architects

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., CMA5 - Time Management for Shop Owners and Managers

12:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., CMA11 - Modern Production Techniques and Tricks to Using CNC and Software

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., CMA13 - Pricing strategies for the new economy - Labor, material, overhead and profit; the four basic elements to pricing

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., CMA8 - Lean Manufacturing for the Small to Mid-Sized Shop

THURSDAY, AUGUST 21
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., CMA1 - How to Turn Lookers Into Buyers - Make Your Website A Selling Machine & Generate More Leads

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., CMA6 - Automating your Shop - What Comes First?

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., CMA7 - The Executive Woodworker - Clear Path from Shop Floor to Front Office to Retirement/Selling/ Transferring of an Ongoing Valuable Business

1:00 p.m.- 2:30 p.m., CMA15 - Stop Finger Pointing Before It Starts …Coordinating Residential & Commercial Projects

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., CMA3 - Guerilla Marketing Tactics- Non-Traditional sales and marketing techniques that work!

FRIDAY, AUGUST 22
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., CMA9 – Estimating and Project Management

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., CMA10 - Managing a Profitable Wood Finishing Operation

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., CMA2 - Managing and Understanding the Sales Process

1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. , CMA14 - Euro vs. Face Frame

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., CMA12 - From Concept to Design to Sold!

Technology Theater
The IWF Technology Theater introduced in 2012 returns for 2014 with presentations from IWF exhibitors on products, services and the latest technology. Visit iwfatlanta.com/education/default

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