IFAI Expo 2012 leads the way in innovation for the specialty fabrics industry

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) hosted the largest specialty fabrics show in the Americas, IFAI Expo 2012, with nearly 5,500 attendees from 49 countries at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. This signifies nearly a 20 percent increase over last year. The focus this year was to connect the industry through a spotlight on innovation.

An engaging experience

With the largest show floor in IFAI's history, 409 exhibitors filled 103,700 square feet of exhibition space with their groundbreaking products and innovative services. Several companies were highlighted in the ShowStoppers competition, a brand new forum exhibiting the best new and exciting products in the textile industry. The contest featured more than 80 new products with attendees evaluating and voting for their favorites. A military display showcased a host of advanced textiles currently in use by the armed forces, including a space suit designed with cutting-edge specialty fabrics. The display was designed to inspire the industry and encourage expansion of product offerings beyond the traditional. Next year's Specialty Fabrics Showcase will focus on Aerospace products.

Educating and connecting the industry

Attendees flocked to education sessions focused on growing their business with the technological tools and strategies available in today's ever-changing market. Participants had the opportunity to discuss their niche challenges at industry-specific roundtable sessions, while advanced textile programming provided in-depth perspectives on this emerging field. Numerous networking opportunities in various formats provided a platform for those in the industry to share their knowledge and problem solve together.

Celebrating 100 years

IFAI recognized 100 years in the specialty fabrics industry with a festive celebration where attendees and exhibitors enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, refreshments and engaging conversation with their peers. A four-piece band provided the perfect soundtrack to a great evening. Attendees could also get their picture on the cover of Specialty Fabrics Review at a special photo booth opportunity. On the show floor, an all-new history museum chronicled 100 years of the specialty fabrics industry.

"Expo 2012 was a huge success," said Bonnie Hanson, IFAI's director of marketing. "The show floor buzzed with excitement—we had more than 80 new exhibitors, along with a host of past ones eager to exhibit again. This Expo was one of the best ever and we can't wait for next year in Orlando."

Looking forward to the future

Next year, participants are invited to experience the future at IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo 2013 and the Advanced Textiles Conference & Trade Show in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 23-25, 2013. The event is a co-location with the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and promises to provide an unprecedented experience for attendees and exhibitors alike with a host of new products and exciting programming.

For more information and for high resolution photos, contact Bonnie Hanson, +1 651 225 6923 or bjhanson@ifai.com.

About IFAI
The Industrial Fabrics Association International is the world’s leading and longest-running specialty fabrics trade organization since 1912, with nearly 1,900 member companies located in 55 countries. IFAI publishes seven market-specific magazines and organizes global industry events.