The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) hosted the largest specialty fabrics show in the Americas, IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo 2013 and Advanced Textiles Conference & Trade Show with more than 5,300 attendees, from 65 countries, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. This dual event co-located with the Specialty Graphics Imaging Association's (SGIA) annual show for a phenomenal turnout.
Success on the show floor
The trade show floor buzzed with continued success with 407 exhibitors from 22 countries, filling 102,000 square-feet of exhibition space. This year, exhibitors in large part exclaimed just how successful a show it was for them. "This was the best show we have been to in 10 years," said Greg Yaple, president of Sinclair Equipment Company. That sentiment was echoed time and again across the show floor as exhibitors engaged in commerce and networking opportunities.
The second annual ShowStoppers competition stoked excitement on the show floor as several exhibitors vied for the coveted chance to be awarded for their innovative ideas and services. An aerospace display was a hit, showcasing the current use of advanced applications and specialty fabric, as used by NASA and the space program. Next year, the specialty fabric showcase will focus on extreme sports.
Departing from last year's pavilion-only representation, the Advanced Textiles Conference & Trade Show (AT) was a significant achievement. With the AT show floor completely sold out, exhibitors and attendees alike bustled throughout this specialized area, networking, engaging in commerce and immersing themselves in the world of technical textiles.
"Taking advanced textiles from a single pavilion last year to its own show with corresponding programming has been an enormous success," said Todd Lindemann, IFAI vice president of conference management. "We have received overwhelming support from both AT exhibitors and attendees alike."
Educating and connecting the industry
Attendees had their choice of information-packed Business Power Programs focused on growing their business and planning for the future, and Advanced Textiles Programming, which zeroed in on topics like smart textiles, advanced modifications of textile surfaces and new developments in technical textiles. Participants were engaged and entertained while taking advantage of great networking opportunities throughout the four days of programming. "It was a great conference! It was definitely one of the best I have been to. I learned a lot and made some great contacts," said Reid Poole of the Poole Company.
A focus on membership
IFAI members took a front row seat during the trade show with a special VIP Members Lounge where they could relax and take a break from the show floor. "The member lounge was a hit," said Mary Hennessy, IFAI president. "It was wonderful to see our members networking and relaxing with each other." The IFAI Annual Meeting attracted hundreds of participants who gathered to mingle, mix and celebrate the accomplishments of members, IFAI leaders and the organization.
Set your sights on 2014
The land of 10,000 opportunities unfolds as Minneapolis will host the range of traditional and technical textile industries at Specialty Fabrics Expo and Advanced Textiles Expo, Oct. 14-16, 2014 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Professionals and companies from around the globe will converge to secure purchasing deals, network and learn about the growing industry.
For more information and for high resolution photos, contact Bonnie Hanson, +1 651 225 6923 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Industrial Fabrics Association International is the world's leading and longest-running specialty fabrics trade organization since 1912, with nearly 1,800 member companies located in 55 countries. IFAI publishes six market-specific magazines and organizes global industry events.