The 2020 Marine Fabricators Conference that took place Jan. 9–11 in Daytona Beach, Fla., created a vibrant buzz among the 269 verified participants, 46 exhibitors and 65 first-time attendees. Conference-goers enjoyed a wide variety of educational sessions, networking events, an impressive shop tour and the high-energy exhibitor show floor where they explored the newest innovations in equipment, fabrics, threads and hardware components.
First-time attendee Valerie Parquette, owner of Bark Beach Canvas in Kingston, Mass., found the networking and educational opportunities particularly impressive. “I just love the fact that everyone shares so much information. I’ve met a lot of people and I’ve gotten a ton out of that,” she says.
Parquette has been a marine fabricator for eight years. She says the biggest challenge for her is pricing. Because of that she says she especially enjoyed the education session on pricing as well as just asking other fabricators for their ideas on the topic.
“I’m here for the education—I want to learn more about everything,” Parquette says. “I’m just soaking it up. Mostly, I’m here to network and find a support system, and I’m feeling really good about being able to do that here.”
Highlights of this year’s conference included an inspirational tour of RCM Fabrics, the largest marine fabricator in Daytona Beach, Fla., a packed exhibitor show floor, a case study of a student/fabricator Budsin electric boat project and a rousing skills competition during the Annual Costume Party. Educational sessions included advanced upholstery techniques, marine bedding, manufacturing efficiencies, industry roundtables, digital templating, shop product standards and fabrication demonstrations of basic and high-tech biminis and enclosures. Click here to view the website gallery.
Save the Date for Marine Fabricators Conference 2021
It’s the “Big Easy” in 2021. Mark your calendar today! Marine Fabricators Conference 2021 will be held Jan. 7–9 at the Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, La. Click here to add this event to your calendar.
About Marine Fabricators Association
MFA is a division of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). It provides resources and programs for marine fabricators and establishes standards of excellence for business practices, products and craftsmanship. MFA works to establish and maintain an identity for marine fabricators, representing nearly 300 member companies. It is the only trade association dedicated to assisting marine fabrication industry professionals with their businesses. Projects and activities include sponsoring regional workshops and the annual Marine Fabricators Conference.
About Industrial Fabrics Association International
IFAI is a member-owned, member-driven trade association representing the global industrial fabrics industry since 1912. IFAI invests more than $8 million each year to advance the industry and support member companies. IFAI provides members with relevant information, sourcing solutions and networking opportunities to sustain and grow their business. For more information visit IFAI.com.