Biesse had a large exhibit at AWFS in Las Vegas.
The 2011 AWFS Fair drew nearly 8,500 registered attendees and 500 exhibiting companies to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Exhibitors reported that they collected a higher number of qualified leads from the Las Vegas show. The 57 countries represented also increased and more attendees participated in the show’s educational sessions. Contributing to the success of the show was the addition of new programs designed to build industry knowledge, relationships and education partnerships.
“We were very happy with the results of this year’s fair,” Angelo Gangone, AWFS executive vice president, said. “It’s been a very challenging three years for trade shows in general and our industry in particular. This year’s show had a very positive feeling. The industry may be finally turning the corner, and that is what we are really excited about. As a matter of fact, we had the most exhibitors re-sign (for their 2013 exhibit space) on site since our show relocated to Las Vegas in 2005.”
According to Phil Martin, Hafele U.S. and AWFS Fair trade show chair, “Although we are very happy we are even more excited about what lies ahead for the AWFS Fair. We have already reached out to several potential strategic partners as a means of expanding our exhibitor and attendee base for 2013 and hopefully will make some exciting announcements, not too far down the road.”
Chris Leffel from SierraPine summed up an outlook shared among many of this year’s exhibitors: “SierraPine had one of its best woodworking shows in many years and we are planning an expanded presence in 2013.”
Attendees and exhibitors from both the big and small shops had a wide range of opportunities to advance their knowledge about new products and technologies, increase their management skills and take advantage of expanded networking opportunities throughout the course of the four-day event.
The Fair’s College of Woodworking Knowledge program offered 46 different sessions, including 11 technical seminars, and a day-long Lean Manufacturing Workshop. CWWK participation exceeded 2009 by 11 percent. The top-rated sessions included Rapid Case Construction delivered by SCM Group USA, Arm Yourself with Financing Savvy presented by Stiles Machinery, and the Lean Manufacturing Hands-on Simulation Workshop presented by Brian Swanson of NACS Inc.
At the last exhibition in 2009, AWFS reported 9,000 registered attendees and close to 600 exhibiting companies.
Other featured education events included the Green Desk, hosted by environmental groups answering attendee questions on sustainable products and manufacturing, as well as daily presentations on the show floor given by OSHA, the Small Business Administration and the Service Corps of Retired Executives.
A live WorldSkills contest brought together two recent high school graduates, Daniel Berrios from Pennsylvania and Kaydee Walters from Utah to showcase their woodworking skills. Another inaugural event included the Young Professionals Mixer, a networking function that allowed woodowrkers and students to meet and mingle with one another and develop connections beyond the AWFS Fair.
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