While campaigns and promotions for IWF 2010 are in the works, those behind the scenes are enthusiastic about the show's expanded educational seminar program and the array of new machinery and supplies expected to be presented by exhibitors.
IWF 2010 will be held Aug. 25-28 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. While the number of preregistered attendees is down from past years, a late rally is anticipated during the next few months.
"Current registration indicates demographics for attendance is falling along the lines it has in the past," said Patrick LaFramboise, IWF president and CEO, in late April.
"If we can come within a couple thousand people to what we had in 2008 - which was 19,000 attendees - that would only be a 10 to 15 percent difference, which would be really good for us. We have a really good shot at bumping up against that number. A lot of it's going to depend on everybody's mood and how they feel things are developing in a positive way and how they get through the summer."
LaFramboise says more than 750 companies have signed on as exhibitors, down from more than 1,300 at IWF 2008. Booth space is available through early August, so the number of exhibitors is expected to increase. Some of the biggest exhibitors, such as Stiles and Biesse, have decided to skip this year's show.
"The exhibitors should be thoroughly diversified. Granted, we lost some of the well-recognized names in the industry, but what we're finding is that those in the show now are saying it's a greater opportunity for them to be more visible," says LaFramboise.
IWF 2010 will feature 23 technical seminars, more than any previous year. The topics, which include lean manufacturing, waste elimination, estimating and marketing, are developed from surveys completed by past attendees.
There will also be four all-day symposiums on finishing, countertops, upholstery and closets on Aug. 24, the day before the show starts.
Regular returning events include the Design Emphasis student design competition, new products showcase and Challengers Awards.
While machinery and supply trends are tough to predict before the show takes place, LaFramboise expects to see a premium on safety devices, methods to increase efficiency and hardware innovation.
"Companies of all sizes will be looking to find products that help them focus on efficiency because everybody is looking at ways to save money," says LaFramboise. "There's going to be a lot of hardware, new designs, new functionality and unique systems people will be able to implement in their homes. The focus is on storage, functionality and ease of use, and also on making items of multiple uses because new homes are being built smaller. You're going to see a lot of 'green' items."
For show and registration information, visit www.iwfatlanta.com.
IWF 2010 will feature more than 750 exhibitors of machinery and supplies for the woodworking and related industries.
This article originally appeared in the June 2010 issue.