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AWFS will be bigger with more variety


The 2019 AWFS Fair is only a few months away and the producer is promising something for everyone. It will take place July 17-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and is shaping up to be the largest fair in over a decade.

“This is going to be our largest show since 2007,” says Angelo Gangone, executive vice president of the AWFS. “Right now, we’re also excited about the fact that we’ve got over 90 exhibitors that have never been in our show, and quite a few that haven’t been in our show for several show cycles that are coming back.”

Exhibitors will offer a first look at some of the latest woodworking machinery, hardware, tooling, components, power tools, lumber and more for furniture, cabinet and architectural millwork shops of all sizes.

Gangone says that two crowd favorites, the Industry 4.0 and Visionary new product showcases, will be in a more prominent location this year. Rather than inside the exhibit hall, they will be in the grand lobby of the Convention Center.

While the show will feature plenty of digital fabrication machinery designed to increase production and decrease costs, Gangone emphasizes that all types of woodworking audiences are considered during the planning stages.

“We understand that with some of the smaller shops, they will go to this show but think it’s really for bigger shops and that’s not necessarily the case. We have something for shops of all sizes,” says Gangone.

“We like to think of this is where the woodworking community meets and whether you’re a one-man shop or a huge production facility, you are part of the community.”

Other highlights include networking events, the Fresh Wood student design and Turning to the Future student competitions, Woodwork Career Alliance skill evaluator training, and the Closet and Storage Pavilion.

And if that’s not enough, attendees can choose from over 50 educational seminars in the Fair’s College of Woodworking Knowledge program, which will have an emphasis on career and technical education.

“We have a new track called Culture and Workforce, but a lot of the sessions outside of that track are addressing that in different ways,” says AWFS education and conference director Adria Salvatore. “We’re really trying to empower attendees and companies in the industry to assess and really look at how they do business and how they can move forward and attract more workers.”

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This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue.

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