The total number of visitors to IWF 2010, including exhibitors and attendees, was 22,697, compared to 35,181 in 2008, according to officials numbers released in October. The drop was not alarming, says CEO Patrick LaFrambroise, who attributes the drop to the state of the economy.
"The turnout was pretty good," he said in a post-show interview with Woodshop News. "Who could really know with any definitive idea how many people were going to come to any show, at least these days? We were pleased and the feedback we're getting from our exhibitor surveys is very positive. A lot of people didn't know what to expect, but in the end I felt they did better than what they expected.
"We can't ignore what happened to the show with some companies pulling out. But this show itself, the attendee buyers and companies, really proved to themselves that this industry is still viable."
The verified buyer-attendee turnout was 11,425, compared to 19,000 in 2008. There were 972 exhibiting companies, compared to more than 1,300 at IWF 2008, including 180 first-time exhibitors.
IWF 2012 is scheduled for Aug. 22-25. For information, visit www.iwfatlanta.com.
— Jennifer Hicks