Industry professionals looking to network and discuss strategies for recovering from a difficult 2009 might find solutions at the 2010 Woodworking Industry Conference. WIC 2010 will be held April 21-24 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey in Monterey, Calif. The conference theme, "Forget Yesterday, It's a New Tomorrow", is designed to illustrate that the key to surviving an economic downturn is by planning to take full advantage of the economic recovery as it begins to gain momentum.
The goal of the conference is to have attendees network with others that share similar concerns and problems, such as regulatory safety issues with dust collection. The 2009 conference was cancelled when too few companies signed up because of problems with the economy, says Tom Onsrud of C.R. Onsrud Inc. and president of the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, a WIC sponsor.
"There had been so much in the news about the AIG executives, as well as other companies having conventions at nice resorts. Even though in many cases the rates are actually very reasonable because of the size of the group, in order to get the number of meeting rooms you need, most companies just did not want to be part of that circus," says Onsrud.
WIC 2010 will feature a newly revamped one-day-only Contact Table program. WIC's schedule has been expanded to include forums for "Green Users," end users, distributors and manufacturers. Additional forums will focus on public policy and the economic outlook.
"There is a big focus on green and lean manufacturing these days, and we will have speakers on both that can help with how these subjects are applied to both manufacturers of equipment and the end users," says Onsrud.
"Another big problem for both manufacturers of the equipment, as well as the end users, is the massive changes in the banking industry and financing. We hope to have experts there that will report on the new methods of financing and capital availability."
WIC is also sponsored by the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers and the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association.
For information, visit www.wmma.org.
This article originally appeared in the January 2010 issue.