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Almost back to reality at Techtextil North America

Adrian Wilson

After-show meetings – where much of the business actually gets done – were numerous and varied.

26th August 2021

Adrian Wilson
 |  Raleigh, NC, USA

Industrial, Protective, Transport/​Aerospace

With the exception of attendees trying to figure out whether they should shake hands, fist bump, elbow bump or other when greeting colleagues, and despite the mask mandate putting off a few attendees, the 2021 Techtextil North America show held at the Raleigh Convention Center in North Carolina this week (August 23-25) exceeded expectations for visitors and exhibitors alike.

Many of the exhibitors had initial trepidations on how this year’s show would play out, but most offered very positive reviews, report Jim Kaufmann and Rachael S. Davis of Textile World magazine.

“We really didn’t know what to expect, but the show has been good for us, busier than expected,” said Shannon McCarthy of Datatex. “We’ve had good volume and a good quality of visitors to our booth.”

© Messe Frankfurt

“We had 30 customers visit the booth on Monday, and I said coming into this that if we had 30 customers over the course of the three-day show, it would be worth exhibiting, so we are very happy,” added Brenda Stamboulian of Jason Mills.

Franz Geppert of Monosuisse North America said his company had few expectations but was pleasantly surprised with the turnout.

“Each day has provided a consistent flow of existing and potential customers, which gave us enough time to hold good conversations and make some good contacts,” he said.

“It’s been a surprisingly good show and turnout,” added Lou Ott of Gentex. “It was good to be face-to-face with people for a change without having a Zoom screen between us. And also having the time to catch up with friends and acquaintances – where they are, how they’re doing and all those personal things that you don’t have the opportunity to do on a zoom call.”

Many attendees noted this was their first entry into the real world again after being cooped up at home or travel restricted because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Though some said they were a bit hesitant to attend, they enjoyed being in a show environment for the first time in 18-plus months.

“It’s been great to be out and about again” said Ernest Sumner of A.B. Carter. “We’ve been able to see and meet a lot of people that we hadn’t been able to catch up with or wouldn’t have known about had we not been here in Raleigh. We didn’t know who we needed to see until we saw them.”

© Messe Frankfurt

“Shows are a pain in the neck, but so worth it,” according to Steve Aranoff of Zund America. “As someone who has participated on both sides as an exhibitor and an attendee, it’s hard to say which option is best. But we are such social characters. If I didn’t wander the show floor, I wouldn’t have met certain people to have conversations with and wouldn’t have learned what they know without engaging in that conversation.”

The symposiums associated with Techtextil North America were also well attended, leading to some lively discussions on sustainability, supply chain issues and concerns, and in several cases, the art of surviving in a pandemic.

And of course, the after-show meetings, gatherings and socialising – which many members of the industry acknowledge is where much of the business actually gets done – were numerous and varied. The general conclusion after the three-day event is that Techtextil North America 2021 met, or exceeded, most expectations and offered a much-needed positive start as the textile world emerges from a rough year and a half. Here’s to continuing that momentum going forward.

The next Techtextil North America event will be co-located with Texprocess America and be held in Atlanta, Georgia, from May 17-19 2022.

www.techtextilna.com 

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