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IFAI Expo attracts strong attendance in Orlando

IFAI Expo 2019 hosted more than 325 exhibiting companies and a total of 4,412 verified participants from 64 countries.

24th October 2019

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Orlando, FL

Industrial, Protective, Sustainable

The event attracted 4,412 verified participants. © IFAI

IFAI Expo 2019, North America’s largest specialty, industrial and advanced textiles event, hosted more than 325 exhibiting companies and a total of 4,412 verified participants from 64 countries at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL USA. IFAI Expo is produced by Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI).

IFAI Expo provided attendees access to the industry's leading companies, latest innovations in technology and textiles as well as valuable education and insight into current and future trends.

Attendees had the opportunity to meet with different exhibitors, hear expert advice at more than 83 educational sessions and gain inspiration at a rousing keynote address. 28 campfire-style sessions on the show floor provided valuable information for the advanced textiles, specialty fabrics and shade and weather protection markets, with many of the sessions enjoying standing room only crowds. “To me, as a first-time attendee, IFAI Expo is a place to meet people, a place to learn more about your own industry and a place to learn more about what else is out there, what are you missing and what is left to be discovered,” said Jenn Bradley, Synthetic Resources, Seattle, WA.

Conference and education

The Advanced Textiles Conference, held the day before the show floor opened, offered an afternoon of 12 classroom sessions dedicated to the Advanced Textiles market. Session topics included challenges and applications of soft goods in human spaceflight, a look at trends that affect textiles needs within the nation’s defence strategy and how to find opportunities and respond to military bids, regulations and advances with medical textiles, a systems level overview of smart textiles as well as a look at prototyping, innovation and diversification.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear expert advice at more than 83 educational sessions. © IFAI

Attendees had the opportunity to hear expert advice at more than 83 educational sessions. © IFAI

Expo also hosted three days of market specific classroom education with 33 sessions focused on shade and weather protection, graphics, marine, sustainability and business operations, along with a wealth of other specialty fabrics and advanced textiles focused content.

“IFAI Expo 2019 was a success – attendees, both domestic and international, experienced the newest products and technologies on the show floor and enjoyed insightful education led by industry experts,” said Steve Schiffman, IFAI President and CEO. “We want to thank all the exhibitors and attendees who made IFAI Expo a must-attend event for 2019, and we look forward to a successful 100th anniversary of IFAI Expo 2020 in Indianapolis.”

Highlights at IFAI Expo

IFAI Expo's Opening Reception where a huge crowd of Expo-goers toured craft beer stations, played carnival-style games and networked with colleagues; Industrial Fabrics Foundation Night, a lively, fun-filled night which kicked off the overall event with delicious southern food, yard games and music.

IFAI Expo 2019 hosted more than 325 exhibitors. © IFAI

IFAI Expo 2019 hosted more than 325 exhibitors. © IFAI

One of the most popular features of IFAI Expo was the Manufacturing for Good demo area where ten IFAI member companies collaborated to manufacture a product right on the show floor. Thousands of attendees viewed live equipment demonstrations and live manufacturing of pencil pouches to benefit local charity, A Gift for Teaching in Orlando, FL, which provides free school supplies for students and teachers in need.

Chairman’s Award

Attendees of IFAI's Annual Meeting witnessed the presenting of the Chairman’s Award, an honour bestowed by the chairman of IFAI to an individual that has had an extraordinary and meaningful impact on the association. It is rarely given and awarded at the sole discretion of the IFAI chairman. IFAI Chairman Steve Ellington, President of Trivantage, presented the highly respected award to Scott Campbell, CEO of Rainier Industries Ltd. in Tukwila, WA.

IFAI also presented the Outstanding Volunteer Awards, recognising members who generously gave their time to serve on different boards, task forces and committees, judged competitions and provided education and leadership to others in the industry. This year's award recipients were Amy Bircher, President, MMI Textiles, Jonathan Chakales, National Sales Manager, Marlen Textiles, Valerie Cuchna, MFC, Material Resources Liaison, Fabric Images Inc., Wendy McBay, Marketing, Tensar Intl. Corp., Brian Richardson, President, L&A Tent Rentals Inc., Eric Sevy, Production Manager, Sugarhouse Industries.

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