CHARLOTTE, N.C. — October 24, 2022 — Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) wrapped up what will be known as the final IFAI Expo on October 14 in Charlotte, N.C. As of next year, IFAI Expo will be known as the Advanced Textiles Expo. This year’s IFAI Expo featured a collocation with Sun Shading Expo North America which is organized by Messe Stuttgart, the founders of R + T — a trade fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun shading systems.
IFAI Expo and Sun Shading Expo North America together delivered more than 4,200 attendees access to the industry’s leading companies, live product demonstrations on the show floor, exciting social events, the latest innovations in technology and textiles as well as valuable education and insight on current trends.
Attendees had the opportunity to browse a combined show floor of 314 exhibiting companies who were displaying their latest products, equipment, and services. In addition to visiting exhibit booths, the show floor also hosted over 20 campfire education sessions broken out by Advanced Textiles, Specialty Fabrics, and Shade and Weather Protection markets.
“We are pleased with our inaugural collocation with Sun Shading Expo North America. One of our primary objectives in the collocation was to deliver new leads, new markets, more international attendees and ultimately more value to exhibitors. We saw some extremely positive indicators that the textiles industry is on the upswing—orders were being written, machinery was being sold and business owners received valuable insight on the latest trends and innovations to help them propel their businesses forward. Through Expo, we provided a space for fabricators and suppliers to safely convene and do business.” said Steve Schiffman, president and CEO of Advanced Textiles Association (ATA).
The Advanced Textiles (AT) Conference was held on October 11, the day before the show floor opened. The AT Conference offered a Plenary session and networking lunch followed by an afternoon of 12 classroom education sessions dedicated to the Advanced Textiles market. Topics included Advancing Textile Manufacturing Through Collaboration, Innovations in E-Textiles, 3D Printing, Medical Textile Breakthroughs, and Sustainability in Advanced Textiles.
IFAI Expo also hosted two days of market-specific classroom education featuring 20 sessions focused on shade and weather protection, graphics, marine, sustainability and business operations, along with a wealth of other specialty fabrics and advanced textile-focused content.
“I would say my favorite part of expo is seeing the entire supply chain. It’s important to have those conversations with vendors and customers to gain knowledge and make better business decisions moving forward for your company,” said Jordan Krauss, vice president, American Cord and Webbing.
Highlights at Expo included IFAI Expo’s Opening Reception, which took place just outside of the show floor, allowing participants to socialize, enjoy refreshments and hors d’oeuvres and listen to music. Industry Night at the Charlotte Beer Garden was a popular event where attendees enjoyed live music from ATA member band, Hangin’ by a Thread, which is comprised of industry veterans along with some guest vocalists.
Keynoter Elliot Eisenberg engaged attendees with his in-depth and thought-provoking speech on preparing for what comes next in the economy. The Annual Fun Run/Walk also returned to Expo this year and allowed participants to either run or walk a designated route throughout uptown Charlotte.
Multiple companies were recognized for their outstanding work at this year’s Awards Tower Experience. This new area of the show floor allowed attendees to view all of the impressive work on award boards displaying all of the winners and award entries. Also recognized on the show floor were the winners of this year’s Show Stopper Program. These companies received an award and winner’s flag that is displayed in their booth to signify their innovative work.
“Seeing a lot of really cool stuff. Things that will help us step our game up. I think it’s good to just get out and meet people. Especially being somewhat new in the industry. There’s a lot of people here who have 20-30 years of knowledge and I’m hoping to sponge up some of that knowledge. Outside of just seeing the suppliers, new products, and stuff like that getting to meet people who have been in the industry for a long time can really help me overcome some of the hurdles that we’re encountering,” said Dorian True, Carolina CoverTech.
Just before attendees were directed to view the awards tower on the show floor, the ATA Division Meeting took place in the ATA Hub. This meeting encompassed all divisions of ATA to provide updates and valuable information on how ATA membership can serve every member’s individual needs.
Finally, the announcement was made that starting in 2023, IFAI Expo will now be called the Advanced Textiles Expo. This event will still offer all of the exceptional value that IFAI Expo has but with a new look and brand name attached to it.
On the rebranding of IFAI Expo and future of the event, President and CEO of ATA Steve Schiffman added this: “ATA is proud to host a gathering place where all markets across the advanced textiles industry can come together and get business done. With that said, we’re just scratching the surface of making changes designed to improve the attendee experience, which will become evident over the next few Expos.”
Join thousands of your industry peers next year in Orlando for the debut of the Advanced Textiles Expo. The official dates are November 1–3, 2023 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
More information about Advanced Textiles Expo 2023 is coming soon.
Posted: October 24, 2022
Source: Advanced Textiles Association (ATA)