IFAI Expo Takes On Nashville

Music City Center will host the 100th IFAI Expo this November.

Under the theme “Reconnect With Your Industry,” IFAI Expo returns to an in-person show for its 100th anniversary.

TW Special Report

The Roseville, Minn.-based Industrial Fabrics Association International’s (IFAI’s) IFAI Expo and Advanced Textiles Conference return to Nashville, Tenn., November 1-4, 2021, at the Music City Center convention center.

The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary for the expo and it’s a milestone the association is eager to share with the industry. IFAI expects thousands of stakeholders across the industry for four days of sourcing, education, and long-awaited social interaction. The goal of the Expo is to “Source new products and materials on the show floor, make new connections at various networking events and reconnect with your industry after a year of isolation,” according to the organizers.

“We are very excited to be back in-person,” said Steve Schiffman, IFAI president and CEO. “The 100th anniversary of IFAI Expo 2021 will be held in Nashville, November 2-4, 2021, once again, bringing together the industry for the premier specialty textiles event in the U.S. We’ve put together a busy week packed with numerous opportunities to form meaningful connections, learn from the industry’s top experts, and have fun in a town that is world renowned for entertainment.”


The show floor is expected to feature more than 220 exhibitors and the expo will offer multiple classroom and campfire education sessions segmented by market. The organizers have focused on creating a safe environment to “make new connections that last long after the event.”

Advanced Textiles Conference

The Advanced Textiles Conference at IFAI Expo 2021 features three days of advanced textiles (AT) education sessions focusing on multiple important topics across the AT landscape. According to the organizers the conference kicks off Monday, November 1, with morning sessions happening also November 2 and 3.

The goal of the AT Conference is to help industry members stay informed on the latest products, technology and applications developing in the AT industry. An All Access Registration pass is required to attend. Registered attendees can choose from 18 unique, 50-minute-long classroom sessions and an opening plenary presentation. According to IFAI, the education tracks include Innovations in e-Textiles, Sustainability, Medical Textile Breakthroughs, Industry 4.0, and PPE and the Supply Chain in the Wake of COVID-19.

In addition to the AT conference sessions, the All Access Registration includes the AT welcome lunch and closing reception on November 1, as well as the three days of show floor access; more than 28 hours of industry classroom education; show floor education, opening reception, keynote speakers and awards breakfast that is included with the Expo Plus registration. A basic show floor only registration option also is available. Attendees also may choose to add à-la-carte activities for an additional fee including the Industry Night event, Fabric Structures Summit (see below), Fun Run and Networking and Awards Breakfast.

As always, IFAI has enlisted an engaging keynote speaker. All attendees will be able to hear Steve Rizzo address the audience on Tuesday morning before the show floor opens. Rizzo is a Hall of Fame speaker and former national headline comedian.

New Expo Offerings

IFAI has added two new features at IFAI Expo — a Fabric Structures Summit and the Show Floor Innovation Stage. The summit occupies half of the last day of the show with a “State of the Industry” panel focused on fabric structures in architecture, and an hour of round table discussions dealing with critical industry issues. The summit will close with a networking reception.

On the final day of the expo, the Show Floor Innovation Stage will feature “a curated selection of IFAI partners presenting their latest and greatest onstage.” Company showcases, innovative products and services, case studies, and more, will be highlighted.

Safety Protocols

IFAI reports that according to a Freeman Attendee Exhibitor survey from August 2021, more than 80-percent of IFAI Expo attendees are vaccinated. Organizers also have numerous safety mitigation protocols in place, and IFAI Expo is to be held at a Global Biorisk Advisory Council

(GBAC)-certified facility. “We are confident that attendees and exhibitors can attend IFAI Expo and feel safe,” Schiffman said. For more information about our safety mitigation plan, please visit IFAIExpo.com.

“People are ready to ‘get back to business’ and we are happy to provide that in-person venue to do that,” Schiffman noted. “We look forward to hosting you at IFAI Expo 2021 in Nashville!”

For more information about IFAI Expo 2021 and details on the safety mitigation plan, please visit ifaiexpo.com

September/October 2021