INDA’s IDEA® 22 was one of the first major textile industry trade shows to resume business as usual this year.
TW Special Report
As the world attempts to get back to “normal” following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdowns, so does the trade show world. No one fully understands how the trade show and event industry will be changed long term as we learn to navigate in the COVID environment, but the one thing that is clear is that people want face-to-face interactions and sales networking opportunities in person. The demand for trade shows exists.
“There is no doubt communicating through digital means helped us get through the pandemic,” said Holger M. Steingraeber, senior vice president, Global Marketing & Communications, Freudenberg Performance Materials. “However, virtual meetings cannot completely replace face-to-face interactions. At Freudenberg Performance Materials, connecting to the customer is vital to better understand challenges, develop solutions, and strengthen our partnerships. Therefore, we are very happy in-person trade shows are possible again.”
The IDEA® 22 nonwovens trade show held recently in Miami Beach and organized by the Cary, N.C.-based Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA), was one of the first major textile industry trade shows to resume business as usual this year. With its triennial schedule, IDEA luckily avoided any pandemic-related cancellations or reschedules, and the 21st edition of the show took place as planned at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The event was also collocated with INDA’s FiltXPO™ exhibition and conference.
The combined events offered training classes; conference sessions on nonwoven trends, forecasts and market information for China, Asia, South America, North America and Europe, as well as filtration statistics and trends; and a welcome reception. INDA also presented its IDEA Achievement Awards and IDEA Lifetime Achievement Awards. FiltXPO also featured the first “Summit for Global Change.”
According to INDA, approximately 5,000 participants — exhibitor personnel and visitors — took the opportunity to interact face-to-face. “The event attracted a high level of participation among key decision makers despite lingering travel restrictions, which is a testimonial to the show’s importance within the international nonwovens and engineered materials industry,” said INDA President Dave Rousse.
“The size and scope of IDEA and FiltXPO have been excellent for us as both exhibitors and as visitors,” noted Rolk Kammermann, head of sales and marketing, Innovative Swiss Made Nonwovens.
Val Hollingsworth, board chair and CEO of Hollingsworth & Vose, was recognized as the IDEA 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. The IDEA Entrepreneur Achievement award was presented to Doug Brown, president of Biax-Fiberfilm/5K Fibres.
The IDEA 2022 Achievement Awards were presented in six different categories. Winners included Herrmann Ultrasonics Inc., Rem Brands Inc., LifeSavers Wipes, Mann + Hummel GmbH, Glatfelter Corp./Blue Ocean Closures, and Suominen Corp.
The next IDEA show is planned for April 23-25, 2024, in Miami Beach. FiltXPO will return to an individual event on a new 18-month schedule with the next event taking place October 10-12, 2023, in Chicago.