The Specialty Fabrics Industry Gathers

IFAI Expo and its co-located events offer something for everybody in the industrial fabrics
This years Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Expo, to be held in
Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center Oct. 1-3, is expected to draw more than 8,000
attendees, according to IFAI, the Roseville, Minn.-based not-for-profit trade association that
organizes the annual gathering of the specialty fabrics industry. As of press time, 466 companies
have registered as exhibitors, although IFAI expects the number to reach more than 500. A total of
7,356 professionals from 54 countries attended the 2002 event, which hosted a record number of 490
exhibitors.Taking place concurrently with IFAI Expo are several other events tailored to the
industrial fabrics industry, including:an educational program that features 14 tracks covering
topics as varied as business and leadership, and architectural structures;an awards competition
that recognizes advancements in specialty fabric design and manufacturing;a professional
certification program;a keynote presentation by a US Navy captain;a Signage of Vegas Tour; anda
co-located conference that focuses on fabric structures.Educational ProgramsNearly 100 educational
programs that include case studies, paper presentations, seminars and hands-on workshops are
scheduled to take place alongside the Expo. According to IFAI, program offerings are created for
specific niche markets, including: architectural structures; awnings and canopies; business and
leadership; equipment and technologies; filtration textiles; inflatable recreational products;
marine fabrication; medical textiles; safety and protective products; signs and graphics; sports
and recreational products; and transportation textiles. In addition, IFAI has added the new textile
construction track, which is touted as a back-to-basics review of textile composition.2003
InternationalAchievement AwardsWith 26 categories, the International Achievement Awards recognize
new and innovative contributions made by end-product manufacturers to the specialty fabrics
industry. Photographs of this years entries will be shown at IFAI Expo. The Award of Excellence and
Outstanding Achievement Awards will be announced during the Awards Breakfast on Oct. 1.IFAI
Professional Certification ProgramsBesides being a showcase for the latest in specialty fabrics,
the Expo show floor also will serve as a testing site for certification of specialty fabrics
professionals.The IFAI Professional Certification Programs allow professionals to become certified
as Master Fabrics Craftsmen, Certified Craftsmen, Industrial Fabrics Managers or Certified Project
Planners. Those who become certified during IFAI Expo will be honored at the Chairmans Gala
reception and dinner on Oct. 3.An orientation session for the certification programs will take
place Sept. 30 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.Keynote PresentationThis years IFAI Expo will feature a
keynote presentation by US Navy Captain Michael Abrashoff on Oct. 2. Abrashoff will share with Expo
attendees his leadership-focused presentation, Its Your Ship, based on his book of the same
title.Signage Of Vegas TourAs part of the pre-Expo activities program, the Banner, FlagandGraphics
Association, a division of IFAI, has arranged the Signage of Vegas Tour, which will make stops at
three Las Vegas locations, including the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino for a look at its near-scale
replicas of Venetian landmarks and artwork. The tour is scheduled for Sept. 30.Fabric Structures
2003The Fabric Structures 2003 conference will be held in conjunction with IFAI Expo from Sept. 30
to Oct. 1. It will feature case studies demonstrating the benefits of using fabric as a building
material, unique design elements and resources available in the fabric structures market.Included
in the conference are keynote presentations by Kazuo Ishii, president, Membrane Structures
Association of Japan, and James Carpenter, sculptor and proprietor of New York City-based James
Carpenter Design Associates.
For more information about IFAI Expo 2003 and its co-located events, contact IFAI (651)
222-2508; (800) 225-4324; fax (651) 631-9334;

September 2003