Hotlanta Welcomes IFAI
Specialty fabrics join textile machinery, dyeing and finishing sectors for textile extravaganza in Atlanta.
Janet Bealer Rodie, Associate Editor
T he 2006 edition of IFAI Expo, the annual specialty fabrics trade fair staged by the Roseville, Minn.-based Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), will be held in Atlanta Tuesday through Thursday, October 31-November 2, in Hall A of the Georgia World Congress Center. This year, the event will take place as a co-anchor of Megatex, a super-event that also will include co-anchor American Textile Machinery Exhibition-International® 2006 and the collocated American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists’ International Conference & Exhibition 2006.
IFAI expects more than 450 exhibitors will show their products and services to more than 8,000
industry professionals at the 2006 expo. According to Stephen M. Warner, president and CEO, the
show is a meeting place for the diverse niche specialty fabric markets, whose participants include
not only product fabricators, but also upstream suppliers and downstream specifiers and end-users;
as well as makers of machinery and equipment used in various manufacturing stages.
Warner anticipates there will be many international visitors who will take advantage of the US Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program that will be offered through Megatex. “ Those visitors will be here looking for US domestic products and suppliers,” he said.
Commenting on the health of the specialty fabrics sector, Warner added: “Our industry in the United States is fairly healthy. Our products solve problems, and that probably makes us a little different from the apparel or home furnishings industries. Our products are more functional and practical, and not driven by fashion. When there are low-cost and high-tech applications needed, such as for military or disaster relief, the users of these products turn to our industry.
IFAI Expo Offerings
Products and services range from
fibers, yarns, cordage, nonwovens, netting and webbing; to coatings, adhesives and films; to
laminating, dyeing, finishing, graphics and printing; to finished products such as shutters, shades
and structures; to machinery, tools and equipment; to contract sewing, jobbing and distribution; to
computer software and hardware; to consulting, research and development services; among many
others. Markets served run the gamut including construction, geotextiles, medical, military,
recreation, safety and protective, signage, transportation and many more.
IFAI Expo also will offer eight day-long educational programs including five symposia, two conferences and one workshop (See Table 1). The programs, targeted to specific markets, will offer new developments, technologies and trends; business, marketing and design strategies; question-and-answer sessions; hands-on demonstrations; and networking opportunities.
The keynote program Wednesday morning, November 1, will feature motivational speaker Kevin Carroll, author of “Rules of The Red Rubber Ball” and founder of Portland, Ore.-based The Katalyst Consultancy. In his presentation, titled “Rediscovering Play — Bringing Fun and Passion to Your Work … and Life,” Carroll will share his life experiences and lessons learned as he spotlights the importance of play as a catalyst for improving the workplace environment including team dynamics and interpersonal communication, and enhancing innovation.
A highlight of every IFAI Expo is the International Achievement Awards competition, now in its 59th year. This year, the association will recognize outstanding projects in 27 specialty fabric categories.
Tour programs include a post-conference Awning tour on Friday, November 3, and companion tours during the expo.
The Awning tour, sponsored by the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, will take participants up the road from Atlanta to Glen Raven Custom Fabrics LLC’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Anderson, S.C. The day-long tour is restricted to end-product fabricators and noncompetitive distributors.
Companions of expo participants may take advantage of two tours of Atlanta attractions. On Tuesday, October 31, participants will head up Peachtree Road to Buckhead, one of the city’s most beautiful and fashionable residential and shopping areas. The following day features a trip east of the city to Stone Mountain, the world’s largest exposed piece of granite, on which is carved the world’s largest bas-relief — a carving of Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and President Jefferson Davis of the Confederate States of America. The historic monolith is located in a 3,200-acre state park that also offers numerous other attractions and activities.
Textile World also will be present at IFAI Expo 2006, along with its sister publications, Textile World Asia and Textiles Panamericanos. Expo participants are invited to stop by Booth 500 to visit with publication representatives and pick up complimentary copies of the magazines.
The Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF), a separately incorporated nonprofit education and research organization also based in Roseville, will hold two fundraising activities in conjunction with this year’s expo. Proceeds from both activities will be used to fund scholarships and support industry research projects.
IFF’s online silent auction will offer a selection of items including household articles and collectibles, business and personal services, and special adventures and experiences. IFF was still soliciting donations as of TW ’s press time. The auction will open for bidding October 2 at http://iffauction.cmarket.com and will continue during IFAI Expo.
The first IFF Annual Golf Tournament will be held Monday, October 30, at the Heritage Golf Club in Tucker, Ga. The pre-conference event will provide an afternoon of challenging golf and camaraderie in support of the foundation’s programs.
For more information about IFAI Expo 2006, contact Tracie Coopet (800) 208-2615; fax (651) 631-9334; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ifaiexpo.com.
Download the IFAI Expo 2006 Exhibitors List.