Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
I can’t believe it’s August already. Next month we’ll gather in New Orleans to celebrate the people, products and ideas across our industry, from specialty fabrics and fabrication, shade and weather protection and advanced textiles to the very latest developments in intelligent and interactive textiles.
Every Expo offers something new; last year in Charlotte a member told me: “I’m always amazed at the variety of products at Expo, and I come every year to help me find new products to help improve our business.”
We’ve been working hard to make it easier for you to create your own Expo experience, depending on your interests and business needs. The best part is that you’re in control. Whether it’s new products, education or connecting with friends, you choose your own path. This issue’s Show Preview features all the information you’ll need to create your own Expo business plan; keep in mind that keynote speakers, campfire sessions, the Opening Reception and lunch on the show floor Friday are free for every attendee.
Over the last few years we’ve completely reimagined the show floor to maximize value for attendees. We’ve doubled the amount of education available with our campfire sessions at no extra cost. This year we’ll offer 42 fast-paced, bite-sized educational opportunities broken out in three distinct areas of the show floor (Advanced Textiles, Specialty Fabrics and Shade). Campfire sessions can provide a year’s worth of trends, industry insights and takeaways in just three days.
The first-ever IFAI Hub will cover all things IFAI. You’ll find all market segment meetings (free and open to everyone), IFAI publications, membership and market information, the Fabric Sourcing Center and IAA award winners. The Hub will be the perfect place to grab a snack, gather information and do some concentrated networking.
I can’t tell you how many times members have told me how much they value the networking opportunities available at Expo. We’ve added even more ways to connect with your industry peers this year:
- The Advanced Textiles Networking Reception, Tuesday evening.
- You’ll walk with Second Line Parade from the New Orleans Convention Center to the Opening Reception at the National World War II Museum, Wednesday evening.
- For those of you 40 and under, the Young Professionals Happy Hour will be held at Drago’s Seafood in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel, across from the Convention Center, Thursday evening.
- Cap off the show with Free Lunch Friday.
To stay up to date, download the new IFAI mobile app, pick up a copy of the Expo Guide at the Convention Center, “like” IFAI Expo on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for regular updates throughout the show. Online registration is quick and easy at www.IFAIexpo.com. I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!