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Making connections and finding solutions

Editorial | August 1, 2021 | By:

How do you build a digital workflow? What skills do you look for when hiring an employee with no experience? How are you handling vaccination policies for both current and new employees?

And finally, where do you turn to find answers to questions like these?

Industry professionals often cite “networking with peers facing the same problems I face” as IFAI’s top benefit. This networking happens at expos, conferences, training sessions, workshops and webinars. The pages of IFAI magazines and the publications’ websites are other places where IFAI contributors raise issues and offer solutions. 

The industry now has a new platform for making these valuable connections. In June, IFAI launched CONNECT (, an online community that will facilitate discussions of issues facing businesses in the specialty fabrics industry. In fact, the questions at the top of this editorial are examples of some of the early threads on the site’s discussion board. In addition, the site features a dedicated Resource Library that houses documents for sharing. Attachments posted to discussions are automatically archived in the library, and members can add additional resources to share helpful information.

Consider CONNECT another tool in your toolbox (the site is open to all, but only IFAI members have full access). It’s easy to set up a profile and get started. Introduce yourself. Ask questions. Share ideas. And offer feedback. 

Yet, one of the COVID lessons is that as beneficial as virtual connections can be, we are all looking forward to connecting in person. With this issue, we begin our countdown to IFAI Expo 2021 in Nashville with the Expo Exhibitor Product Preview—your first look at the innovative products and services you’ll find on the show floor. In September, we’ll deliver the full show preview to you. And we are looking forward to seeing you in Nashville in November. Go to for the latest on Expo educational sessions, event highlights (yes, there will be puppies again) and networking opportunities. 

Have a question? Start a conversation on CONNECT today, and continue it in person at IFAI Expo 2021. 

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