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Myriad range of speciality fabrics at IFAI Expo 2008
30
Oct '08
The final tallies are in and IFAI Expo 2008 had a record-breaking 8,210 registered participants from 58 countries--continuing its reign as the largest specialty fabrics trade show in the Americas.

The Industrial Fabrics Association International hosted this annual gathering of a growing industry at the Charlotte Convention Center, Oct. 21-23, where 470 exhibitors displayed an impressive array of new products, smart fabrics and green solutions, innovative new kinds of high-performance and sustainable design. (View IFAI Expo 2008 photo highlights.)

According to IFAI President and CEO Stephen Warner, "No other industry textile show draws buyers from all levels of the supply chain in such a diverse range of markets. IFAI Expo continues to grow in size, market reach and recognition as the leading event for specialty fabrics."

Todd Lindemann, Vice President of IFAI Conference Management, explains that IFAI Expo excels at drawing greater numbers of new attendees each year by providing exhibiting suppliers with new buyers from around the world as designated by the U.S. Department of Commerce as an International Buyer Program. As a case in point, new exhibitor Peter White, Director of Sales and Marketing, Bodelin Technologies, Inc., got the results his company was looking for.

Lindemann added that "IFAI Expo builds each year and is living proof of the resilience of our industry. We continue to see strong growth in such markets as digital graphics machinery; new woven and nonwoven performance fabrics, and in innovative fabric technology."

Attendees swirled around exhibits showcasing emerging textile technolgies; sustainable, eco-friendly products; innovative contemporary designs; consumer-driven business opportunities and exciting new fabrics and materials--many using post-consumer recycled content.

Exciting booth exhibits were combined with an intriguing mix of events to further inspire showgoers, such as Innovative Products Theater, where exhibitors gave presentations on their most innovative new technical products; and the 6th International Conference on Safety and Protective Fabrics which presented the latest research and testing mesaurements that ensure consumer safety.

The audience of designers, engineers and manufacturers learned about the potential business applications in the racing industry when North Carolina State Representative Karen Ray presented "Trends and Opportunities in Motorsports." Ray is also a member of the NC State Motorsports Caucus and said that North Carolina is the "Hub of Motorsports in the U.S.," a $1.5 billion industry.

Other distinguished speakers came from NC State-College of Textiles; Kansas Sate University; DuPont, Gentex, Thermal Control Products, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research; U.S. forest Service, Norafin (Americas) Inc., and Hoaglan Consulting. Symposiums and workshops continued the innovation theme and drove home the relevance and demand for high-performance textiles for all environments.

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