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IFAI Expo 2021 concludes successfully in US; marks 100th anniversary

12 Nov '21
3 min read
Pic: IFAI Expo/Twitter
Pic: IFAI Expo/Twitter

Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) wrapped up IFAI Expo 2021, North America’s largest specialty, industrial and advanced textiles event, on November 4 in Nashville, US. The Expo 2021 welcomed 218 exhibiting companies and a total of 3,173 verified participants. This year was the 100th anniversary of the expo’s in-person show.

IFAI Expo provided attendees access to the industry’s leading companies, live product demonstrations on the show floor, the latest innovations in technology and textiles as well as valuable education and insight into current and future trends, the show organisers said in a media release.

For the first time since 2019, attendees had the opportunity to browse the show floor of 218 exhibiting companies who were displaying their latest products, equipment, and services. In addition to visiting exhibit booths, the show floor also hosted over 20 campfire education sessions broken out by Advanced Textiles, Specialty Fabrics and Shade and Weather Protection markets.

The Advanced Textiles (AT) Conference was held on Nov 1, the day before the show floor opened. The AT Conference offered an afternoon of 13 classroom sessions dedicated to the Advanced Textiles market and continued through Nov 3 with campfires and additional classroom sessions. Topics included Advancing Textile Manufacturing Through Collaboration, Innovations in E-Textiles, Medical Textile Breakthroughs, Industry 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing, and Sustainability in Advanced Textiles.

The expo also hosted three days of market-specific classroom education with 33 sessions focused on shade and weather protection, graphics, marine, sustainability and business operations, along with a wealth of other specialty fabrics and advanced textile-focused content.

The Manufacturing for Good demo area returned to IFAI Expo this year where backpacks were manufactured and donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee.

The Awards & Networking Breakfast took place on Nov 3 and recognised winners of the International Achievement Awards, Show Stopper Program and Outstanding Volunteer Award. The winners of the Outstanding Volunteer Award were Tom Auer of Bearse USA, Charlene Clark of Signature Canvasmakers LLC, Keith Harris of TenCate and Paige Mullis of Glen Raven.

Just before the keynote presentation, the IFAI Annual Meeting took place and provided everyone with an update of the current ongoings at IFAI. Amy Bircher was named as IFAI’s 53rd chairman of the board. Bircher is the founder and CEO of MMI Textiles in Westlake, OH. She succeeds Kathy Schaefer, CFO of Glawe Tent and Awning Company in Fairborn, OH.

Attendees at IFAI Expo participated in Market/Division Meetings which took place in the IFAI Hub on the show floor where members and non-members came together to discuss challenges their market is facing, new opportunities and technologies.

The IFAI Expo 2022, October 12–14, 2022 in Charlotte, NC USA.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (KD)

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