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IFAI Expo 2016 closes successful show with near-record attendance

News | October 31, 2016 | By:

IFAI Expo 2016, the textile industry’s show of record, attracted 5,023 participants to the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., from Oct. 18-21. IFAI Expo is the largest display of specialty fabrics and technical textiles in the Americas.

Attendees were treated to four days of product demonstrations, education, networking, exhibits and awards recognizing industry achievement.

“We couldn’t be happier with this year’s Expo,” IFAI President/CEO Mary Hennessy said. “Interest in the event has rarely been higher and that’s proven by a record-setting number of exhibitors and huge interest in the event from the industry at large.”

Exhibitors were pleased with the way Expo unfolded.  “It gave us an opportunity to, in a more concentrated way, listen to the customer,” said Leib Oehmig, President/COO of Glen Raven Inc. “It’s something we really look forward to. For us, it’s a slam-dunk.”

Attendees had the chance to meet with a record number of exhibitors. “It’s a good opportunity to mix with our suppliers, a good time to rub shoulders with others in the industry,” said Monte Sharp, President of Sharp’s Tarps, Grant’s Pass, Ore., who attended his 32nd consecutive IFAI Expo last week. “Expo helps us to stay on top of technology. It was a very good show overall.”

Expo highlights included a revamped Show Stopper program, which highlighted new products, three times the number of Campfire Session educational opportunities over 2015’s show, and excellent participation in both the International Achievement Awards (IAA) and Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) events. Attendees also had the chance to earn Textile Testing Certificates from North Carolina State University after completing a special testing course.

The first-ever GeoCharlotte single-day session drew engineers and exhibitors to Charlotte for a day of education and networking ahead of March 2017’s Geotechnical Frontiers event, which will be co-hosted by IFAI.

Attendees heard from a stable of keynote speakers including business ethics expert Chuck Gallagher, author and marketing executive Linda Kaplan Thaler, and former Walt Disney World customer service guru Dennis Snow.

IFAI Expo 2017 will take place in New Orleans, La., from Sept. 26-29.

Since 1912, the Industrial Fabrics Association International has served as the world’s leading specialty fabrics trade organization, with more than 1,500 member companies in 55 countries. IFAI publishes market-specific magazines and organizes global industry events. Visit for more information.

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