Exhibitors Pleased With Leads from Companies Never Before Seen
Nearly 2,000 top executives, engineers and other metalforming industry professionals viewed the latest industry technology and networked with peers during Regional METALFORM on April 1-3. This year's exposition, held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, Birmingham, AL, featured 309 exhibiting companies, more than one-third of whom unveiled new products, services and technologies at the show.
New products weren’t the only thing prevalent on the show floor: METALFORM show management compared the numbers of the 2007 show in Rosemont, IL, to the Birmingham exposition, and found that more than 50 percent of the attendees were from Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee—a 47 percent jump in attendance from those states. These numbers confirm the success of the regional show strategy, implemented in 2004, which targets audiences concentrated around a regional market, exposing exhibitors to business opportunities with companies they had previously not seen.
METALFORM’s sponsor, the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), has received positive feedback from many METALFORM exhibitors about the new business opportunities that the Birmingham venue offered. Richard Labelle, North America sales manager for Wintriss Controls of Honeywell, Acton, MA, said, "The Regional METALFORM Birmingham show was a great success for us. Our objective was to meet buying influences from companies where we had not previously done business. This show really delivered, exceeding our expectations for new contacts."
Representatives from Phygen Coatings in Minneapolis, MN, also had positive things to say about show attendance. "We had a great show—for both quantity and quality of leads," said Dave Bell, president. "We like that the show moves around so we can meet new buyers of our services. I have to admit that we didn’t know what to expect in Birmingham, but it was a good venue for us," he continued. "Our expectations were exceeded; we anticipate strong results and important new opportunities from the show. We’re big fans of the PMA shows because they are well-attended, well-managed events."
In addition to the exhibits, METALFORM Birmingham featured an educational conference, the annual Awards of Excellence in Metalforming ceremony and a PMA Educational Foundation "Bingo" fundraiser. Several other events also took place during METALFORM: attendees took part in plant tours of Atlantic Tool & Die, Anniston, AL, and PMA hosted the second–annual Next Generation Leaders Day, where activities included interaction with technology on the show floor and development of business relationships with fellow Next Gen’ers and PMA executive leaders. During the course of the show, PMA also hosted a "Women in Metalforming" networking session and PMA Student Day, where high–school and post-secondary students and their instructors learned about opportunities in the metalforming industry.
Next year, METALFORM will join with FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show to form the largest metalforming, fabricating and welding exhibition in North America. This "mega event" will take place November 15–18, 2009, at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. The 2009 show is expected to cover 650,000 net square feet with 1,300 exhibiting companies, becoming the "one–stop shop" in North America where attendees can access the latest materials, equipment and services for all metalforming, fabricating, tube and pipe, welding and cutting technologies.
While the first official combined exhibition will take place in November 2009, the partners have agreed to a "soft start" at the 2008 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show, to be held October 6–8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV. The Las Vegas show will include a METALFORM pavilion, displaying innovations in stamping technology. More information is available at www.metalform.com. Companies interested in exhibiting should contact Roger Judson at 800-541-5336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.