Manufacturers ready to buy despite market woes

October 24, 2008

In contrast to the grim financial news from New York and around the world, an unprecedented number of attendees filled the halls on opening day at the 2008 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show, introducing METALFORM.

More than 12,000 manufacturing and welding professionals attended the opening day of this first-ever show in Las Vegas, with more than 21,000 for the entire three-day event. And the response from exhibitors indicates attendees were ready to buy.

"It was a big show for us. We had the largest number of leads from any trade show we've been in going back to 2000," said Al Julian, vice president marketing, Megafab.

"If you were to buy into what the media is telling us, you wouldn't have expected anyone here today," commented Tony Caruso, vice president of sales & marketing for ISB. "But just take a look at the's amazing."

Thermadyne Industries Global Communications Director Wes Morgan reported, "FABTECH/AWS is always an important event for us. The Las Vegas location worked out well for us. The quality of meetings with our distributor customers made the trip worthwhile.We even had couple of cameo performances by Elvis. We've already started our planning for Chicago in 2009."

First time exhibitor Alex Laymon, President of DPSS Lasers, Inc. was impressed with the serious buyers he met. "These were people who were well prepared, and came to the show looking for specific solutions to specific problems."

Whether the attraction was the new technology, the new location, or sightings of "Elvis," statistics from the show support exhibitor claims of sale leads being both high in number and caliber. This was the first FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show, introducing METALFORM show west of the Mississippi and it attracted a new audience—56 percent were first-time attendees. Thirty-two percent were from the West Coast, and 16 percent were international attendees—up from 10 percent the past two years. Records indicate that 83 percent of the attendees either make or influence the purchasing decision.

FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show introducing METALFORM, is cosponsored by the American Welding Society (AWS), Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA) and Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and includes a new strategic alliance with the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA). The show is the largest event in North America dedicated to showcasing a full spectrum of metal forming, fabricating, stamping, tube and pipe, and welding equipment and technology. Thousands of buyers and sellers from across the globe gathered in Las Vegas to exchange products and services, network with peers, preview new products, problem-solve, and educate the industry on the latest technologies. The 2009 show will take place on the November 15-18 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

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