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Techtextil North America 2014: An Interview with the President of Messe Frankfurt USA, Inc.

March 26, 2014

Dennis Smith

This is a pivotal year for Techtextil North America. The event is scheduled for May 13-15 in Atlanta. The previous Atlanta show in 2012 drew more than 6,800 visitors and solidly established the event as the number one trade show in North America for the technical textiles industry. 


Dennis Smith is the president of Messe Frankfurt USA Inc., the organizer of Techtextil North America. He holds an MBA in International Business and is regarded as an international trade fair specialist, having spent more than 21 years in the event management industry. His challenge with Techtextil North America 2014 is to repeat or exceed the success of the 2012 show. He has got new show allies and the technical textiles industry is showing promising signs of recovery. Steve Warner, publisher of BeaverLake6 Report, interviewed him this week for the upcoming event. 


BeaverLake6 Report: Tell us briefly about the Techtextil North America show.

Dennis Smith: We are extremely excited about the business opportunities that await our exhibitors at this year’s Techtextil North America (TTNA). Now in its eleventh edition the show is firmly positioned as the premium event for technical textiles in the United States and Canada.  Our highly talented Atlanta-based team and our global network of sales professionals have worked tirelessly to ensure that we have a very international mix of exhibitors that will be presenting the most modern array of technical textile products to our base of expected buyers representing industries that range from aerospace to active wear.  TTNA is held in the heart of the South East and this enables manufacturers of technical textiles and nonwoven textiles to easily travel to Atlanta.  In the three days that the event will be held, we expect a high level of business to be generated in part due to an improving economy here in the US and Canada. We are also very proud of the educational program that we developed which is full of current topics and intriguing speakers.   

BL6: In 2012, you added Texprocess Americas. Is this just the machinery aspect of the Techtextil show or does it cover more than technical textiles?


Smith: We will be co-producing our second Texprocess Americas (TPA) event together with the Sewn Products and Equipment Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) organization. Following our successful 2012 launch in the US, we are happy to report this year’s event will reach new milestones. The show has a primary objective of showcasing the complete supply chain of sewn products, equipment and technology solutions in the Western Hemisphere to manufacturers primarily from the aerospace, automotive and fashion industries. The synergy between TTNA and TPA is based on the premise that producers of quality and high technological fabrics require very high tech cutting, sewing and bonding equipment to complete the product. Therefore, many of the TTNA exhibitors are actually TPA customers.  Also, fabricators looking for technical textile fabrics are also looking for the finishing machinery or technology solutions for their factories. Subsequently, the marketplace is prime for business from various aspects. TPA has an added dynamic that separates it from TTNA as it is not only focusing on the domestic market, but it also focuses on the rising demand from Latin America. Due to this, together with SPESA, we have been active in promoting the show all over Latin America. We believe that this could be the best attended Texprocess Americas yet.

BL6: This time around, I see the JEC Group, the international composites organization, is co-locating their JEC Americas Exhibitor and Conference. Why are you co-locating?


Smith: As I mentioned earlier, we are focused at bringing the entire supply chain to these shows. Knowing that the JEC event is a premier composites event, we knew that it could bring value to our visitors and jointly agreed to a co-location of the JEC Americas event. The co-location provides a platform for suppliers and end-product manufacturers of composite materials and equipment to access the entire high tech value chain. The strength of this strategic event is to provide an unparalleled opportunity for technical textiles and composite manufacturers and suppliers to showcase their technologies, expand their expertise and network with a wide array of industry professionals and gain a competitive edge in the ever growing market which will help to provide a well-rounded experience for our visitors. 

BL6: Are there any special events taking place during the three-days?


Smith: During TTNA and TPA we will host two symposiums featuring 24 sessions and 120 speakers over the three days. Some of the new features on the show floor will be our graduate student poster program our job board, the technology solutions area and the cool zone areas.  We have been working hard on inviting the strongest speakers for our educational sessions and we are seeing a strong registration as a result. The new zones which are also coordinated with SPESA will certainly give some dynamics to the event as the visitors can see what technological solutions are available to the manufacturers in the target industries and discover the leading-edge technologies, products and processes in the sewn products industry. 

BL6: How many visitors and exhibitors do you expect for the entire three events?


Smith: We are targeting to cross the 10,000 attendee threshold with more than 700 exhibitors over the three days. This should be the largest collection of buyers to ever visit the three co-located events.

BL6:  Are you seeing growth in the shows?

Smith: We have seen an increase of 44% in new exhibitors over 2012 for Techtextil North America and 34% for Texprocess Americas. A sample of new exhibitors for the 2014 shows include: MMI Textiles Inc., National Webbing Products, Polytex Plastics Co., Ltd, Toyoba USA, Inc., Leister Technologies, Miller Weldmaster, Forsstrom HF AB, Minnesota Knitting Mills, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. Sloan Machinery Co., Universal Sewing Machine Co., Inc., Zund America, Inc. and Ever Green Ultrasonic.

BL6: Will Techtextil North America/Texprocess Americas draw from outside the US?


Smith: With our six international pavilions from Italy, Portugal, Belgium, China, Germany and France we expect a large number of visitors from around the globe. We are also very pleased with the growth of the Supply Chain USA developed by SEAMS which will highlight US-based manufacturing. Together with SPESA, we have placed more emphasis on attracting visitors from Mexico, South and Central America through a variety of outreach programs. We are also very proud to have been selected for the US Commerce Department's International Buyers Program Select which is focusing on bringing visitors from Mexico, Colombia, India, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.

BL6: You've alternated every year between Atlanta and a West Coast location. Where will you be in 2015?


Smith: Please await our Press Conference on May 13, 2014 during Techtextil North America, Texprocess Americas and JEC Americas.

Coming Events

  • December 4-6:  Zone 7 Annual Conference, State College, Penn., USA
  • December 5-8: ITMACH India, Gandhinaga, India
  • December 11-12:  Digital Textile Printing Conference 4.0, Durham, N.C., USA
  • December 11-13:  18th Shanghai International Nonwovens Exhibition (SINCE 2019), Shanghai, China

Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.

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Secretary Gary Locke, US Dept. of Commerce, and Steve Warner US Dept. of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Steve Warner

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