My overall impressions of the show? It was very good. My thinking is they will announce about 8000+ visitors and, together with the estimated 3500 exhibitors, it made for a good trade show floor of connections, conversations and ultimately business.
Most of the 20+ seminars and 120 speakers were right on target and attracted large audiences, proving that you can hold seminars even while the trade show is open if you overall have a dynamic event. Seminar attendees eventually get on the show floor. In some shows you hear the exhibitors grumble about the seminars taking away show floor traffic. At this event, exhibitors seem to embrace holding these seminars and I think this is the right approach. Honestly, all of those attending the semiars will get on to the exhibition and many of those attending might otherwise not have come if it was just a trade show. Seminar attendees bring a depth of quality in visitor attendance.
I was impressed with the quality of the visitors walking the floor. I saw representatives of Nike and New Balance. A woman from Delta Airlines, charged with sourcing materials for their new flight attendant uniforms, stopped by our booth. I met with a fabricator of large tension structures looking for new cutting equipment. I heard from an exhibitor there were representatives of TRW, Autoliv and other Tier 1 automotive suppliers on the show floor. I saw biomedical device manufacturers were there. Another booth visitor was a member of the Mexican military, and I visited with two large US military contractors and a member of Source America, a nonprofit that creates employment opportunities with those who have disabilities. Good quality show-walking visitors.
Some things that need to get fixed? Not too much. The critical one is to get the JEC exhibitors together and better promote the synergy that is between the three industries. This year JEC Americas exhibitors were divided. JEC had come into the partnership when the Techtextil North America/Texprocess Americas had already laid out the show floor for their shows. So, JEC exhibitors had to take what space was still left in the hall and thus were divided like bookends on both sides of the other events. Some JEC exhibitors I spoke with weren't happy with this layout. I urge the composite exhibitors to be patient because the partnership co-location will prove to be successful over the next two years.
Another potential area of improvement: Promote the North American way, not the European way. Both the key event organizers are based in Europe. Their promotion model in Europe is very successful...but it doesn't totally transfer to the North American marketplace. We understand protecting the brand and image but loosen up and make the websites more appealing to the potential North American visitor.
And talking about promotion, I think a little more promotion needs to be allocated to attract more fabricators of traditional end products. A small increased investment could yield big results with those making consumer and commercial outdoor products, furniture and protective covers. I saw a few of these fabricators walking the show but not enough. You've heard of the expression "Build it and they will come..."? Well, it's been built but word has not yet gotten out to these companies.
The geosynthetics industry was largely missing. It's an important market in the technical textiles industry. There is already a very good biennial show for this market organized by the Industrial Fabrics Association International but these manufacturers could also benefit from being involved in this show. I would suggest trying to encourage the International Geosynthetics Society or the North American Geosynthetics Society to organize a workshop or conference during the show. Next year the Techtextil North America/JEC Americas shows are in Houston, a perfect location to focus on environmental protection, fuel extraction/exploration and petrochemical markets.
What could make this a truly formidable gathering? The partnership between the equipment, technical textile and composite groups is already fantastic. A true "mega-show" for the technical textile industry would now be to see the nonwoven industry come to the dance.
So those are my thoughts. It was great to see all who took the time to stop by theBeaverLake6 Report booth. I hope you enjoyed the event experience as much as we did. And, finally, I have to recognize the unsung heroes of this co-location: Congratulations to the staffs of all the organizations. They stay in the background and do their jobs so efficiently that we don't notice their contributions. A job well done.
Wednesday, May 14
I Have a Complaint: The Show is Too Big. This "complaint" by visitor Shelia Portela definitely sums up the dilemma faced by many visitors on the second day of the Techtextil North America/ Texprocess Americas/JEC Americas. Too much to see and not enough time was the issue. Ms. Portela is Fabric Design Manager in the Performance Fabrics Division of Precision Fabrics Group, Inc. When she came by our booth at closing on the second day, she was disappointed she had only scheduled one day to attend and hadn't visited all she had wanted to see.
Every exhibitor we interviewed had experienced a very good day. In fact, it was hard to get interviews because the exhibit staff were often too busy in the booths showing their products and making new connections. Here are some comments:
"Traffic was extremely good," said Jim Egan, president of Graniteville Specialty Fabrics.
"Great show," reported Todd McCurry, vice president at Highland Industries. While Mr. McCurry is focused within Highland on the air bag industry, he did graciously take the time to show us Highland products for other segments of the industry, including the new carbon braiding material they will be manufacturing at their new plant in Statesville, N.C., USA. The plant is set to begin production in June.
Jeff Sponseller, vice president of Miller Weldmaster, a manufacturer of hot air welding machines, observed this was the first time his company had exhibited at Techtextil North America in quite some time and was impressed with the audience. "We'll definitely be back in 2016 when it is in Atlanta again."
We had a good talk with Harold Hill, president of Glen Raven Technical Fabrics. The company unveiled a new logo and look at the show. Hearing about his company's plans yet again confirmed our past feeling that this is a company that is focused and making moves into new technical textile end product and geographic markets.
Annelie Wester, general manager marketing & area manager of Forsstrom, confirmed the company was having an excellent show. Forsstrom is a Swedish manufacturer of high frequency welding machines.
We have to concur with all of these positive assessments after the first two days of the combined shows. There was definitely a good buzz on the exhibition floor. The BeaverLake6 Report booth was busy with visitors from many countries. It was a strong second day for the event.
Tuesday, May 13
The Show Starts! The crowd flowed in today at the start of the long-awaited 2014 Techtextil North America/Texprocess Americas/JEC Americas co-located shows in Atlanta, Ga., USA. Registration was strong throughout the day and the aisles had very good traffic. It appears the shows, at least from the first day results, will hit their target of 8,000 visitors. A Textile World representative related that one exhibitor had told her the show was the best Techtextil North America show yet and it was only a few hours into the event.
At the BeaverLake6 Report booth, we were impressed with the many senior level textile industry representatives from all parts of the value chain who stopped by to say hello. It was great to see old friends and make so many new contacts. A trade show like this is the best way to really understand the dynamics of the technical textiles industry.
At the show organizer press luncheon, Dennis Smith, president of Messe Frankfurt USA, announced that JEC Americas and Techtextil North America will again co-locate in 2015. Next year's event will be held June 2-4, 2015 in Houston, Tex., USA. Mr. Smith also announced the co-location of all the shows May 3-5, 2016 in Atlanta. (Texprocess Americas, the third party in this year's event and which is co-produced by Messe Frankfurt USA and the Sewn Products Equipment Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA), does a biennial cycle and will not be held again until the shows are back in Atlanta in 2016.)
Frédérique Mutel, the president of JEC Group, said about the co-locations: "We favor long-term relations. Our strategic partnership with Messe Frankfurt is meant to gradually bring an increase added value to our respective markets."
Dave Garnder, SPESA's managing director, gave a short report at the press luncheon on the US equipment industry made an interesting comment that while production has increased in the textile industry by 13%, employment in the industry has been flat due to modernization of the manufacturing process.
Olaf Schmidt, vice president of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, talked at the press conference about Techtextil Frankfurt, saying changes in the 2015 version will include an expansion of the show from 3 to 4 days, the addition of a new "Functional Apparel" segment, and that the Techtextil and Avantex innovation awards will be combined.
Tomorrow, we will give you a report on what the exhibitors thought and what we saw new being displayed.
Monday, May 12
We're Ready for Techtextil North America to Begin! It's always amazing to see an exhibition come together. The show floor today was organized chaos as booths were being assembled in time for tomorrow's opening. More than 700 exhibits from the combined Techtextil/Texprocess/JEC shows fill the hall. I talked with Dennis Smith, president of Messe Frankfurt USA, and Kristy Meade, show manager, and heard the Techtextil seminars will be packed. One on fiber innovations is already sold out. I'm sure you will be busy with so much going on but please make time to stop by our booth and say hello. We can't wait to see you.
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January 18-19: Tent Conference 2018, Mesa Ariz., USA
January 19-20: NECPA Annual Convention 2018, Worcester, Mass., USA
January 23-24: The International Conference on Composites for Performance in Sports and Recreation, Long Beach, Calif., USA
January 23-26: 40th SHOT Show, Las Vegas, Nev., USA
January 24-26: ASTM D35 Geosynthetices Committee, New Orleans, La., USA
January 21-23: Intersec 2018, Dubai. U.A.E.
January 25-27: 2018 Marine Fabricators Conference, Savannah, Ga., USA
January 25-28: Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, Denver, Colo., USA
Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.
In October at the IFAI Expo 2017, I had the opportunity to sit down with -- at the time -- incoming Glen Raven CEO Leib Oehmig for an interview that has now been posted on the Textile World website and will also be in their printed November/December issue.
I've known Mr. Oehmig for probably more than 20 years and have watched his steady management progression within the Glen Raven organization. During the interview, he was very gracious with his time at a busy show and transparent in answering questions on a far-ranging number of topics including the management transition from Alan Gant, Jr., to Mr. Oehmig, the first non-Gant family member to lead Glen Raven. Click here to read the interview and learn more about the thoughts of one of our industry leaders.
As the saying goes "Politics make strange bedfellows." Today we find more than one-third of the Senate Democrats urging the inclusion of key amendments in the US FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (2018 NDAA) that would strengthen the US government's "Buy American" policies.
Versions of the NDAA were recently passed by both the Senate and House and a joint committee is working out a single bill. The submitted Senate version, however, left out proposed key amendments designed to prevent the weakening of domestic sourcing for the US military. One amendment included the prevention for lifting of the restrictions in place for domestic sourcing of wearable electronic products and another amendment prevents certain exceptions to the Berry Amendment which would allow non-domestic sourcing through memoranda of agreement with foreign governments.
What's the "strange bedfellows" aspect? Well, "Buy American" is also one of the key positions taken by the Trump administration. So, we have both the Democrats and the Trump administration on the same side, trying to keep strong the US domestic capability for supplying the military. Strange bedfellows given the current political animosity in Washington...but still the cooperation is vital for the US domestic textile industry.
Posted November 3, 2017
Since last August, the US Navy has been planning to phase out its iconic traditional wool peacoat in favor of a less expensive, synthetic cold weather parka which is lighter in weight and more versatile in types of inclement weather. It actually replaces two types of coats and the seabag the wool coat is stored.
The wool coat, however, has some powerful friends in the US Congress. Companies such as Northwest Woolen Mills in Woonsocket, R.I. and Sterlingware in Boston, Mass. Altogether, the supply chain involved in the manufacture of these woolen peacoats -- including sheep farmers -- is estimated to account for 400 jobs in the Northeast. Add to the drama that the new parka, made by the long-time military supplier Propper, is expected to be manufactured in Puerto Rico, a perceived feeling the new coat will be made by non-American workers. Read more...
June 29. 2017
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released President Trump's 2017 Trade Policy Agenda. The document, officially called 2017 Trade Policy Agenda and 2016 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program, outlines the new Administration’s four trade priorities:
BeaverLake6 Report has created a special page within this website and placed the first chapter of the 336-page document which summarizes the policy. Click here to read it. Posted March 2, 2017
Back on March 24, 2016, I was one of the first to predict the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was a dead deal. In fact, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised that, if Donald Trump became President, the agreement is shredded on day one of his new administration. Well, I was off by three days. Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order, officially withdrawing the United States from the TPP agreement. Now the question is can the National Council of Textile Organizations put together a comprehensive plan for the domestic textile industry in a post-TPP era? Click here to read the rest. Posted January 25, 2017
There are literally dozens of market reports for the many market sections and subsections within the technical textiles industry. In 2017, BeaverLake6 Report will be introducing a few of these reports to our viewers. The first report being features is The Future of Spcialty Geosynthetics to 2021. It was developed by Smithers Apex, a market research firm based in the United Kingdom.
In exchange for the promotion, Smithers Apex agreed to write an exclusive expanded executive summary of the market report for our readers. Click here to view the market summary. Posted January 9, 2017
2016 China Textile Innovation Conference, as an annual summit of industry innovation, was held in Beijing on December 12th, 2016. The conference, themed on “New Opportunity, New Advantages, New Vitality” – Stepping Towards a Textile Power, comprehensively summarized the industry innovation achievements and explored the new advantages in development in order to grasp the strategic opportunity of the new round of industrial changes. BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present a report on the conference via our partnership with China Textile magazine. Please click here. Posted December 21, 2016
Domestic PFD Manufacturer's Application for FTZ Additional Production Authority Riles Textile Industry Trade Associations. There is a nasty fight taking place these past few months behind the closed doors of Room 48019 at the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. The room is the office of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board. The fight pits domestic technical textile industry suppliers and a coalition of textile-trade associations against a fairly large domestic end-product cut-and-sew manufacturer. Click here to read the story.
In 2015, I posted more than 425 items of interest for our industry on the BeaverLake6 Report website. In reviewing it all last week, it got me to thinking about putting together a list of influential events, news and trends that I observed during the past year. I have focused primarily on the US marketplace but each of “the things that mattered” to me has global implications.
So, here go my thoughts in no particular order of importance. Let me know if you agree or if I have missed some. Click here to read the list.
Posted January 17, 2016
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