Updated: May 4
The bi-annual International Woodworking Fair (IWF) was held August 22-25 this year at the Georgia World Congress center in Atlanta, Georgia. While I have not seen any actual attendance numbers, all indications are that this was one of the best attended shows since the financial meltdown of 10 years ago. All three halls were completely filled with vendors and woodworkers from around the world. Two of the halls were reserved for machinery vendors such as Michael Weinig, SCMI, Holz Her and many more. I spent most of my time in Hall C, which was for supply companies such as Jowat, Wilsonart and many more. If you have never been to an IWF show before it is an excellent opportunity to not only meet many of your vendors in one central location, but also to see new ideas for our industry, go to workshops put on by various machinery companies and possibly come up with exciting ways to either expand your business or learn how to be a more efficient business owner. Plus you can spend 3 or 4 days surrounded by 30,000 of your fellow woodworkers. The networking opportunities are amazing.
In addition, Atlanta is an easy city to get to either by plane or automobile. The airport is the nation’s busiest, and the train system (MARTA) takes you right from the airport to the convention center. Many people fly in early one day, spend 2 intense days at the show, and then fly out late the next day. If you haven’t gone to one the these shows before, definitely make plans for the 2020 show. It is a worthwhile experience.
This year’s IWF gave me the opportunity to meet with many of our current vendors, plus look at some new vendors who would allow us to expand our current offerings to you. I believe that from this year’s show we will soon be able to offer our customers an expanded hot melt glue line ( while still keeping our current line as is). For example PUR glue’s are becoming very popular. We offer the Jowat line of PUR’s, which as you all know is one of the leading hot melt glue companies in the world. We currently offer this on a drop ship basis only. Jowat requires us to do this so that they can always offer you a fresh and reliable PUR. Since we do not stock this, we save on warehousing costs, and then pass those savings on to you.
Another area where we look to expand our offerings is in our stock of 1MM x 15/16 colors. 1MM has become very popular over the last couple of years, and we will be expanding our stock of this size. Many of our current colors are aimed at our closet customers, but we will expanding this to include many of the solids, woodgrains and patterns you have been requesting. Expect to see this expansion late in the fall. While we will be primarily expanding our 15/16 x 1MM stock, remember that we can run special sizes and colors for you with custom runs. If it’s not a stock item ASK us for it. We’ll do as much as we can to get it for you.
- Ed Collins