By Ellen Lees Waugneux
|Some say “three times is a charm,” but in the case of the inaugural Techtextil North America show, it was more a matter of getting it right the first time. Although visitors might have been hesitant to leave behind the alluring sunny skies and beautiful, crisp air outside the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA, the four-day event managed to attract record crowds. The turnout at Messe Frankfurt’s first-ever U.S. Techtextil show sent most attendees home with smiles on their faces—as many as 254 exhibitors from 16 countries displayed their wares to 4300 attendees representing 32 countries.
Held March 22-25, 2000, the event included a symposium on Wednesday, March 22 through Friday, March 24 and an exhibition that ran from Thursday, March 23 through Saturday, March 25. Although the Saturday exhibition hours were welcomed by most exhibitors about as much as the long, slow-moving registration lines, the overall response to the show was positive. Most nonwovens exhibitors welcomed the opportunity to present their latest innovations to a broad, technical textiles audience in a U.S. forum and many were highly satisfied with both the quality and quantity of traffic at the show.
With a focus on 12 different application areas of technical textiles—Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Medtech, Mobiltech, Oekotech, Packtech, Protech and Sporttech—the exhibition saw a strong showing by nonwovens companies. Roll goods producers, raw material suppliers and machinery and equipment manufacturers all turned up to show off their latest innovations for the nonwovens and technical textiles industries.
The symposium portion of the event featured more than 70 presentations under the theme “Technology—Driving the Future,” with topics ranging from advanced composites, high performance filtration, transportation/automotive textiles to new technologies and product development. Although the symposium covered many areas of interest with regard to technical textiles, some visitors from the nonwovens industry were disappointed in the lack of technical information directly related to nonwovens.
Special events at Techtextil North America included a pre-exhibition press conference, which was followed by a continental breakfast and ribbon cutting ceremony. On Wednesday evening, a “Millennium Party” was held, which included a jazz reception with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Another highlight of the event was “Hightex From Germany,” a special exhibit area for the approximately 50 German companies at the show, which was organized by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology. Complementing its visually impressive exterior, the German Pavilion hosted a full day of additional seminars focusing on “Textiles For Mobility” as well as an attention-grabbing fashion/dance show fit for the 21st century (pictured above) and a “Virtual Textile Show” on the Internet at www.tex-net.de. Other National Pavilions were organized on the trade show floor for exhibiting companies from France, Austria and Spain.
The next Techtextil North America is scheduled for April 10-12, 2002 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA.