A look ahead

By Mike D'Alexander

December 2013 - There is no doubting the benefits of hosting FABTECH 2013 in Chicago. First and foremost, Chicago is a world-class city. Ask just about anyone who has visited the Windy City and they will tell you how much they love it. Furthermore, McCormick Place typically draws more exhibitors and attendees because of its sheer size and geographical location. Fortunately for us, Chicago also happens to be the headquarters of Trend Publishing Inc., publishers of Modern Metals magazine, FFJournal magazine and The Metals Directory, making it logistically convenient for hometown exhibitors.

As I’ve traveled the country over the past year, the general consensus among the majority of companies I have visited has been that they are busy and business has generally been good. Perhaps not at 2012 levels, but good nonetheless. That’s why I was somewhat curious to see how FABTECH would play out for exhibitors as a place to launch new products and technologies, while getting a pulse of what is on the mind of prospective buyers.

This year’s FABTECH show, held Nov. 18-21, did not disappoint. A record 1,573 exhibitors covered more square feet (650,000) of floor space than ever before as a record number of attendees—40,667 of them—made their way in from the cold and unusually high winds to see the latest and greatest in metal fabricating and forming equipment, products and services. Weather aside, overall feedback from exhibitors was very positive. There seemed to be an overall good vibe throughout the great hall. The many exhibitors I visited commented that interest was high among attendees with several companies selling equipment on display in their booths. This is encouraging as we approach 2014.

It’s hard to say what 2014 will bring. Having said that, I’m optimistic. As companies prepare their advertising/marketing budgets for the upcoming year, early indications are that Modern Metals magazine is seeing a healthy uptick in print and online advertising. That’s a good sign advertisers are feeling not only confident in their business, but in Modern Metals as well. We will not disappoint.MM

God Bless and Season’s Greetings.

Mike D’Alexander


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