This issue contains a feature that previews the upcoming Forge Fair 2015. Judging by previous Forge Fairs I have attended, this one promises to offer a good technical program and an exciting show floor.
As a magazine editor, I have spoken of the untold wealth I would possess if I had a nickel for every trade show and conference I have attended. This is a slight exaggeration, but equally real is the golden opportunity events such as Forge Fair present to exhibitors and attendees alike.
Each year there are about 10,000 (nearly half of which contain more than 100 exhibitors) business-to-business trade shows held in the U.S. and thousands more of consumer shows (such as auto, boat, home and garden) that don’t concern us here. On the business-to-business side, however, trade shows dedicated to specific industries provide exhibitors with a customer-rich environment of attendees. Similarly, attendees are offered an information- and technology-rich environment of equipment, consumables and services that often hold the answers to common problems of forging production. Further, the new technologies and services on display are concentrated into a very little piece of real estate, making it easy to see a lot in a limited amount of time.
For three days in April the new Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio, will host the North American and global forging industry. It will be an event that matches up forging manufacturers with the universe of companies that supply them with the equipment and products they need to be successful. No other venue in North America will amass this collection of suppliers and forging executives … at least not until the next Forge Fair in 2017.
All that said, I’d like to offer a few tips to show attendees to make their Forge Fair 2015 experience an efficient and productive one.
• Set some goals for your time and money investment. Trade-show exhibitions offer a relatively festive environment in which to learn of the best the industry’s supplier base has to offer. Enjoy the environment, but take it seriously and consider it a day at work just as if you reported to the forge shop or the office.
• Plan your visit ahead of time. Don’t come to Forge Fair without an idea about why you are there and whom you may want to see. Have a plan about any product/technology you may want to learn more about and seek out the people with that expertise. Make a list of any process or product problems you are seeking to solve and prioritize it. Visit the official Forge Fair website (www.forging.org/events/forge-fair-2015) to find information on exhibitors, booth numbers and program schedules.
• Review the technical program of papers and prepare a list of the ones you want to attend. Forge Fair will offer four concurrent tracks of technical presentations from which you can choose. Each session will be 25 minutes in length. The exhibit floor will be closed during technical sessions, so you won’t miss any show-floor time by attending the presentations. Make a list of presentations that you have a particular interest in or that address specific problems you may have in your plant. If you attend with a workmate, stagger your attendance at presentations so you can glean more information from them.
• Have some fun along the way. Everyone learns and benefits more when they are relaxed and at ease. Attend the event as a professional adult, but enjoy it like a kid. There is always lots to see.
Dean M. Peters, Editor