FABTECH/AWS posts record numbers

Hailed by exhibitors as "the best show in years" the 2007 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show surpassed attendance expectations and set new highs for number of exhibiting companies and net square footage of exhibit space. The four-day show attracted nearly 31,000 visitors from more than 75 countries worldwide, which is a 27 percent increase compared to the last time the show was in Chicago in 2005.

Attendees visited exhibits filling 461,627 square feet of booth space in the North and South Halls of McCormick Place to evaluate, purchase, and explore innovative technologies and solutions. This annual event is sponsored by the American Welding Society (AWS), Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International (FMA), and Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and is supported by industry partner the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

"There were more than 1000 exhibitors, a 27 percent increase over 2005," said Jerry Shankel, president and CEO of FMA, "and they have been telling us how pleased they are with the quantity and quality of attendees who visited their booth."

Next year's FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show will take place October 6-8, 2008, in Las Vegas for the first time. This new location was selected after exhibitors expressed an interest in reaching the large number of metal fabricating technology users located in the Western region of the U.S. Based on the success of this year's show, more than 700 exhibitors have already reserved close to 90 percent of the available space for the 2008 event.

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