Fabtech 2016 returns to Vegas

Fabtech 2016 is coming up on November 16th, this year in what is touted as "The Live Entertainment Capital of the World."

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Fabtech 2016 is coming up on November 16th, this year in what is touted as "The Live Entertainment Capital of the World"—Las Vegas, NV. The Chamber of Commerce also claims that the city is the number-one tradeshow destination (based on net square footage). Fabtech is returning to Vegas for the third time, alternating with Atlanta in the even years.

Back in 2008, I had my doubts about Vegas as a vibrant attendee walk-in fabricating equipment show venue. ILS had an exhibit booth, located what seemed to be a mile from the entrance, in the main hall. At the close of opening day, I professed a mea culpa in a now-famous video that ILS filmed. I say "famous" not for what I said, which was very complimentary about the very large opening-day visitor numbers, but on the scene we shot.

Our videographer positioned me on a descending escalator amidst a throng of departing show attendees. About halfway through my dialogue, a woman tried to pass me, recognized what we were doing, shrieked as she realized she was being filmed, and unsuccessfully tried to run back up the down escalator that was mobbed with people. Resigned to her fate, she rode with me to the bottom and sheepishly passed me, causing me to flub the city name as I summed up my show praising report.

It was a good show in what turned out to be a depressed capital equipment market. Shortly thereafter, the financial world collapsed and we all were in the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Fabtech returned to Vegas in 2012 as the industrial laser market, led by several fiber laser cutting system exhibitors, rebounded on a wave of pent-up buying demand.

So, as far as Vegas and lasers for fabricating are concerned, it's been interesting times. Cross your fingers that Fabtech 2016 will be a positively memorable one.

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