19 November 2007
19 November 2007
The American Composites Manufacturers Association’s (ACMA) Composites & Polycon 2007, held October 17-19 in Tampa, Fla., was one the organization’s largest conference and trade shows. With nearly 4,000 registered attendees, this year’s show saw a nearly 6 percent increase (237 more attendees) from last year’s show. The annual three-day show drew people from 49 states and 60 countries. Of the total number of show attendees, 14 percent were international. There were 232 exhibitors.
“The significant increase in attendance this year underscores the importance of Composites & Polycon to the business objectives of our members and others in the composites industry, especially now, when facing a downturn in markets such as building and construction,” says ACMA’s Executive Director Tom Dobbins.
Entries for ACMA’s Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE), sponsored by AOC and Composites One, were on display on the trade show floor during exhibit hall hours. These awards are to recognize technology advancements in the composites industry. The entries for the Pinnacle awards competition, sponsored by Reichhold, also were on display during the trade show. This award competition is designed to salute creativity and innovation in the cast polymer industry. Both the ACE and Pinnacle awards were presented at the show’s Awards Luncheon.
In addition to various ACMA committee meetings and business sessions, there were more than 60 educational sessions and 41 technical paper presentations that were heavily attended. This year, Tampa area Boy Scouts had a chance to visit the exhibition floor, talk to industry professionals and participate in a hands-on model rocket lamination activity in the demonstration tent –all earning credit toward the Boy Scouts’ Composites Materials Merit Badge.
Just as the trade show was getting ready to close, crowds gathered to hear who would win the 2007 Malibu Wakesetter VTX Powerboat being raffled that afternoon. One composites manufacturer, Gary Leininger of Swimcraft Inc., Angola, IN, was the lucky recipient.
“We have been attending ACMA’s annual meetings for 19 years and are extremely excited to have won this year’s raffle,” said Gary Leininger, of Swimcraft. “It is a beautiful boat and another example of the exciting work being undertaken in our industry. I want to thank Jeanne Mendelson at ACMA, Paul Colonna at CCP, and John Sisson at Malibu Boats.”
The powerboat, raffled off through the generous sponsorship of Cook Composites & Polymers (CCP), features the company’s Imedge Series polymer coating technologies. Valued at more than $50,000, the Malibu Wakesetter VTX Powerboat was on display at CCP’s booth during Composites & Polycon 2007.
In response to member and attendee feedback, ACMA announced that it will move the Composites & Polycon show to a winter schedule, pushing forward the next show to early 2009. The association will soon announce the specific dates and location of Composties & Polycon 2009. “Exhibitors and attendees pleased with the outcome of this year’s show have indicated enthusiasm for ACMA moving our next show to early 2009. ACMA believes that moving the show to a winter timeframe, will improve Composites & Polycon for exhibitors as well as attendees, ultimately maximizing opportunities for the success of its members,” says Dobbins.