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SME reports Las Vegas show exceeds attendance expectations.

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October 24, 2008 - More than 12,000 manufacturing and welding professionals attended the opening day of the 2008 FABTECH International and AWS Welding Show, introducing METALFORM, in Las Vegas, with more than 21,000 for the entire 3-day event. A reported 56% were first-time attendees, 32% were from the West Coast, and 16% were international attendees, up from 10% the past 2 yr. Records indicate 83% of attendees either make or influence purchasing decisions.

Las Vegas FABTECH/AWS Welding/METALFORM Show Exceeds Expectations

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1 SME Dr., P.O. Box 930
Dearborn, MI, 48121

Press release date: October 21, 2008

Manufacturers Ready to Buy Despite Stock Market Woes

DEARBORN, MI, October 21, 2008 - In contrast to the grim financial news from New York and around the world, an unprecedented number of attendees filled the halls on opening day at the 2008 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show, introducing METALFORM.

More than 12,000 manufacturing and welding professionals attended the opening day of this first-ever show in Las Vegas, with more than 21,000 for the entire three-day event. And the response from exhibitors indicates attendees were ready to buy.

"It was a big show for us. We had the largest number of leads from any trade show we've been in going back to 2000," said Al Julian, vice president marketing, Megafab.

"If you were to buy into what the media is telling us, you wouldn't have expected anyone here today," commented Tony Caruso, vice president of sales & marketing for ISB. "But just take a look at the's amazing."

Thermadyne Industries Global Communications Director Wes Morgan reported, "FABTECH/AWS is always an important event for us. The Las Vegas location worked out well for us. The quality of meetings with our distributor customers made the trip worthwhile...We even had couple of cameo performances by Elvis. We've already started our planning for Chicago in 2009."

First time exhibitor Alex Laymon, President of DPSS Lasers, Inc. was impressed with the serious buyers he met. "These were people who were well prepared, and came to the show looking for specific solutions to specific problems."

Whether the attraction was the new technology, the new location or sightings of "Elvis," statistics from the show support exhibitor claims of sale leads being both high in number and caliber. This was the first FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show, introducing METALFORM show west of the Mississippi and it attracted a new audience - 56% were first-time attendees. Thirty-two percent were from the West Coast, and 16% were international attendees - up from 10% the past two years. Records indicate that 83% of the attendees either make or influence the purchasing decision.

"It's clear that our effort to expand the reach of the show for both attendees and exhibitors was successful," said John Catalano, show manager from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. "It exceeded the expectations of the partner organizations, and we've committed to return in 2012."

Future show dates and locations:
November 15 - 18, 2009 in Chicago and November 2 - 4, 2010 in Atlanta.

About FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show introducing METALFORM FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show introducing METALFORM, is cosponsored by the American Welding Society (AWS), Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Int'l (FMA) and Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and includes a new strategic alliance with the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA). The show is the largest event in North America dedicated to showcasing a full spectrum of metal forming, fabricating, stamping, tube and pipe, and welding equipment and technology. Thousands of buyers and sellers from across the globe gathered in Las Vegas to exchange products and services, network with peers, preview new products, problem-solve, and educate the industry on the latest technologies. The 2009 show will take place on the November 15-18 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

About AWS:
The American Welding Society is the largest organization in the world dedicated to advancing the science, technology, and application of welding and allied processes, including joining, brazing, soldering, cutting, and thermal spray. AWS provides a variety of industry services, including welding certifications, educational programs, scholarships and workforce development through its foundation and publications. Visit the Society's Web site at

About FMA:
The Fabricators and Manufacturers Association Int'l is a non-profit educational association dedicated exclusively to metal forming and fabricating professionals. FMA brings the metal forming and fabricating community together through networking sessions, educational programs, volunteer opportunities, and award programs, and provides the tools and resources needed by companies to improve operations. Visit for more information.

About SME:
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than half a million manufacturing practitioners and executives annually. The Society has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of technical communities and chapters worldwide.

About PMA
The Precision Metalforming Association is the full-service trade association representing the $91-billion metalforming industry of North America. Its 1200 member companies include metal stampers, fabricators, spinners, slide formers and roll formers as well as suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. Through advocacy, networking, statistics, the Educational Foundation, METALFORM tradeshows and MetalForming magazine, PMA helps lead innovative member companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability. Visit

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