View Full Version : IWF, Who's Going?

Bruce Wrenn
07-28-2016, 10:03 PM
Wife and I have been to IWF several times. Daughter worked for airline, so we flew in (direct flight,) had breakfast at CNN center, then did the show. Spent night and then went back to show next day. We last went in 2012, as I had knees replaced in 2013, and wasn't up to the amount of walking required. We always stayed in same hotel. This year, hotel changed hands, and room rate doubled. Registration has also gone up 50%. Daughter no longer works for airline, but son works for another airline. Quickest flight on son's airline takes four hours from RDU to ATL. Takes an hour to get to airport, need to be at airport two hours before flight, four flight (lay over in CLT,) then an hour to get out of airport in ATL. That means eight hours to do a trip we can drive in six hours. So I'm seriously considering skipping the show.

Rich Riddle
07-28-2016, 10:15 PM
Erik will be there. It's not really hobbyist friendly so many folks skip it.

Erik Loza
07-29-2016, 11:11 AM
Erik will be there. It's not really hobbyist friendly so many folks skip it.

I hope to be there! SCM sent me room reservations but I haven't seen plane tickets yet, so who knows?

To Rich's point, what I have seen in the "post-recession" shows (2012+) is that the classical machines (bandsaws, jointers, planers, shapers, etc.) are getting edged out. Not just SCM/Minimax; all the vendors. For example, I got the roster of machinery for the Classical area of the SCM booth, which will contain Minimax, and it looks like we will have only a handful of units (a CU300 combo will be there, which is nice, because I can pitch three separate machines off that unit). Even within Minimax' own booth, they are bringing in more of the "advanced" machinery. Such as the ME35T, which is a $35K Minimax edgebander and there apparently will be a new CNC line boring machine.

It's a reflection of the industry more than anything else. CNC business is booming. IWF is the biggest and most expensive show of the year and there is always a budget for space, so from a vendor's perspective, you need to give presedence to the big-ticket items. And again, every vendor's the same way. I can remember the early 2000's, before the recession, when there were booths from the "green bear" vendor as well as the other mass-produced Chaiwanese machines. They're not there any more. Or at least, haven't been.

I've always said that if you are into woodworking machinery, IWF or AWFS should be on your bucket list but it's a different show from the way it used to be and folks should be aware of that.It is without a doubt, geared for the industry these days.


Jim Becker
07-29-2016, 7:30 PM
It was pretty geared for industry back when I was a "booth-dude" with you folks in Atlanta quite a few years ago, Erik. But I can imagine how it's evolved even farther with the significant influence and shift to automation in recent years as you describe. I'd still have fun wandering those halls, but it's not in the cards for me right now. ;)

Erik Loza
07-30-2016, 8:42 AM
Jim, my memory is that prior to the recession, there were a lot more hobbyists at the show. For sure, it's always been an industry-thing but I seem to recall a steady stream of guys who came specifically to see things like the MM16 or combo machine. Thinking back about the last few IWF or AWFS shows, I can only recall one gentleman who came specifically to see a combo machine and actually, nobody who came specifically to see a bandsaw. Guys do wander in and get curious but it's a different vibe than in the old days.

The other factor that has changed the experience, at least for hobbyists, is that Minimax (and I assume all its competitors) extend IWF pricing to anyone, regardless of whether they actually come to the show or not. It used ot be that you HAD to come to the show to get the deal. I remember this clearly from the first AWFS show I ever did, which was when I was with Felder, I think around 2003. One of the Austrians literally handed us all a binder with promo pricing the morning of the show. There was no website with promos, no chat forums or that sort of thing. So, guys only had this single channel to get an opportunity. It's totally different now. Guys don't need to get on a plane to get the deal. Just an observation on how the market has changed.