Given the continuing uncertainty with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of the health and safety of the entire textile community, IFAI has made the difficult, yet unavoidable, decision to transition IFAI Expo 2020, set for Nov. 3–6, 2020 in Indianapolis, Ind. to an online-only virtual event.
IFAI Virtual Expo will take place over several days in early November 2020 in a robust platform designed to provide many exciting opportunities for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors to discover, network and help grow their businesses. Going virtual allows attendees—both domestic and international—to experience IFAI Expo in a new way. Attendees will explore the knowledge-packed educational sessions from the comfort of their home or office. Textile professionals from anywhere in the world can discover new products, chat, network and meet with exhibitors; communicate with colleagues; and learn from world-class educators and presenters.
The decision to cancel the live event was not easy. IFAI considered the impending potential cost exposure of exhibitors and attendees, and concerns for safety, as well as travel difficulties inhibiting attendance, and determined this was our best option.
“The health and well-being of our staff, members and guests is paramount. We had a strong safety plan in place that exceeded the suggested guidelines, but with travel and border restrictions in place along with the rising COVID-19 cases in Indiana, we believe this is the right decision,” said Steve Schiffman, IFAI President/CEO. “We look forward to hosting the industry in Nashville, TN next year for our 100th annual in-person Expo.”
To prepare for this decision, IFAI consulted the IFAI Board of Directors, industry leaders, and exhibitors, as well as surveyed previous IFAI Expo attendees to see their level of interest in attending an in-person event in November 2020. What we learned was that there is a great appetite for IFAI Expo, just not in-person this year. Although IFAI is disappointed to not to be able to host IFAI Expo in Indianapolis, we are excited to announce that IFAI Expo can maintain its role as the #1 gathering space for innovation, sourcing and networking in the U.S. textile industry.
Virtually, IFAI Expo will host numerous sessions both live and on-demand. Deep-dive education sessions, campfires and the Advanced Textiles Conference will take place right from your computer. Attendees will be able to view, hear and ask questions of speakers along with other attendees. Exhibitors and sponsors will have numerous opportunities to get their sales message in front of IFAI Expo’s qualified audience through virtual exhibit space, advertising within virtual event software, the digital show guide, sponsored sessions, networking lounges and more.
Attendees will be able to visit with exhibitors by navigating to their virtual exhibit booth, which will offer ways to present product information that is easy to access, connect with exhibit booth staff by chat, a live call or setting up an appointment.
For current exhibitors, please know that the IFAI account management team will be in contact over the next several weeks to discuss options regarding the IFAI Virtual Expo 2020 and IFAI Expo 2021 scheduled to be in Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 1–4, 2021.
Registration for the new IFAI Virtual Expo will be announced in August. For more information and answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” on IFAI Expo, please visit www.ifaiexpo.com.