We spoke with Morgan Wilson, Show Manager, International Fastener Expo
Q: No doubt the decision to cancel the show was a difficult one. How will you stay connected with the fastener industry?
Morgan Wilson: Driven by our responsibility to serve the best interests of the community, we made the difficult decision of cancelling the show. However, we work to continually provide show participants with the tools they need to strengthen their business relationships and update their industry knowledge. Our year-round efforts have culminated into a live show in the Fall each year since 1981. While we will miss our in-person gathering this year, we are focused on intensifying our efforts in connecting the industry. We are currently putting together an IFE online experience. Our goal is to provide a platform where you can virtually meet customers that you have missed seeing all year, have access to a proven match-making program, and learn from industry leaders about current trends. We will announce further details in the coming weeks.
Q: More frequently natural disasters, political upheaval and pandemics have made many rethink business travel plans. How will IFE adapt to this trend? Now and in the future?
MW: With rapidly evolving technology, business connections are becoming much easier to facilitate digitally, with a reduced need for travel. Preferences and changing environments often necessitate the need for digital connection too. But through years of experience, we have learned that face-to-face interaction is highly valued by our audiences.
In response to an increasingly “online” world, we have worked hard in recent years to digitize the experience for all exhibitors and attendees. While our audience recognizes IFE as the leading fastener in-person trade show in the region, we plan to adapt our offering. In addition to the live edition of the show, participants will have multiple digital touch points allowing for greater engagement and interactivity throughout the year, and not just be limited to the three days of the show.
Q: Many other industries are adapting to the changing trade show climate by experimenting with virtual trade show environments. Do you have any plans to bring the show online? If so when?
MW: We will soon be announcing further details about IFE’s online experience. We have taken our community’s feedback very seriously: IFE is a destination for our audience to build and deepen their business relationships. To meet this objective, we are bringing to you a match-making platform where you can virtually meet with clients and vendors. We understand that the cancellation of IFE 2020 was a disappointment to many, but we won’t keep you waiting to see your peers until the next live edition of the show in September 2021. The online platform will go live in 2020. Details are currently being finalized and we will tell you more very soon!
Q: No doubt many companies are wondering what the show cancellation will mean to them. Where can they reach out to discuss their options for refunds or future show bookings?
MW: We encourage all our exhibiting companies to reach out to any member of our team to discuss their options. Answers to frequently asked questions and our team’s contact information can be found on the website: https://www.fastenershows.com/
Q: As the premier trade show supported by our industry. What would you like to say to your clients and attendees as we settle into the new normal of masks, hand sanitizers, and limited physical contact?
MW: We are living in unprecedented times. The past few months have been difficult for us all as employers, employees, and as friends and peers in this industry. At Emerald and at IFE, we want to support your success through our show. Our top priority has remained the health and safety of our community, which led us to taking the tough decision of canceling the show several months out instead of holding off in an uncertain environment. But please know that we are doing our best to ensure that your connections and business do not suffer as a result. We are working relentlessly to provide you with a socially-distanced, virtual platform to connect on. We hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe – we look forward to welcoming you to next year’s International Fastener Expo on September 21-23, 2021!
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Fastener Expo, International Fastener Expo