WOW! The first ever virtual event held for the entire fastener industry, hosted by the International Fastener Expo and billed as Match and Meet, was a huge success! And while it was not quite as big as our usual Vegas tradeshow, it was very well attended and was just as beneficial, if not more for the exhibiting companies.

Exhibitors were able to load up their digital booths with videos, product information, and plenty of employees to meet with clients..

There were many opportunities to interact with attendees and exhibitors in conversation, by setting a one-on-one appointment, engaging in a live chat, or by commenting and connecting during one of the many excellent sessions by industry peers, using the platform messaging system, or unwinding at the Fastener Bash & Trivia Contest.

It was two days of nonstop focused fastener business.

The platform, with a little practice, was easy to use and actually eliminated a lot of the distraction experienced when out on the tradeshow floor.

The tips and best practices provided in an earlier blog were on target and assisted in enhancing the online show experience. 

The show schedule was filled with educational sessions and presentations from industry professionals. Seven of these influencers are regular FIZ (Fastener Industry Zoom group) attendees. (email: Marty Nolan or Cris Young for your invitation)

Wurth shared 2020 Trends they are seeing, Product Genius Technology explained the need to get digital, and how about the panel discussion with industry rock star’s Charlie Kerr, Larry Kelly and Matt Boyd, moderated by Eric Dudas, Fasteners Clearing House and Fully Threaded Radio, on topics such as manufacturing, technology, and industry trends.

We heard from industry associations such as the Young Fastener Professionals and Women in the Fastener Industry on their upcoming plans, sponsorship opportunities and membership. Women in the Fastener Industry presented their 2020 annual award winners:

 Woman of the Year: Rosa Hearn, Brighton Best International

    Women in Business: Lisa Kleinhandler & Cris Young.

  Man Up Award: BTM Manufacturing


As always the IFE Fastener Industry Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony was also well attended.

Many congratulations to the 2020 Hall of Fame winners:

2020 Fastener Industry Hall of Fame Inductees: Tim O’Keeffe (G.L. Huyett)  and John “Cowboy” Wachman (Fastener Training Institute)

Young Fastener Professional of the Year: Jessi Solt, G.L. Huyett

A well deserved honor for all of these industry professionals.

This year’s show while different was just as focused on getting business done as ever before. The International Fastener Expo led by Morgan Wilson, Show Manager, took a bad situation and turned it into a positive for this industry. Instead of no show we were provided a platform for engaging each other and conducting business as usual. Kudos to Morgan and his whole team who kept us on track behind the scenes.

We closed out the show with a Fastener Bash & Trivia Contest sponsored by: IFE, Traveling Salesmen, Distributors Link Magazine, Volt Industrial Plastics, Solution Industries, Worldwide Fastener Sources, and Fastener News Desk. Moderated by Carmen Vertullo, AIM Testing Laboratory. As a side note, based on the results of the contest the Fastener Training Institute may want to start some extra classes. Wink wink. If you didn’t attend the after party and are feeling good about knowing your fastener knowledge, why not take the trivia test, has just posted the trivia questions

And the winners are:

1st Prize: Ed Smith, Wurth Industry | Prize: Bob Dylan Bourbon provided by R.L. English

2nd Prize: Jeff Kempka, Global Fastener & Supply | Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card provided by Distributor’s Link Magazine

3rd Prize: “Bill” aka Jackie Ventura, Ventura Industrial Products | Prize: Apple Air Pods provided by Laura Vath at Solution Industries

4th Prize: Joe Clark, Komar Screw |  Prize: Blue Tooth Speaker & Lantern provided by Volt Industrial Plastics

5th Prize: George Hunt, Brighton Best |  Prize: Echo Dot provided by Fastener News Desk 


The show is over but the opportunities to connect and learn are not. The IFE will be maintaining the Match & Meet platform for several more months. Which means that you can still see that presentation you might have missed or track down that company executive you had to reschedule with. There is valuable information here,  don’t forget to use it. 

While we are not sure what the future holds for online tradeshows, this one worked. Thanks to all who participated!

Stay tuned…Digital Best Booth Awards to be announced!

We’d love to hear your feedback on the event in the comments below.




International Fastener Expo, The Fastener Museum