Advanced Textiles Expo Attracts Thousands to Orlando (USA) for Successful Event

Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) completed its debut of Advanced Textiles Expo, formerly known as IFAI Expo, Nov. 1–3, in Orlando, FL USA.

This year’s event was again collocated with Sun Shading Expo North America, which is organized by Messe Stuttgart, the founders of R + T, the world’s leading trade fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun shading systems.

Advanced Textiles Expo and Sun Shading Expo North America combined to attract 4,517 attendees to the Orange County Convention Center where they had direct access to the textile and sun shading industries’ leading companies. Beyond the action on the show floor, both attendees and exhibitors networked and socialized at the Opening Reception as well as the crowd-favorite Industry Night.

375 exhibiting companies made up the combined show floor, displaying their latest products, equipment, and services. In addition to visiting exhibit booths, the show floor also hosted live equipment demonstrations, market update meetings and over 20 campfire education sessions broken out by Emerging Technologies, Specialty Fabrics, and Shade and Weather Protection markets.

“The first ever Advanced Textiles Expo is a wrap and we’re pleased with the positive feedback on the trade show and the many social networking events last week. Our 2nd year collocating with Sun Shading Expo North America brought new leads, more to see and learn.” said ATA President and CEO, Steve Schiffman.

Schiffman also added, “Besides the name change from IFAI Expo, which was the last step of a comprehensive rebrand of the trade association, we added many new show floor content options, including a live podcast, new education tracks and more. These are just the first steps of our long-term strategy of improving the value proposition for everyone. For 2024, in Anaheim, we are merging Smart Fabrics Summit, with our Emerging Technologies Conference and continuing our content evolution, bringing new attendees to the event which will give exhibitors more reason to participate in Expo than ever before.”

New this year was the Emerging Technologies Conference, which was held on Oct. 31, the day before the show floor opened. This conference offered a Plenary session and networking lunch followed by an afternoon of 12 classroom education sessions dedicated to the emerging technologies and smart textile markets. Topics included wearables, aerospace advancements, biomedical applications, nanotechnology, automation and more.

Also taking place on Oct. 31 were two deep-dive workshops. The topics of the workshops were “Emotional Intelligence Training” taught by Dr. Melissa Furman of Career Potential LLC and “Mastering Leadership for the Modern Sales Team” taught by Toby Payne of Sandler Training. Each workshop supplied attendees with valuable information to help improve their company.

Advanced Textiles Expo also hosted 15 market-specific classroom education sessions focused on shade and weather protection, supply chain challenges, marine, sustainability, workforce development and business operations, along with a wealth of other specialty fabrics and advanced textile-focused content.

“I can walk the show floor and benefit from talking to a good 75% of the exhibitors here. There’s absolutely a benefit in coming here by being able to touch and see the products in person, and even just learn about new products. You can walk by a booth and see a new product you’ve never seen before that can really help your business.” – Zack Schwartz | UCS Inc.

Highlights at Advanced Textiles Expo included the Opening Reception, which took place just outside of the show floor, allowing participants to socialize and listen to music. Industry Night at Blake Shelton’s Ole Red was a popular event where attendees enjoyed live music from ATA member band, Hangin’ by a Thread, which is comprised of industry veterans along with some guest vocalists.

Keynoter Jeff Butler engaged attendees with his presentation “Building an Effective Multigenerational Workforce”, focusing on how to manage and work with various generations.  The Annual Fun Run/Walk also returned to Expo this year and allowed participants to either run or walk around the mapped-out route near the Orange County Convention Centre.

Outstanding new products and materials were recognized on the show floor at their booths as a part of this year’s Show Stopper Program. These companies received an award and winner’s flag that is displayed in their booth to signify their innovative work.
“One of the biggest benefits of being at Advanced Textiles Expo, is being able to speak and connect with so many people involved in manufacturing and across the entire supply chain. For any company considering exhibiting at this show, I would tell them to definitely do it. If you want to improve your business, this is the place to be at.”

– Bhavani Jayaraman| AATCC

Attendees also had the opportunity to take part in the ATA Division Update Meeting that took place in the ATA Hub on the show floor. This meeting encompassed all divisions and member groups of ATA to provide updates and valuable information on how ATA membership can serve every member’s individual needs.

Join thousands of your industry peers next year in Anaheim, CA  for Advanced Textiles Expo 2024. The official dates are Sept. 24–26, 2024, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA USA.

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About Advanced Textiles Association

Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) is a member-owned, member-driven trade association representing the specialty fabrics and technical textiles industry since 1912. ATA provides members with relevant information, sourcing solutions and networking opportunities to sustain and grow their business. For more information visit