February 10, 2011 (Arlington, VA) — Nearly 3,000 unique participants braved near-blizzard conditions and thousands of cancelled or delayed flights in much of the U.S. to attend the American Composites Manufacturers Associationâ€™s (ACMA) COMPOSITES 2011 on February 2-4 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.Â They came from across the country and around the world and were rewarded with a convention experience unequalled in the composites industry. They left with a renewed sense of energy and optimism for the future.
COMPOSITES 2011 more than lived up to its promise to help participants connect, learn and grow with sessions that addressed the most pressing challenges and explored emerging opportunities for the composites industry. Â More than 79 education sessions and technical paper presentations with 101 featured the leaders in the field offering practical expertise on basic to cutting edge products, materials, processes and equipment and green composites In addition, attendees had the opportunity to participate in Certified Composites Technician (CCT) tutorials and many composites professionals took certification exams on site.Â Two new CCT programs were launched at the show, Wind Blade Repair and Light Resin Transfer Molding.
A burgeoning optimism for the industry was obvious in the packed aisles of the exhibit hall floor as 221 exhibitors â€“ a 22 percent increase from last year â€“ offered new solutions and applications for expanding markets. Innovative new products were displayed onsite and many exhibitors drew crowds with live manufacturing demonstrations, announcement of major industry awards program winners and new products launched in the booths.
On Wednesday, a crowd of nearly 800 attendees were inspired by keynote speaker, Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan. McChrystal’s message was that, whether in the military or industry, leadership is an essential component of success. “Why are leaders important?” McChrystal asked. “That’s how you succeed. That’s how you win in war, that’s how you win in politics, that’s how you win in just about everything. We’ve got to learn to be better leaders at every level.”
Innovation was the focus on Thursday.Â At the morning general session, renowned futurist Daniel Burrus, founder and CEO of Burrus Research and author of the best-seller Technotrends, encouraged attendees to help shape the future. Â Â After learning the global trends and statistics in the industry from speaker Norman Timmins of Lucintel, Burrus stressed the importance of focusing on “the visible future”â€”trends you know will happen. “In a world of uncertainty, start with certainty,” he said. “What am I certain about?” His vision for the composites industry is bright, “There’s more opportunity in the composites market than at any other time,” he told them, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
Industry leaders then crowded the annual awards luncheon to honor industry leaders and to recognize product innovations with the announcements of the ACE and Pinnacle Competition Award winners. During exhibit hall hours, the largest number of entries ever for ACMAâ€™s Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) and the Pinnacle Awards Competition (for cast polymer products) were on display, and Owens Corning gave out over $200,000 to the winners of the APP Challenge on the Main Stage.
COMPOSITES 2012 will be held to be held Feb 21-23, 2012, in Las Vegas.Â Exhibit sales have begun for this event.Â For more information about COMPOSITES and complete show coverage, visit www.acmashow.org.
Â (Note: photos available upon request.)
Composites 2011 Sponsors were:
Momentive Performance Materials