CAMX 2017 Celebrates the Growth and Innovation of the Composites & Advanced Materials Industry

CAMX celebrates a dynamic industry expo with new exhibit hall features and robust conference programming that highlight strength, collaboration, and …

CAMX celebrates a dynamic industry expo with new exhibit hall features and robust conference programming that highlight strength, collaboration, and innovation.

January 3, 2018 (Arlington, Va.) – CAMX 2017 – The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, produced by the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE), concluded on December 14, 2017 in Orlando, FL. Despite having postponed the event in September due to Hurricane Irma, the premier composites event in North America united 6,554 people from the composites and advanced materials communities in the United States and abroad, reflecting the support of the industry as well as the need for this all-encompassing event for the industry. Nearly 600 new attendees made CAMX 2017 their first CAMX.

For three days, thousands explored the Exhibit Hall with innovations impacting a wide range of markets, including aerospace, automotive, architecture, 3-D printing, marine, transportation, recycling, wind energy, software, construction and infrastructure, sports and leisure, university research and more.

We were thrilled to have a very productive CAMX. Even with the rescheduled dates, the attendees were ready to do business, the papers were well attended and my team was busy with customer meetings. The exhibit hall was full of activity and excellent displays, reflecting the diverse range of composites and the markets this industry serves,” said Andy Beer, Vice President, Composites North America at Ashland, LLC.

The expansive exhibit floor space was a bustling industry marketplace. Nearly 85 percent of exhibitors from the original dates were at the rescheduled CAMX 2017.

“The high number of original exhibitors who were able to reschedule their plans to have a presence during the new dates for CAMX 2017 in Orlando demonstrates just how important this event is to the composites and advanced materials industry,” said Gregg Balko, SAMPE CEO. “The industry support for CAMX has been overwhelming this year.”

Composites Manufacturing shared insights from a number of education sessions, including progress made in composites recycling and the growth in the automotive market. The magazine also reported about popular Exhibit Hall displays, including RAMPF Group’s “Fast Eddy” concept car and the CAMX-award winning all-composite trailer from Structural Composites and Wabash National.

The exhibit hall also featured Innovation Park, a new show floor enhancement that created opportunities for attendees to make new connections, exchange ideas and learn new things. The park is comprised of specialized “zones” – tailored to the learning, networking and inspirational needs of CAMX attendees. Attendees used these unique areas to discuss hot topics, build community around specific interests like “Women in Composites” and “Composites in Mexico,” and collaborate to create new innovations and solutions.

“We added Innovation Park so CAMX attendees can redefine how they experience a trade show,” said Tom Dobbins, ACMA President. “At the traditional trade show or conference, it can be difficult to find time to interact, learn and think organically, so our goal is to provide the atmosphere and tools to do this.”

In addition to the expo, the robust conference programming offered 361 sessions on topics covering every subject in the industry, 258 expert speakers, and multiple tracks of topics to choose from. This year’s event included the CAMX Live! General Session with insights from three individuals — Boom Technology Aerostructures Engineer Kerry Manning, Composites Building Structures President/CEO James Antonic, and Oracle Team USA Designer Kurt Jordan — who have helped change the way the world looks at composites and caused “disruptive innovation” through their industry achievements. Each presenter shared how the creation of new technology has potential to redefine the paradigm of a particular market’s supply chain.

“We believe CAMX attendees came away from the General Session inspired by the incredible things our panelists have been able to accomplish – and dream about – with composites” said Heather Rhoderick, CAMX Show Director and Senior Vice President of Events and Information at ACMA. Because a number of attendees who were planning to attend in September but were not able to in December, CAMX has made CAMX Live! General Session videos as well as conference presentations available on the website.

CAMX 2017 aimed to foster growth and engagement for the composites and advanced materials industry. CAMX concluded with a closing luncheon featuring a panel session titled “It’s a Digital World.” The session, moderated by Marcy Offner, Director of Marketing Communication at Composites One, focused on digital engagement and increasing the use of social media in all aspects of business. The panel addressed the growing use of social media in the composites industry and how it can be used to leverage efforts in recruitment and workforce development, promote products, increase brand awareness, and explain the advantages of composites over traditional materials.

For full details on the CAMX 2017 activities, including awards winners and coverage on the event, see the website at CAMX 2018 will be held October 15-18, 2018, in Dallas, TX. The event will be co-located with IFAI 2018.