CAMX 2017 – Confidence In The Face of Adversity


CAMX Convention 2017 | Smartech

Happy New Year! We hope you are all getting off to a good, healthy start to 2018.

For the composites industry, 2017 finished with a bitter-sweet event. Just a few months earlier, Hurricane Irma quite literally washed out the industry’s excitement over CAMX 2017. The year after its most successful event, CAMX management was now facing its worst nightmare. The show everyone was waiting for was forced to cancel.

News quickly surfaced that show management was looking for a new date in 2017. I felt immediate confidence that this would happen as we were quickly approaching a time of year when nobody wants to do a trade show – the holiday season. Surely there was plenty of exhibit space available at that time. As I had anticipated, the show was rescheduled for December 12th through the 14th.

I’ve got to hand it to them. They pulled it off, and pulled it off well! Rather than the gloom that characterized other southern region trade shows that chose to continue in the face of Irma, the exhibit hall at CAMX was filled with a sense of confidence and relief. Granted, it was something a little less than that of excitement. After all, the show was approximately one hundred exhibitors short of the original event. However, I had an overwhelming sense that everyone that was there was excited to be where they were, despite the obvious inconvenience of running a trade show during the holidays.

It would be hard to overstate my enthusiasm over this show. As a new player in a very exciting industry, I was hungry to learn and the show did not disappoint. What struck me most, however, was how unique this show was from anything I had ever experienced in a trade show before. CAMX was one-part traditional trade show, one-part modern office with open air collaboration, and one-part coffee shop. I felt as though I had just entered in a trade show held inside an enormous Starbucks…and I liked it!

So what am I talking about? Innovation Park, as show organizers called it, was a unique layout that provided show floor opportunities for meetings, discussion groups, and even featured a theater for open air presentations. Trade show organizers take notice. I think we’ve just seen the future.

Kudos to CAMX! You stared a hurricane in the eye and came out the winner!


Bill Formella

Technical Applications

Smartech International