FABTECH 2022, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event, made its return to Atlanta and welcomed attendees from around the world for three days of groundbreaking innovations, inspiring keynote presentations, and solution-based education sessions for the global metal fabrication community.
From November 8-10, nearly 30,000 attendees—an increase of 22.6% over the 2021 event—from 70 countries and all 50 states gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center to meet with suppliers, conduct product evaluations, network with peers and find the tools to improve productivity and increase profits.
Four expansive exhibit halls covering 610,000+ square feet of exhibit space featured nearly 1,200 exhibitors, including 150 making their debut at FABTECH, all highlighting the emerging trends and technologies influencing the future of manufacturing.
“FABTECH was nearly back to pre-pandemic attendance numbers and saw increases across the board over 2021 with more attendees, more exhibitors and a bigger show floor,” said John Catalano, SME senior director US events and strategic partnerships, FABTECH. “Year after year, FABTECH continues to be our industry’s leading event by providing the latest insights and trends, attracting key decision makers and buyers, and showcasing the most innovative technologies shaping the future of manufacturing.”
The energy at FABTECH 2022 was high, and sales activity was strong each day on the busy exhibit floor. The show floor was 19.5% larger than in 2021 and welcomed over 30% more exhibitors. Attendees explored eight technology pavilions covering four halls that focused on 3D/Additive Manufacturing, Forming & Fabricating, Finishing, METALFORM, Tube/Pipe, Robotics and Industrial Automation, Welding and Welding Automation.
“FABTECH 2022 was the most effective tradeshow we’ve exhibited at in close to a decade! Not only the volume of traffic, but the quality of the attendees exceeded our expectations and we’re looking forward to replicating that success in 2023 in Chicago,” said Josh Dixon, COO at Beckwood Press Company.
FABTECH also saw the return of many exhibitors to its welding pavilion, which featured approximately 350 companies, including industry leaders Lincoln Electric, IPG Photonics, FANUC America Corp, OTC DAIHEN Inc, Path Robotics, and Miller Electric Mfg LLC.
“Abagy Robotic Systems participated for the first time in the FABTECH expo and conference, and we were really impressed with the quality of attendees and the level of organization,” said Kate Degai, CMO at Abagy Robotic Systems. “We had a great response from hundreds of manufacturers and have already booked our booth space for the next show in Chicago.”
FABTECH featured an inspiring lineup of special events, including keynote presentations and FABx Tech Talks that addressed the emerging trends, innovations and challenges impacting the industry today. Attendees walked away with insights into today’s pressing topics—from cutting-edge technology and the latest manufacturing processes to building successful businesses and rethinking leadership, change management, and risk.
Speakers included Brad Keselowski, owner of Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing and NASCAR champion, and Jake Wood, executive chairman of Team Rubicon and founder/CEO of Groundswell. The FABx Tech Talks featured speakers Gillen Young, chief architect of IIOT Solutions at AT&T, Richard Boyd, CEO of Tanjo AI; and Bryce Austin, CEO of TCE Strategy, with a special appearance from Bill Carlton, owner/mastermind of Ekstensive Metal Worlds.
Additional special events included:
The daily Leadership Exchange Panels included groups of subject matter experts who will discuss the next phase of advanced manufacturing, how innovation is key to outperforming the competition, tactics for cultivating the next generation of manufacturing talent and how to protect your company from a cyber security threat.
Wednesday’s sold-out Women of FABTECH breakfast featured three inspiring leaders in manufacturing—Shelly Foland, CEO of Softies, Holly Gotfredson, president of American Metalcraft, Inc./Finishing Dynamics; and Lisa Winton, CEO and co-owner of Winton Machine—who covered manufacturing trends, marketing strategies and real-world examples of their experiences as women leaders.
During Thursday’s State of the Industry session, Omar Nashashibi, founding partner of The Franklin Partnership, provided a post-election analysis and the impact of the results on tariffs, taxes, trade negations, regulations, and workforce training. He also offered an overview of the priorities for the upcoming session and a 2023 outlook for the manufacturing industry.
FABTECH 2022 also offered over 150 carefully curated education sessions led by industry thought leaders and subject matter experts. The program spanned 16 technology tracks with sessions focused on automation, smart manufacturing, welding, cutting, lasers, workforce development, business management strategies and more.
“This was my first time attending FABTECH and I was very impressed by the quality of information shared by the presenters during the conference sessions,” said Rebeca Hernandez, a mechanical engineer at Republic Manufacturing. “I look forward to attending FABTECH again in the future.”
FABTECH 2023 is set to take place on September 11-14 in Chicago, with registration expected to open in the spring of 2023. For more information, visit fabtechexpo.com.