For information on the woodworking industry that is both practical and relevant, professionals and hobbyists turn to the biennial AWFS Trade Show. Held July 19-22, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, more than 18,000 individuals from over 67 nations attended North America’s largest woodworking show.
AWFS stands for the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers, a non-profit trade association that represents every facet of the home and commercial furnishings industry. The association, which has been in existence for more than 100 years, boasts, “If woodworking is your business, then your business is here.”
Attendees include cabinet makers, furniture manufacturers, and panel processors. Specialists in architectural mill work, designers, architects, and hobbyists also attend. With a special emphasis on plastic fabrication in 2017, machines that cut plastic, metal, and solid surfaces were also present in great abundance.
Laguna Tools was one of 683 exhibitors on hand to provide both information and inspiration. Steve Alvarez, Director of Sales for Laguna’s CNC Division, explains the primary reasons Laguna participates:
“The AWFS Trade Show helps Laguna determine the direction the woodworking industry is going by seeing what’s new and revolutionary. We were also inspired by our conversations with the customers regarding the current trends in our industry,” he shares.
That first-hand market research helps drive both product improvements and new product development at Laguna.
The breadth in Laguna products displayed at AWFS is a perfect example of our key strength: “Our product range gives Laguna Tools an advantage by having machines that fit the requirements of both professionals and hobbyists,” Alvarez says.
A second reason for attending such trade shows is to discover and learn from the diverse segments of the woodworking industry.
Finally, Laguna exhibits at events such as the AWFS Trade Show in order to secure feedback from our greatest resource — both former and future customers. This “reality check” puts Laguna specialists face-to-face with the people who rely on our expertise and technology to make a difference for their businesses.
“We spoke with so many customers whose businesses were bursting at the seams with orders for their products, prompting them to purchase machinery that would increase their production in order to satisfy the demand for their products,” Alvarez notes.
One of the most popular Laguna demonstrations at AWFS was that of the Laguna LD4.
“The Laguna LD4 horizontal boring/inserting machine was a big hit,” he confirms. “There was a lot of buzz at the show about the Lockdowel fastening system, and the LD4 machine was designed specifically for that application.”
The new Smartshop M Series was also a tremendous hit at AWFS. The Smartshop M Series is a fully loaded CNC featuring both a tool changer and a vacuum table. Priced at $30,000, additional information on the SmartShop M can be found at M Series.
Product demonstrations and customer interaction resulted in sales of more than 40 machines at AWFS. Alvarez and his team are continuing to follow up on and close deals from the show. And Laguna professionals will be working closely with those new owners to make sure the machines are meeting their needs and exceeding expectations.
“Laguna Tools relies heavily on customer referrals,” explains Alvarez. “Connecting with customers at a trade show allows us to build rapport and strengthen relationships with them, leading to better referrals and repeat business.”
The next AWFS Trade Show will be held July 17-20, 2019. Additional details are available at www.awfsfair.org.