WASHINGTON — The fate of a major joint composites industry convention is in doubt, after one of the trade groups organizing it said the show was being canceled.
The Composites Fabricators Association said May 26 that Composites America 2000 was being canceled — at least for now. But the Composites Institute said it plans to honor a contract signed by both organizations.
The spat comes on the heels of other composites infighting. In March, many former CI leaders defected to CFA and urged CI members to follow. A CI unit, the Sheet Molding Composites Automotive Alliance, will leave CI and join CFA on June 1.
CFA in Arlington, Va., and CI in New York plan to meet again in July to see if another deal can be worked out, CFA said in a May 26 new release. A planning committee composed of CI and CFA members voted 4-1 May 18 to put plans for the joint show on hold. All three CFA members voted to cancel the show and the two CI members split their votes, CFA officials said.
CFA officials said their members are starting to question higher fees proposed for the show, and they expect some CI companies to leave the organization when dues must be paid in June.
``It is our understanding that several industry companies will not be participating in CI and that has changed the playing field,'' said Melissa Henriksen, CFA's executive director. When the groups decided last fall to join shows, ``we were looking at both organizations bringing forward constituencies to the table to do work,'' she said.
CFA has seen a ``strong influx of new members,'' she said.
Plans also were complicated when some major industry suppliers that had agreed to pay twice as much in fees to exhibit at the combined show started balking at the costs, Henriksen said.
Companies have been pressuring the trade groups to combine their separate shows, which are significant moneymakers for the organizations.
CFA will resume planning for its own show, Henriksen said.
CI said in a statement that ``it is our understanding that the agreement can only be terminated by both the CI board of directors and the CFA board of directors. The CI board of directors continues to support the joint sponsorship of the 2000 convention.''
CI Executive Director Catherine Randazzo and Douglas Ludwig, an Amoco Corp. official who is CI's top representative on the planning committee, could not be reached.
CFA's board also took steps at its May 7-8 board meeting to form a market development council and a pultrusion industry group, Henriksen said. Those activities would increase CFA's presence in areas where CI is active.