Orlando, Fla. — In September, with Hurricane Irma threatening Florida, show organizers decided to postpone the CAMX trade show in Orlando.
Organized were forced to reschedule, reprint and retool. They say the rescheduled show, held Dec. 11-14 in Orlando's Orange County Convention Center, was a success.
"We made it here despite a hurricane" in September, said Ben Dietsch, president of SAMPE North America. The show is sponored by the American Composites Manufacturers Association and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering.
A convention cancellation insurance policy covered the financial losses, but the emotionally drained staffs of the ACMA and SAMPE rallied to communicate with exhibitors, suppliers and attendees on the schedule change.
ACMA and SAMPE executives believe that the December expo retained 80-85 percent of the exhibitors that had committed to the September event. Some new exhibitors that were not scheduled to participate in September also signed on. The result: about 475 companies exhibited in December, down from 550 that had signed up for September.
The retention rate shows the importance of the event to the composites industry, said Heather Rhoderick, CAMX show director and ACMA senior vice president for events and information.
As a sign of interest in the event and evolving culture, SAMPE's "social media traffic volume went through the roof in September" as new show plans replaced old, said Gregg Balko, SAMPE CEO and executive director.