Education sessions are one of the top reasons to attend IWF, but a lot of attendees are missing out on the full
value of sessions by not doing a little
homework before they go.
The seminar program for IWF 2018
offers more sessions on more topics,
but the changing economy and fast
pace of technology in the woodworking
industry make it essential to be at the
front of the class. This year, sessions
are divided into five major tracks: Business Management, Manufacturing &
Design, Marketing & Business Development, and New Business Sectors.
Each of these offers myriad options of
sessions and times to fill your education calendar.
But you need to pay attention not
just to the course titles and schedules.
Check out the speakers and their
you are considering new equipment,
answered to make a better purchase
When you sign up for the education
sessions, plug them into the calendar
in your phone with an alert set to give
you plenty of time to get to the seminar
on time or early. IWF in the Georgia
World Congress Center is a very big
place, and you don’t want to miss key
introductory information while you
are scrambling to jog to the session.
Be sure to bring a notebook, laptop,
or tablet to take plenty of notes. If the
speaker has handout materials, scoop
them up. Use your mobile device to
take pictures of key slides.
During the session, pay attention
not only to the speakers but also mem-
bers of the audience who ask questions
that pertain to your interest. Make a
visual note of them and plan to intro-
duce yourself after the session is over. It
could be a good networking opportuni-
ty to share and exchange information
of mutual benefit.
As each session ends, if you’ve still
got questions, ask the speaker for contact information. Most speakers at I WF
are happy to answer more questions
after the show. Also, pay attention to
other attendees in the session who are
asking questions or providing information that suggests they are doing similar work or facing similar challenges to
those confronting you. Introduce yourself after the session and ask if they
don’t mind trading information. Some
very successful networking groups have
started that way.
Finally, think of exhibitors at the
Education favors the prepared
show that might add to your education-
al experience by answering even more
questions before you have to go home
from the show. The great thing about
education at IWF is that it is every-
where, and you can get as much out of
it as you care to put into it.
by William Sampson
Get the most value for your seminar dollars by doing a little homework before the show.
; Want more? Read more at https://www.
Bio: William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and
has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs
and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He is editor
of FDMC magazine with more than 20 years covering
the woodworking industry. His popular “In the Shop”
tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.