Organizers said it set a registration record, but concerns about the coronavirus hung like a cloud over the 2020 ConExpo/Con-Ag & IFPE trade show, held March 10-13 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The International Fluid Power Exposition show ended a day early. It had been scheduled to conclude on Saturday, March 14. But citing increasing travel restrictions, especially affecting international attendees, organizers ended the show on Friday.
Even the weather contributed to the damper, as two days of storms passed through Las Vegas, knocking out the city’s usual tepid sunshine.
A number of companies pulled out of the show in the weeks before the opening, including some of the biggest in the industry. Parker Hannifin, Eaton, Danfoss and Bosch Rexroth all withdrew their exhibits and stayed home. Other firms that stayed away included Hallite, API Heat Transfer/TTP, and Mack Truck.
With growing concerns about COVID-19, show management worked closely with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Southern Nevada Health District to make sure exhibitors, vendors and attendees were provided with heightened cleaning services and hand sanitizers to help reduce the spread of germs. Organizers also encouraged a no-handshake policy, advising attendees to use fist or elbow bumps when greeting each other.
Organizers said registrations for the show totaled more than 130,000 people. At the conclusion of the show, cancellations from international attendees totaled less than 1%.
In general, most exhibitors said they experienced slow but steady foot traffic throughout IFPE, which carried on with its purpose: bringing together industry segments in fluid power, power transmission and motion control to display the latest in new technologies and products, share knowledge, network and buy equipment.
Every three years, IFPE focuses on the latest innovations, product advances and expert insights to equip engineers and manufacturers to increase efficiency, contain costs and improve the performance of their hydraulic and pneumatic systems and applications.
According to IFPE Show Chairperson David Price, Global Marketing Manager of HydraForce Inc., “The crowd was much better than expected under the circumstances and, most importantly, the right buyers were on the show floor. We were very pleased with the strong showing from the 300-plus exhibitors at IFPE 2020, and we are looking forward to the 2023 show.”
Standout moments of the week included the unveiling of a 3D-printed statue of a female construction worker to acknowledge the growing role of women in the industry. Placed in the Tech Experience area in Silver Lot, the statue stood on a ten-foot base and rose an additional 19 feet high.
The show also saw the first-ever Fluid Power Hour, an IFPE-wide opportunity for extra networking with decision makers and visibility for exhibitors.
Other highlights of the week:
The next IFPE trade show is scheduled for March 14-18, 2023, in Las Vegas.