The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE, Covina, Calif.) and the American Composites Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA, Arlington, Va.) announced in March that the two organizations will combine forces to produce a joint conference and exhibition. The first combined event will be held Oct. 14-16, 2014, in the West Building of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
SAMPE and ACMA have long held their own composites conferences and exhibitions, but last year they agreed in principle to a joint show designed to provide a single venue that will serve the entire advanced materials and composites industry in North America and throughout the world.
There was no word at HPC press time about the name of the 2014 event, and dates and locations beyond 2014 have not been finalized. SAMPE’s executive director, Gregg Balko, says the two groups have hired a marketing firm to assist in developing the combined event. HPC’s editor-in-chief, Jeff Sloan, remarked in the online CompositesWorld Blog that, historically, the composites industry in the U.S. has been divided when it comes to exhibitions. SAMPE has traditionally represented high-performance and advanced materials, primarily for aerospace and sporting goods, and ACMA has represented “industrial” composites that are used in a broad range of markets, encompassing, among other applications, bathware and other construction products, wind turbine blades, and automotive and rail transport. The growing number of conferences and exhibitions worldwide demands much of attendees and exhibitors alike in terms of time, money and energy, a fact that prompted the two groups to join forces.