COMPOSITES 2004 trade show preview

ACMA's annual trade show travels to Tampa to celebrate the Association's Silver Anniversary.
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To mark its 25th year of service to the composites industry, the American Compsites Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA) will take its annual three-day convention to the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla., U.S.A. (Oct. 6-8). In the evening on day one, the Tampa Bay Aquarium will be the backdrop for the ACMA's 25th Anniversary party (Oct. 6; 7:00 p.m.). Open to all ACMA show attendees (no separate registration required), the party will include a private viewing of the Florida Aquarium, an exhibit of the state's unusual and prolific aquatic life, as well as an Association memorabilia display and a slide show tracing ACMA's history.

To honor its growing international audience, COMPOSITES 2004 organizers have planned an International Forum and Reception - open to anyone interested in networking with composites professionals from other countries.

As things heat up for this year's presidential election, politics will take center stage at the Keynote Session. The husband-and-wife team of James Carville (a Democrat) and Mary Matalin (a Republican) - both former advisors to presidents from their respective parties and firmly entrenched in their own political persuasions - will offer an informative and funny inside-the-Beltway view of their respective candidate's chances in November.

Technology tour

Innovation will drive much of the activity on the show floor, as an expected 4,500 visitors walk the aisles lined with exhibits from more than 225 composites industry suppliers, displaying their latest product and service developments. To encourage attendance on the final day, ACMA will serve breakfast and raffle off a Chevrolet Corvette convertible: all visitors who pass through the exhibit hall doors between 9:00 a.m. and noon on Oct. 8 are eligible.

The ACMA also will honor some of the year's most innovative technologies in its annual Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) Competition's Product Showcase pavilion, on the show floor. Thirty entrants will compete for seven honors: "Best of Show," "Color Innovation," "Creative Application," "Market Expansion," "Process Innovation," "Quality in an Open Molded Part," "Technical Innovation for Corrosion Application" and a "People's Choice" award. Winners will be announced at Friday's General Session (Oct. 8).

Back to school

ACMA has assembled a team of industry veterans to put together an educational conference featuring more than 100 technical presentations. Categorized in 13 educational "tracks," nine tracks for technical papers and live technical demos, the sessions cover an array of technical, regulatory and management topics geared for the novice, the experienced pro and anyone in between.

The Association's Best Practices Series will again bring in experts from world-class companies outside the composite industry to address a number of issues of concern any business, regardless of the industry.

ACMA also will offer its Certification Examinations, giving enrolled and pre-registered CCT (Certified Composites Technician) trainees the opportunity to become fully accredited at the show. (For more information on the certification program, visit ACMA's Web site: www.acmanet.org

Shapes of things to come

Last year, the ACMA helped composites manufacturing managers to reshape their companies' futures by retooling its annual CEO Forum. This year, as last, the Forum is once again extending an invitation to senior management to join corporate CEOs in the CEO/Senior Management Forum - a move expected to broaden both the input and the knowledge base, and extend that knowledge to a wider group of composites industry leaders. A yet-to-be-named guest speaker, noted for leadership/managerial skills, will share with CEOs and CEOs-in-the-making methods for motivating employees.

On the way to Tampa Bay?

Don't forget your copy of this issue, complete with map (p. 19) and our convenient exhibitor locator directory (pp. 20-27). And while you're on the show floor, stop by Booth #1911-1913 and meet the Composites Technology staff.

Can't make the trek to Tampa? CT's December post-show coverage will provide pages of new and innovative products and processes introduced at COMPOSITES 2004.

For more information about the show events, dates and times, contact the ACMA, (703) 525-0511; Fax; (703) 525-0743; E-mail: info@acmanet.org; Web Site: www.acmashow.org.

NOTE: Exhibitor directory contact data and booth locations based on best information available on July 15, 2004.