Wow, tomorrow is June. Not quite halfway through the year, but we are getting close. Time is flying. I plan to attend Fastener Tech ’15 which runs from June 8-10 and in a lot of ways it is coming at a good time. It will be good to catch up with people, some who I will not have seen since the Vegas Fastener Show last October.
Fastener Tech is held in a great industrial area. Chicago is still a hub of fastener manufacturing and distribution and a natural place to hold a show. I wrote a quick note to Mid West Fastener Association Executive Director, Nancy Rich, just to see how big the show will be this year and, as of this writing, there will be 177 exhibitors and attendance is expected to be between 1500-2000 people. There will be a golf outing, the Fastener Training Institute will conduct a Fastener Technology Workshop, a panel discussion presented by Eric Dudas and the FCH Sourcing Network, and several other seminars that can we found on the MWFA website at www.MWFA.net. This year they will also feature a Technology Center with Manufacturers of Fastener Machinery where you will be able to see machines in action. Nancy and her MWFA group always do a great job with this show and it continues to grow each time it is held biennially.
So, the show itself should be great. But that is only one reason for wanting to go there. Another is to hear what is going on in the fastener industry. Whether it has been during an interview on Fully Threaded Radio or just scuttlebutt in the industry, several large companies have made known the fact that they want to grow and many wish to acquire other companies. Lindstrom acquired Titan near the end of last year and is now no longer just Lindstrom Metrics. That was pretty big news. They are playing in the inch market now. BBI purchased EZ Socket earlier this year and, while not a huge acquisition, it was significant because another source of socket head cap screw products was taken off the market. Those two acquisitions have impacted the market, but neither was a game changer. Right now there is not a lot of talk on the street about any other upcoming deals, but I’m sure there are people talking to other people as I type this. Realistically, I would probably not be the one to hear about this first (nor should I be) and I would not put it out there if I did hear something. This is not a fastener news site. But the first five months of 2015 have been kind of quiet and that is another reason a show like Fastener Tech ’15 is good for the industry. It is another good networking opportunity. People can talk with other companies and compare what each is seeing in the marketplace regarding sales activity, etc. People change jobs and it is good meet their replacements and hear about the places they have moved to. It will be a good mid year check up.
At Fastener Tech, the Young Fastener Professionals will be getting people to fill out their survey on Attracting and Retaining Employees, and then soon after the show they will be preparing their data for a presentation they will hold in Las Vegas in October. Look for them at the show and fill out one of their surveys. They will also be kicking off the next “30 Under 30” campaign which they do in conjunction with the Fastener Industry Coalition (FIC), so find them for that too if you are or know a good candidate for that program. See you all in Chicago in a few weeks!