2008 MFA National Convention shatters attendance records

Published On: March 1, 2008Categories: Features, Industry News

0308_f2_1The biggest—and arguably the best—­MFA National Convention went down in “Margaritaville,” with more people, more products and more educational opportunities.

The theme for the 2008 Marine Fabricators Association National Convention, Jan. 13-15,­ was “Margaritaville,” a term made popular by the Jimmy Buffet song of the same name. The Marriott Hutchinson Island Resort in Stuart, Fla., hard by the Intracoastal Waterway, created the perfect setting for a convention that was all about marine fabrication, along with a little about finding your cheeseburger in paradise.

Some attendees could’ve stayed here all season because this year’s convention shattered records for attendance by fabricators, suppliers and new members, and for exhibit hall space, where suppliers presented new products.

No one wasted away at this convention, which included educational seminars, hands-on workshops and marine and upholstery shop tours focused on new technology and new techniques. Each dynamic event shared underlying themes of creating better products to meet customer demands, saving time and cutting costs. Audience members were encouraged to ask questions and make comments, which allowed the speakers to explain the most important points of each topic and provide valuable information to fabricators.

And, as at every MFA convention, networking and the sharing of fabrication techniques, ideas and business tips were a natural part of the convention package, especially at the welcome reception, where members of the association showed off their musical talents, and at the awards banquet, where fabricators were honored for their fabrication talents. Upholsterers, fabricators, fabric manufacturers and hardware suppliers from across the United States and Canada proved that working hard allows the option to play hard, and by working together their businesses grow.

So, some people claim you have only yourself to blame for missing out on the learning opportunities, product information, networking opportunities and the fun that transpires when a passionate group of people with a common interest comes together to meet a common goal.

Next year’s convention is Jan. 11-13, 2009, at the Hyatt Riverfront in Jacksonville, Fla.

Educational DVDs available

If you were unable to attend the 2008 MFA National Convention, you can still learn from the great educational presentations.

For the first time, all seminars were recorded by a professional videographer and are available for purchase through MFA. The four videos available are Frame Design and Tube Bending Workshop, Advances in Technology Workshop, Comprehensive Upholstery and Interiors Workshop, and 2008 Full Convention Seminars.

For information, or to order any of these DVDs, contact Beth L. Hungiville, MFA Managing Director at +1 651 225 6952, 800 209 1810 or blhungiville@ifai.com.