The 2019 Marine Fabricators Conference onboard the historic Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif., Jan. 10-12, was a huge hit with the second-largest crowd in conference history. With nearly a hundred first-time attendees and a large Australian contingent, conference-goers had a chance to explore the majestic ship while networking, attending educational sessions, and strolling the busy exhibitor show floor.
“I spent three hours on the show floor schmoozing and picking up freebies,” says long-time fabricator Victoria Babylon, of Canvas by Victoria, Worton, Md. “I was also able to be hands-on with some of the new products and tools I’m interested in.”
Educational sessions included advanced upholstery techniques, marine flooring, industry roundtables, digital templating, social networking and hands-on fabrication demonstrations of deluxe enclosures and dodgers.
“Every time I come to a conference I learn something new,” says Babylon. “And this year I’m particularly happy to see so many young people here bridging the gap between the old methods and adapting new technologies.”
First-time attendees Eileen Peckis, Joe Peckis and Kathy Haugen, from Quick Snap Tabs, Scottsdale, Ariz., came to the conference looking for distributors for their new product.
“I was so pleasantly surprised by the warmth and openness of everyone here,” says Haugen.
“Having tables at the lunches designated specifically for the new attendees really helped create relationships right off the bat,” says Eileen Peckis. Her husband, Joe, agrees. “We were here primarily to walk the show floor, and someone I met at the first lunch walked me right over to a distributor he knew. It’s been great.”