Most attendees are expected to come from the United States and throughout the Western Hemisphere, but show organizers said delegations of attendees from China and India also were planning to participate.
There will be exhibits and demonstrations of apparel and sewn products manufacturing machinery, parts, fabric, trims, services, CAD/CAM, software, sourcing services, fashion trend information and accessories. Exhibitors will be focusing on new tools for uses ranging from RFID to PLM, ERP and 3-D.
Show organizers said there would be solutions targeted to the needs of a wide variety of professionals, from CIOs and supply chain executives to designers, merchandisers and sourcing and manufacturing managers.
Following their 2004 event collaboration, the Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA), owner and producer of SPESA Expo 2007, and Urban Expositions, owner and producer of Material World, decided to again co-locate their events this year. The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the official sponsor of Material World and co-host of the IT-focused Technology Solutions show, also will play a prominent role in the events.
"As business and legislative conditions in the sewn products industry continue to evolve, SPESA and Urban Expositions believe that it is more important than ever that our visitors can see all the major components in one place, at one time," said Tim von Gal, executive vice president, Urban Expositions.
Benton Gardner, executive vice president and secretary of SPESA, said: "The changes we've witnessed in the global sewn products industry since 2004 have convinced us more than ever that all segments of the industry must work together to remain competitive. The world has shrunk ' today's customers can be anywhere in the world, yet are as close as an e-mail."
Likewise, Kevin M. Burke, president and CEO of AAFA, said: "Sourcing operations and production systems continue to evolve as a result of quota removal and the implementation of free trade agreements such as CAFTA. Apparel companies are constantly evaluating new strategies and new technologies to better serve its customers around the world."
The events will offer a comprehensive conference and seminar program. There will be a pre-show workshop on "Lean Manufacturing" on Monday, May 7. Produced by [TC]2, the first half of the daylong workshop will focus on lean manufacturing processes and the balance of the day will hone in on the tools associated with lean production and supply chains. (There will be a separate fee associated with this workshop, which will be limited to about 30 participants, unless demand dictates the need to open another presentation of it.)
Then after the shows officially kick off, there will be two headliner events. On Tuesday, May 8, the show will start with a senior-level sourcing summit. This panel discussion, moderated by Burke, will feature sourcing experts from firms such as Li & Fung, Gap, VF and Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg.
On Wednesday, May 9, the headliner program will be "Benchmarking Effective Brand Managers.'VbCrLf This panel discussion will be moderated by [TC]2's president and COO Mike Fralix, and feature brand managers from some leading apparel brands and retail organizations. The session, which will touch on issues such as fast fashion and customer retention, will explore why some brand managers are more effective than others.
Other educational sessions offered during the course of the event will cover topics such as RFID, PLM, high-tech fabrics and product development. Collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR) also will be the focus of one seminar.
Some examples of seminar topics on the SPESA portion of the educational program, which is being led by [TC]2, include: "Closing the Communications Gap between Manufacturers and Designers," "Product Development for Buyers and Sourcing Managers," "Speed to Market vs. Fast Fashion," "Designing in 3-D,'VbCrLf "Integrating the Consumer into the Product Development Process," "Digital Tool Box," "Introduction to Contract Sourcing" and "Managing Manufacturing Constraints.'VbCrLf
There will be a longer seminar session focused on "Planning and Building the Apparel Company of Tomorrow," which will cover issues such as the development of size standards, supplier selection and evaluation and capacity planning.
A special 4,000-square-foot section near the center of the exhibition floor will feature next-generation up-and-coming technology as well as interesting new applications for existing technology such as body scanning and other solutions. In this section, which is produced by [TC]2, there will be some "very different" solutions on hand that add a lot of sizzle and interest to the overall event, said Gardner.
The demonstrations will feature future solutions for the needs of different parts of the supply chain, from product development to manufacturing to logistics to the consumer.
There will be continuous demonstrations in the section throughout show hours, plus some scheduled activities at particular times during the event. Stay tuned for more specifics about this demonstration in upcoming issues of Apparel. n