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I am interested in the IWF show, I have never attended one, and was wondering if it is always in Atlanta. I live in western Canada so Atlanta is a fair hike. I also noticed there was a woodworking show in Las Vegas, is that the same show or something different? From what I read on the internet the Atlanta show sounds amazing. Sorry for my ignorance. Thanks.
They are two different shows, run by two different organizations.
IWF is held in the even years in Atlanta. AWFS is held in the odd years in Las Vegas.
My experience is that IWF is a larger show in terms of exhibition space. On the other hand, I have attended some valuable seminars at AWFS in the past. You just need to check out their seminar schedules and see what might be of interest and benefit to you and your business.
If you have never attended IWF before, I would suggest planning on more than one day just to see the exhibits. It really is quite large. Wear very comfortable shoes. There will be a lot of walking.
Scott, catch a plane. Atlanta has a good airport and the rapid rail system runs from it to most hotel areas and the World Congress Center. I always try to get a hotel near a Marta (rapid rail) station. You can see online maps showing Marta & the hotels. You will need plenty of time to see the entire show. Figure all 4 days as long as you are making the trip. Plan your trip ahead of time using the IWF web site. It is easy to get hung up too long looking at all the stuff and not have time to see all you intended. Good show, recommended.
Atlanta is a good city with lots to do, good food, etc.
Adding to Larry's comments:
IWF also runs a shuttle service for the duration of the show. Buses make frequent stops in front of the hotels - about every 10 minutes, all day long. Free and easy and fast. Less confusing than the trains, for this traveler at least.
Pre-planning includes a list/map of the places you must see. Then, while going from one to the other, you will find lots of other things. I think it better to wander from landmark to landmark rather than mechanically walking each aisle, each row. While resting, it is easy to browse the maps to add more locations and plan your efforts.
There is far more to see than you can imagine. The early days - during the week are better and less crowded, and the last 8 hours is also less crowded.
The only Marta station that can be confusing, initially, is the main North, South/ East, West. It is 2-level. Not much different than any big city subway. Not all hotels are served by the shuttles. You can check those out on line. See the IWF hotel listings.