Exposure to potential customers across the Midwest and beyond drew Co-Line to FABTECH 2015, the continent’s largest metal forming and fabricating expo, held in Chicago in November. Outside sales manager Elliott Mapes represented Co-Line at the expo.
More than 1,700 exhibiting companies and 43,836 attendees from over 90 countries attended the event, which is North America’s largest collaboration of technology, equipment, and knowledge in the metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing industries.
During the four-day event, attendees viewed live equipment demonstrations ─ including hundreds of new products and technologies ─ and had one-on-one exchanges with exhibitors and industry leaders.
Co-Line’s connection to FABTECH came through ITEC, a leading tube bender manufacturer. Co-Line purchased a Starbender tube bender from ITEC earlier this year. Through the process, Eric Brand became acquainted with ITEC owner Brian Julien. In preparing for FABTECH, Julien invited Co-Line to share some of its booth space at the expo.
ITEC had a handful of people manning their booth at FABTECH, trying to sell their equipment. For expo attendees who didn’t want to buy a bender but rather were looking for someone to do the work for them, the ITEC reps would direct them to Mapes.
Since this was Co-Line’s first time at the expo, Mapes said he didn’t know what to expect. “It was a good learning experience for me,” he shared. “I met new people and made some new connections.”
A lot of the people walking through the show were looking for a specific item. Others represented companies that were so far from Sully, it probably wouldn’t make sense for Co-Line to do business with them. Still, in the eight hours he spent helping man the booth each day, Mapes was able to interact with many people and help promote Co-Line’s services.
“Just getting our name out there I think is important,” he said. “We gave it a shot, and we’ll see what kind of leads we get from it.”
Julien, owner of ITEC, shared from past experience that it can take one to six years before he sees a return on connections made at FABTECH. Mapes has already reached out to all those who gave him their contact information; now he’ll wait to see if he hears back.
Co-Liners Eric Brand, Eric Leonard, Tyler Smith, and Dan Schutte all spent some time at the show as well at various times throughout its four-day run.