What a crowd in Las Vegas. Official attendance numbers, which are audited, aren't released yet, but early estimates are that today may have been one of FABTECH's most well-attended opening days.
Vendors I spoke with were happy with the crowds, and attendees said their shops were busy. Some have seen a little softening of late. Some are very worried about what will happen in Washington. But for the most part, people say business is good.
Admittedly, show attendees may not be the best representative sample of the industry. Businesses in dire situations probably don't bother attending the show at all. Regardless, the metal forming and fabricating niche remains a bright spot in manufacturing and the economy overall.
Today, two booths, coincidentally adjacent to one another, really showed what manufacturing may look like a generation from now.