The NASF SUR/FIN Manufacturing & Technology Conference & Tradeshow did extremely well this year. The quality of the conference was one of the best in history and helped to power positive results in active attendee numbers for this year’s event. Conference officials feel this is indicative of a steady resurgence in the market, the Association’s growing membership, and the increased visibility of SUR/FIN as a targeted, focused conference for the surface finishing industry. Bolstered by a sold out conference trade show floor presenting over 178 product and service companies, NASF SUR/FIN attendees got more out of the show than a look at the latest technologies. More than 80 speakers presented topics of critical impact to the industry throughout the three day event. NASF’s “Sustainability Summit” took the lead in kicking off the conference, delivering late-breaking news on several of the critical issues impacting the surface finishing industry. Wednesday’s Keynote Presenter, Mr. Duane Drobnich of Ford Motor Company, offered a distinctive perspective to the development and implementation of new finishing technology. “Treat approved suppliers as tier 1 suppliers (…) who knows the supplies better than the people who invented them?” said Drobnich. Initial figures received at the close of the show indicate over 2,200 surface finishing professionals from throughout the U.S. and 30 other countries attended or exhibited at SUR/FIN. “We’ve continued to maintain a healthy focus on the needs and concerns specific to the industry in an effort to attract quality exhibitors, speakers, and attendees to the event,” stated NASF SUR/FIN Chairman, Waasy Boddison of American Plating Power. “We were impressed with the number of new exhibitors who took part in the show this year – all have said they would be returning next year,” stated Boddison. SUR/FIN’s time honored tradition of acknowledging leaders took place at Monday’s opening reception. Here industry leaders gathered to celebrate and honor a handful of tireless industry advocates for their hard work and dedication. “This event symbolizes what is good about our association and the many individuals who care deeply about our industry,” stated NASF President, Rick Delawder. Award honorees include: Presidential Award Winner: William Wiggins, Automation Plating Corporation Scientific Achievement Award: Dr. Hudson Bates, The Nickel Producers Environmental Association Taormina Award: Jim Jones, Dixie Industrial Finishing Company Awards Of Merit: At the conclusion of the show, exhibitors spoke highly of the amount of business generated from those who attended the event. SUR/FIN’s laser target on its audience appears to be a driving force behind the success of its exhibitors. “As for my company, we had the best response in 10 years,” stated Boddison. “Our efforts in targeting the decision makers paid off. We met face-to-face with many decision makers who came to the show – and our exhibit – with specific needs. They were ready to buy.” Officials have already begun planning NASF’s 2015 SUR/FIN event scheduled for June 8-10 in Rosemont, Illinois.