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AFS CastExpo '90: destination Detroit.

AFS CastExpo '90 Destination Detroit

It's been a dozen years since the American Foundrymen's Society last staged a Casting Congress and CastExpo in the motor city of Detroit. During this 12 year interval, both AFS and Detroit have undergone rapid change. The renaissance that has taken the Michigan metropolis by storm has transformed the city into a vibrant riverfront mecca for convention, entertainment, festival and sporting events.

The downtown area is a true reflection of the diversity between past and present in Detroit. While antique trolley cars circle the Civic and Renaissance Centers, the Downtown People Mover carries people overhead on a 2.9 miles track around the city's central business district and includes a stop at Cobo Hall. For those attending CastExpo, complimentary, customized shuttle service will be available from points beyond the downtown area, including Dearborn, Southfield and Windsor, Ontario.

The "New" Cobo Hall

With the recent completion of a $225 million expansion at Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center--site of the Society's 94th Casting Congress and CastExpo, April 21-24, 1990--the facility's exhibit space has increased to 700,000 sq ft. The result: One of the nation's largest convention centers close to some of the city's finest hotels, restaurants and the Renaissance Center (Westin Hotel), location of several social functions during CastExpo week.

The renaissance that has altered Detroit's downtown landscape and business fortunes also has impacted the future of the foundry business. There is more than a "survivor attitude" manifesting as AFS prepares for its first technical conference and exposition of the new decade. Exhibit space sales for CastExpo '90 already have exceeded projection and there is every indication that by the time the Show opens more than 120,000 sq ft of exhibit space will have been committed by more than 270 companies, making it the second largest exposition in Society history.

AFS officials are pleased by the industry's bullish attitude toward business and cite foreign investment as one of the keys to the Show's success. Some 40 international companies have included CastExpo '90 in their sales and marketing plans, a 15% increase in overseas participation since the Society's last Show held three years ago in St. Louis. Exhibitor responses to date has come from the nations of Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and West Germany.

A positive indication of the influence of the AFS CastExpo is illustrated in the number of first-time exhibitors who are recognizing the economic virtues of the billion dollar foundry market. Statistics released by the AFS Exhibits department show that nearly 75 first-time entries will be present next april at Cobo Hall. These firms represent the leading edge of foundry industry technology and their participation all but signals the emergence of new supplier segments for metalcasters.

New weekend Format

Another twist in next spring's program has been the new date pattern that has been established by the Society to benefit the exhibitor and attendee alike. Exposition hours will be from 9 am to 5:30 pm Saturday, April 21 through Tuesday, April 24, 1990. There are several pluses to this format.

First, approximately 95% of those exhibiting at CastExpo will be able to install and dismantle their exhibits on straight time. Second, attendee and exhibitor personnel will lose just two days away from the shop, instead of five. Third, the weekend Show will encourage foundry management to send more potential buyers and specificers to the exposition. Finally, there are significant discounts in air travel costs, provided there is a Saturday night stay in the Detroit area.

Both United and Nothwest Airlines will be serving as "official" carriers for AFS' 94th Casting Congress and CastExpo in Detroit. By purchasing airline tickets through Contemporary Travel, AFS' travel agent, your name will be automatically entered in a free drawing. United Airlines offers two complimentary roundtrip tickets for anywhere in the continental U.S. Northwest Airlines extends two complimentary roundtrip tickets for anywhere in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii.

New Fee Structure

Congress session attendees as well as those planning to take in the exhibits will find that a new fee structure also has been introduced to heighten participation. An "exposition only" fee of $25 for AFS members and $35 for nonmembers has been instituted. To attend technical sessions and the Show, the fees are $75 and $150, respectively.

"We believe the fee structure affords everyone the opportunity to attend and participate in our programming. We expect it will be very well received and should prove to be a real plus," acknowledges Chuck Jones, AFS executive vice president.

Not to go overlooked is the Casting Congress itself. More than 100 presentations will be part of the technical program, which will feature a myriad of papers and panels from the Society's ten Divisions, as well as reports from AFS technical committees and updates and findings from the latest research projects conducted by the Society. A tentative Congress schedule accompanies this article.

Further details on the 94th AFS Casting Congress and CastExpo will appear in future issues of modern casting. Registration and housing forms will be mailed from AFS after Jan 1, 1990.
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Title Annotation:American Foundrymen's Society
Author:Merens, Norwin A.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Nov 1, 1989
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