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Attendees rave about new format for CPA meeting, S&P symposium

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The Composite Panel Association and Surface & Panel magazine tried something new this year by combining CPA’s fall meeting with S&P’s annual symposium, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

“I think this has been the best fall meeting we’ve had, evidenced by the people who showed up, by the nature of the speakers,” said Kelly Shotbolt, president of ARAUCO North America. “I hope that this continues. It’s added a lot of value as far as I’m concerned.”

Attendance for the Material, Technology and Design Symposium at CPA Fall Meeting, which was Oct. 1-3 in Savannah, Georgia, topped 300, making it CPA’s largest fall meeting ever and its second largest overall. The format weaved CPA’s traditional meetings and events with the informative and thought-provoking speakers that are the hallmark of S&P’s symposium. It also included a trade show with more than 20 exhibitors.

“I was skeptical because it’s hard to put this combination together, but it’s a success,” said Don Raymond, vice president of marketing at Uniboard Canada. “Take a look at the enthusiasm. Take a look at the interaction of the people. I think we’ve hit an interesting format. I think if you do it next year, it’s going to be double what it is today.”

Brent Warren, national sales manager at Cefla Finishing North America, concurred with Raymond’s assessment.

“It was great,” Warren said. “It was a great turnout of people and a broad range from composite panel manufacturers to end users and suppliers to other partners in the industry. The program has been very good.

“I’ve been to this before, and this by far was the best one–the best meeting of a broad variety of people who use composite panels as well as the manufacturers themselves,” he said.

For more reviews of the event, along with more photos and details and a preview of what’s planned for 2018, check out Surface & Panel’s fourth-quarter issue, due out in late November.

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