Expo Plus Virtual Education includes 10 hours of industry market education and 10 hours of campfire education. An Expo Plus Virtual Registration is required to attend.

After their scheduled times, all education sessions will be available to watch on-demand through the Virtual Event Center until December 12!

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The following is subject to change. Disclaimer at bottom of page.

IFAI Virtual Expo Industry Education

Tues. Nov. 3
10-11 am (CST)
11 am-Noon (EST)

Andre Comitre, COO, Artisan Window Fashions

Smart Homes are everywhere and all industries somehow related to the home and commercial building are getting involved with these technologies. Motorized shades are now more important then ever and with that the ability to control them using APPs Voice and other smart home platforms is also growing.

Understanding the relationship between Home Automation and Motorized Shades from a technical and commercial perspective will be crucial for window treatment companies to succeed in this quick changing environment.

Sponsored by:

2-3 pm (CST)
3-4 pm (EST)

King Mukherjee, President and Professor, Global Impex USA and Saint John’s University
Bob Gazich, President, Tap Your Potential

Presenters will discuss how international business and supply chain are the most critical component in today’s global economy. Attendees will learn how to manage, source and executive a global supply chain strategy.

Find out how culture and leadership plays a role in the success of sourcing. Presenters will also share their combined 50 years of experience in global sourcing of industrial textiles and arts and crafts sourcing from Asia and other regions. We will examine the opportunities and threats and conclude with some future strategies, tips and predictions for global sourcing and supply chain management.


Weds. Nov. 4
10-11 am (CST)
11 am-Noon (EST)

Reinhold Schneider, Dr., Teamleader Textile Printing, DITF

Traditional dyeing and textile finishing is marked by impregnation of textiles with diluted dyestuffs or finishing chemicals and subsequent thermal fixation. This processing requires a lot of energy. The use of UV-curable dyeing liquors and finishing chemicals would significantly contribute to energy saving and new textile products. UV-curable inks for inkjet-printing and UV-curable finishing chemicals were developed.

It will be shown that these UV-curable inks and finishing chemicals provide excellent functionality, very soft hand and excellent fastness properties on different textile materials. In addition, UV-curing was also successfully applied in the curing of composite materials, which reduces energy consumption significantly and enables new products.


2-3 pm (CST)
3-4 pm (EST)

Alan Stewart, General Manager, MPanel Software Solutions
Tim Akes, Software Representative, MPanel Software Solutions

Shade Sails appear to be simple structures when in fact there is a lot of technology going on behind the scenes which is often unknown and underestimated. The result is that many shade sails fail long before their normal life expectancy. The right design and detail will ensure you avoid these problems.

In this session you will learn:

  • The differences between the right and wrong design
  • The differences between webbing and cable edge

Sponsored by:

Thurs. Nov. 5
10-11 am (CST)
11 am-Noon (EST)

Ed van Hinte, Lightness Studios
Marie O’Mahony, O’Mahony Consultancy (Moderator)
Panelists TBD

This virtual panel session, led by author Ed van Hinte, will provide a renewed view on lightness and how the world might benefit from it. Lightness concerns saving energy through weight reduction of just about everything, by rethinking structures with a sophisticated composite approach.

2-3 pm (CST)
3-4 pm (EST)

Jonathan Palmer, CEO, Autometrix, Inc.
Truy Pham, Director of Global Sales, Autometrix, Inc.

As business owners begin to dream of retirement, many small businesses are faced with the challenge of figuring out their succession plan.  While it might seem counterintuitive to invest more money into a business you hope to leave, investing in capital equipment and the processes they are a part of can be key to preparing your business for the next owners and building its value in their eyes.

Sponsored by:

Tues. Nov. 10
10-11 am (CST)
11 am-Noon (EST)

Cindy Thompson, MFA, Founder, President, Transformit

An artist’s point of view of today’s interior architectural fabric opportunities. Cindy Thompson, MFA, of Transformit, will present several case studies illustrating the advantages of an artistic approach to shade, lighting and acoustics in interior projects. There will be pictures, of course, but also hands-on models and demonstrations.

Ms. Thompson is both an artist and a teacher. Questions will be encouraged. Be prepared to participate!

2-3 pm (CST)
3-4 pm (EST)

Stephanie Rodgers, Director of Product Research and Development, Apex Mills

Explosive growth in the wearables sector has advance textiles on the forefront of something BIG.  Women have embraced the technology opportunities of textiles and the science and engineering behind it. Many of the emerging functional fabrics are being developed by women empowered by cross-disciplinary approaches to manufacturing.

Join Stephanie for this session as she highlights a few women from different backgrounds that have used textiles as a platform for science and innovation, highlighting e-textiles and how we can encourage this new market sector.


Thurs. Nov. 12
10-11 am (CST)
11 am-Noon (EST)

Colin Blackford, Director of Business Development, Mermet USA

Shading is an important piece of any sustainably-designed project. It is a necessary safeguard that enables a building to provide that critical connection with the outdoors, providing views and access to daylight, while protecting occupants and building performance from the discomfort and energy waste that can occur from glare and solar heat gain.

Understanding the basic material compositions of the majority of shading products in the market and comparing and contrasting how those materials perform in terms of view-through, dimensional stability, recyclability, and fire retardancy will help designers select a shade fabric that meets the sustainable demands of a project.

This presentation seeks to educate attendees on these points while challenging them to consider the energy that was used in the production of the shade materials found in their buildings, as well as the impact those materials will have inside the built environment.

Sponsored by: Ennis Fabrics Gold Sponsor Logo

2-3 pm (CST)
3-4 pm (EST)

Mar Ricketts, Principal, GuildWorks LLC
Sebastian Collet, VP, GuildWorks LLC
Beatriz Ferreyra, Lead Design, GuildWorks LLC
David Bowick, P. Eng., Principal – Blackwell.

The 1974 US Pavilion/ RiverFront Park Pavilion in Spokane Washington was one of the early cable net tension structures in this country developed for the World’s Fair and serves as an icon for this eastern Washington State city.  GuildWorks was chosen to lead the process of developing a new shading experience into the existing structure.  To do this, we were required to reverse engineer this almost 50-year-old iconic structure.  This process challenged and expanded our design thinking and capabilities and involved changes and developments in understandings along the way.

We will walk participants through starting at our design process going into engineering and site surveys to final specification and installation, including road bumps along the way we needed to solve. All of which lead to our successful completion of the new iconic shade array on the pavilion.

Participants will learn about:

  • Design techniques
  • Survey process
  • Engineering process
  • Fabrication and installation process

*IFAI Disclaimer: Although every reasonable effort is made to provide the speakers, topics, and sessions listed, some changes or substitutions may occur. Speakers and sessions are subject to cancellation or change up to and including the day the session(s) are scheduled to be held. Changes or cancellations are made at the discretion of IFAI and may be done without notifying attendees. If sessions are changed or cancelled no refunds should be expected. Agreement to attend the IFAI Virtual Expo acknowledges acceptance of this provision.