International Fastener Expo Stages Successful Digital Event

The International Fastener Expo (IFE), North America’s largest expo for industrial fasteners, tooling and machinery, held the first digital event of its kind on November 11–12, 2020. Match & Meet by IFE focused on facilitating and deepening industry connections with education and networking opportunities, through a proven AI-powered platform. The digital event’s success was marked by great participation from partners, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees. Over 500 attendees and 60 exhibitors came together during the event. Within the two days, 3,800 total connections were made and 8,500 messages were exchanged, leading to more than 700 meetings and video calls. The Match & Meet platform will remain open until mid-2021 and participants can continue to connect until that time.

The two-day conference agenda of ten sessions featured industry professionals who presented on a variety of topics including product standards and materials, new technology, and industry trends. Sessions kicked-off Wednesday morning with The Fastener Training Institute discussing distributor quality assurance. “As our first virtual event, our team recognized the importance of producing an exceptionally strong conference schedule that would captivate our audience and create excitement,” said Morgan Wilson, show manger, International Fastener Expo. As part of the Match & Meet platform, sessions are available to view on-demand until mid-2021.

In addition to the connection and content provided, the digital event also celebrated the annual Hall of Fame and Young Fastener Professional Awards. Inductees into the Hall of Fame are recognized for having made lasting contributions to the industry on a national or global scale and include investors, business leaders, educators and more. This year, IFE congratulates John Wachman of Desert Distribution and Tim O’Keeffe of G.L. Huyett on their Hall of Fame inductions. The award for Young Professional of the Year is presented to professionals 40 or younger with a record of integrity and respect in the industry. The recipient of the Young Fastener Professional Award is Jessi Solt of G.L Huyett.

A perfect ending to the digital event, IFE hosted a Virtual Fastener Bash and Trivia Contest. Participants demonstrated their fastener knowledge to win prizes such as an Echo Dot, Apple Air Pods, a $100 Amazon gift card and more. The Fastener Bash and Trivia Contest was sponsored by: IFE, Traveling Salesman, Distributors Link Magazine, Volt Industrial Plastics, Solution Industries, Worldwide Fastener Sources, and Fastener News Desk. Congratulations to the winners: Ed Smith of Wurth Industry, Jeff Kempka of Global Fastener & Supply, Bill Ventura of Ventura Industrial Products, Joe Clark of Komar Screw, and George Hunt of Brighton Best.

Although circumstances of this year made IFE’s in-person conference impractical, the virtual launch was a great success and the team anticipates more digital opportunities in the near future. The 2021 International Fastener Expo will take place September 21 – 23, at the Mandalay Bay in Last Vegas, NV. For more information, please visit

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