Join thousands of textile professionals for the first Advanced Textiles Expo (formerly known as IFAI Expo). Orlando is always a great location for the industry’s flagship event, and this year we are partnering once again with Sun Shading Expo North America. Connect with the industry for four days of networking, education and product sourcing. Check out everything the improved Advanced Textiles Expo has to offer!

Education: Oct. 31–Nov. 3

Show Floor: Nov. 1–3

Location: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla., USA

Building an Effective Multigenerational Workforce

Jeff Butler will be getting Advanced Textiles Expo 2023 off to a great start as this year’s keynote speaker. Butler is an author and workplace strategist who explores human behavior within the working world. His experience spans more than 40 industries on four continents, studying how different cultures and employees interact with each other.

Q: What can attendees expect to get from your presentation at this year’s Advanced Textiles Expo?

A: A lot of people, as you know, either struggle with recruitment or retention of talent in general, and a big question is how do you make that happen?  

But the big piece is leveraging the generational differences to solve those questions, which I think is not commonly answered. How do you actually bridge those generational, cultural gaps so you can leverage those differences to solve those questions that so many people have?

Q: Are there any common misconceptions you see, for example, that baby boomers maybe think about millennials or Xers think about Gen Z or vice versa? 

A: Technology. The misconception is thinking that everyone who’s younger gets technology and people who are older don’t get technology. And having the conception of people who are younger don’t want to work hard or don’t have, let’s say, traditional values.

Instead, if, for instance, you take the value set of someone who’s in the middle of Iowa and you compare it to someone the same age who grew up in a major city like New York and you looked at their values, they’re going to be astronomically different as though they’re from different generations.

Hence, the point is you can’t really lump people into just one group. Sure, you see what you see in the media, but I think the question, instead of saying, “Well, this group acts this way or that group acts that way,” is looking at how do people operate in our business to make it successful and who can work within that dynamic? I think when you answer that question, it’s a lot easier to solve the generational rift.

Q: What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges when it comes to managing multiple generations in the workplace?

A: It comes from the cultural differences that you have in, let’s say, C-suite management and then bringing in newer talent. And the problems that usually arise are [because] employees not used to the working environment. Communication styles are different. And what’s difficult for a lot of people is parsing between is this an issue that’s cultural, or is it a maturity process that people naturally go through when they start to work more?

For instance, when I first started working, I wasn’t as good with what time should I be at work. After a manager talked to me and said, “Be here at this time. Don’t be late again,” I got the message, right? It’s not like school where you get a tardy slip, you get detention, and that’s it. So work is a little different.

Q: So how can managers, owners of companies try to address those misconceptions?

A: I don’t think the arguments have to be that big to break those misconceptions. But the thing is you might not be able to, from one conversation, transcend those misconceptions. So one of the other parts of the talk that I go into is when you have people who are different—maybe their generation, ethnicity, socioeconomic classes—how do you get them to put aside the differences in a working environment and come together?  

Q: What do you hope people take away from your talk?

A: I hope they can transcend misconceptions and see differences as advantages rather than disadvantages.

The opening keynote is included in all registration packages and is open to all attendees and exhibitors.

Expand Your Advanced Textiles Expo Experience

Whether you are a regular attendee of Advanced Textiles Expo or this is your first time joining us, get familiar with highlights happening this year in Orlando.

2023 Highlights


Emerging Technologies (ET) Conference starts Tuesday, Oct. 31, with a full afternoon of ET education, including lunch and a networking reception, and continues with more ET sessions Nov. 1–2. Experience 17 50-minute classroom sessions covering content such as e-textiles, advanced manufacturing, medical technology and other applications. 


Source fabric, equipment, manufacturers and referrals on the show floor. The Emerging Technologies and Specialty Fabrics areas, along with the co-located Sun Shading Expo North America, feature more than 300 exhibitors.


Workplace expert Jeff Butler will focus on managing and working with various generations in “Building an Effective Multigenerational Workforce.” 


Work directly with top industry experts on the show floor.


Join fresh, informative and interactive sessions on the show floor—more than 15 over the course of three days.


Choose from a variety of education formats that promise to give you valuable knowledge and insight through more than 25 hours of classroom sessions.


Advanced Textiles Expo workshops offer a chance for attendees to take a deep dive into important topics that will help you better run your business. Each workshop is taught by a leading expert in the field, with concrete takeaways that you can implement in your company today.


After the show floor closes, keep the energy going by networking with industry peers. Enjoy refreshments and conversation after the first day of Advanced Textiles Expo.


Visit the demo area for live demonstrations of manufacturing techniques on the show floor.


This year, Advanced Textiles Expo is again co-locating with Messe Stuttgart’s U.S.-based show, Sun Shading Expo North America. This brings a valuable component to the show floor and a chance to connect with fellow attendees and exhibitors.

Experience the Emerging Technologies Conference at Advanced Textiles Expo

Photography by Mark Skalny |

Emerging Technologies (ET) Conference (formerly Advanced Textiles Conference) starts on Tuesday, Oct. 31, with a full afternoon dedicated to emerging technologies education, including a welcome lunch with a plenary session at 11:30 a.m., followed by a networking reception after the education for the day concludes at 5 p.m. ET Conference continues with morning emerging technologies classroom sessions on Nov. 1–2. Choose from 17 classroom sessions, 50 minutes each, that will cover content in these tracks: Innovations in Wearables/E-Textiles, Industry 4.0/Advanced Manufacturing and Applications in Emerging Technologies.

An All Access Registration is required to attend Emerging Technologies Conference. The registration also includes three days of show floor access and campfire education, keynote speaker, opening reception and all industry classroom education.

View all Emerging Technologies education at:

Campfire Sessions

Photography by Mark Skalny |

Experience free informal discussions on the show floor. Plan to attend as many sessions as possible.

View the full list at

Topics are subject to change.

Topics include

  • A 3D Scanning Approach to Understanding Clothing Microclimate and Thermal Comfort in Winter Wear
  • Advanced Textiles–A New Frontier and New Opportunities
  • Architect Outreach, A Vital Business Growth Component
  • Ask the Code Consultant
  • Benefits Renewal Season: What to Expect in 2024, Legal Updates, and Best Practices 
  • Coated Fabric Design for Environmental Sustainability
  • Digital Printing: Unique Solution Offering That Differentiates
  • DLA and Industry Communications: A Two-Way Proposition
  • Evaluation and Comparison of Advanced Textile Digitization and Virtualization Technology Using Drape
  • Exploring the Power, Opportunities, & Trends of Automated Solutions to Keep Up with Demand
  • Hidden Hacks for FedEx Discounts
  • Increasing UPF on Natural Fibers Using Nature-Inspired Chemistry
  • Making Vinyl-Coated Fabrics a Mainstay for Marine Applications
  • Next Level Innovation? Level Up Your Standards Game!
  • Rise of Fluorine-Free Repellents for Industrial PFAS Elimination
  • Selling Shade Sails Without a Need to Manufacture!
  • Tech Off Your Clothes: When Design & Tech Touch
  • Thermal Challenges of Landing at the South Pole of the Moon
  • Washington Policy Update 
  • What’s Next for Textiles in the Health Care Industry
  • Why Shade Sails?

Special Events at Advanced Textiles Expo

In addition to doing business on the show floor and sharpening your knowledge through education, Advanced Textiles Expo offers numerous special events for networking. Familiarize yourself with all the special events.

Unless otherwise noted, all activities take place at the Orange County Convention Center.

The keynote speaker at Advanced Textiles Expo 2023 is Jeff Butler.

Keynote Speaker: Jeff Butler

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 8:30 am

Jeff Butler is an author and workplace strategist who explores human behavior within the working world. His experience spans more than 40 industries on four continents on how different cultures and employees interact with each other. He studies common threads of behavior in various industries. As a researcher and practitioner, he also runs a consulting company and a tech company, TrinityFix, where he is able to test his ideas in different workplace environments. His ideas have made it to TEDx twice and appeared in dozens of media outlets.

Included in all registration packages. Open to all attendees and exhibitors.

Advanced Textiles Expo Opening Reception

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 5–6 pm

Included in all registration packages.
Open to all attendees and exhibitors.

Mix and mingle with fellow attendees and exhibitors at the Opening Reception after the first day of Advanced Textiles Expo. Enjoy refreshments and great conversation to wrap up the first day of the show. 

Fun Run/Walk

Thursday, Nov. 2, 7:15 am

Tickets required.
Member $39, nonmember $59.

The annual Fun Run/Walk is back. Participants will have the option to either walk or run along the scenic 5K route. All who sign up will get a special edition 2023 Fun Run/Walk T-shirt! 

Industry band Hangin' By a Thread returns to Advanced Textiles Expo in 2023.

Industry Night

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 7–9 pm

Location: Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Orlando

Tickets required.
Member $69, nonmember $79. The option to buy multiple
tickets to invite colleagues or clients is also available.

Industry Night returns for a night filled with live music from ATA member band Hangin’ by a Thread. Attendees will enjoy live music, conversation with fellow attendees, and delicious food at Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Orlando. Industry Night requires an add-on ticket. Tickets are limited! 

The Pet a Puppy booth returns to Advanced Textiles Expo in 2023.

Pet a Puppy

The cutest booth on the show floor is coming to Orlando. Take a break or bring your business to the puppy booth. Proceeds will be donated to a local organization. Give to a good cause and recharge with a puppy!

The demo area at Advanced Textiles Expo shows hands-on techniques, such as sewing bags in 2022.

Demo Area

Wednesday, Nov. 1
10:30–11 am; 11:30 am–12:30 pm;
2–3 pm; 3:30–4:30 pm

Thursday, Nov. 2
10:25–11 am; 11:30 am–12:30 pm;
1:30–3 pm

The Demo Area is a hands-on educational space on the show floor. The booth will feature hands-on demonstrations of installation and manufacturing techniques. Learn and connect with your industry by sharing your own experience. You can also try your hand at a challenge by taking part in a competition developed by our presenters.

Deep Dive Workshops

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 1–4 pm

Add-on purchase required. 

These in-depth workshops give you a chance to attend an extended session with an industry expert.

Two sessions are available: 

Mastering Leadership for the Modern Sales Team with Toby Payne

Do you want to identify, attract, and onboard salespeople with a winning mindset while ensuring their accountability, unwavering motivation and commitment to your company revenue goals and objectives? Or do you ever find yourself struggling with existing salespeople who don’t achieve and exceed their quotas—let alone maximize their true selling potential? Join us for an educational, methodical and inspiring sales leadership program that will revolutionize the way you approach onboarding and nurturing your sales team. $99 member/$199 nonmember

Emotional Intelligence Training with Melissa Furman

Emotional intelligence is a critical skill needed to maximize professional and leadership success—including attributes such as self-awareness, assertiveness, empathy, flexibility and impulse control. This practical workshop will provide participants with tools and strategies to enhance their own emotional intelligence to positively impact decision-making, teamwork, productivity, stress management, and problem-solving. Participants will also obtain tools and strategies for developing and managing emotional intelligence in others. This workshop includes an emotional intelligence assessment (a $150 value) that will need to be completed prior to the workshop. Instructions will be provided upon workshop registration.  $199 member/$299 nonmember

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