ISPA EXPO 2022 lived up to its theme: Innovation. Interaction. Inspiration.
Held this year March 8-10 in Orlando, Florida, the biennial show — the largest industrial trade event in the world focused exclusively on mattress components and machinery — was a welcome return after Covid-19 caused a cancellation of the March 2020 show.
This year, 201 companies exhibited in 147,800 square feet at the Orange County Convention Center — the largest exhibition space in ISPA history. Almost a quarter of the companies increased their booth size from 2018, and visitors from 55 countries attended.
On the floor, new products delivered innovation and inspiration. Many addressed a pressing need — how to make components more sustainable and mattresses easier to recycle. Nearly every exhibitor dealt with some aspect of this pressing issue.
Some coil makers addressed sustainability by changing the adhesive in individually wrapped coils and others addressed it by not using adhesive at all. Foamers looked to plant-based polyol or sustainably extracted rubber. Ticking got into the act with recycled yarns and natural fibers. In equipment, Atlanta Attachment Co. brought a machine that can separate nonwovens from coils, which has been a need for recycling mattresses. Global Systems Group contributed to the recycling effort by showcasing the XT9, which sews mattress layers rather than gluing them to make it easier to take the mattress apart when it’s time for recycling.
The selling points of speed and cost-effectiveness also reverberated through the hall. Exhibitors brought machines that can roll pack mattresses faster and in smaller sizes. Other exhibitors found unique ways of combining materials to add comfort while also making transportation loads lighter.
And, of course, ticking made its mark with design aesthetics. Trends ran from artistic to bridal to modern. And cooling was hot.
Innovation came from ISPA EXPO newcomers, as well. Sleep Systems Inc., headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, brought a mattress sensor for retailers so they can glean data about how long customers spend with a mattress. Brazil-based Innovak changed the material and shape of its bed rails to make them more cost-effective and recyclable.
As exciting as the products were, perhaps the best part for many exhibitors and attendees was the interaction with colleagues and the feeling of business getting back to some kind of normal.
Several exhibitors mentioned how busy they were, to the point where it was hard to break for lunch some days. Tim Witherell, vice president and general manager of HSM Bedding Products in Hickory, North Carolina, said he’d never been busier at a show.
Marco Covini, industry manager for Delaware, Ohio-based Savare Adhesives, said: “It was a great pleasure to be here again, to meet customers and friends. There was a nice spirit to the show.”
Laura Allred, senior product manager of Asheboro, North Carolina-based AEC, noted something similar. “It’s been like old home week,” she said.
For more EXPO insight continue to ISPA EXPO – See, Touch, Experience!