Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) has postponed its 2022 Executive Conference that had been set for Nov. 16-17 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to Michael McDonald, president of the Raleigh, N.C.-based trade association.
McDonald issued an email alert Monday after Hurricane Fiona slammed into the island of 3.2 million over the weekend, leaving more than 1 million people without power and dumping 24 inches of rain in some parts, NBC News reported.
SPESA told Sourcing Journal that as event organizers, “we’re thrilled to see industry events happening again in abundance. However, while this is great for the industry, it has made scheduling more challenging, which is why we had to make the difficult decision to postpone the 2022 SPESA Executive Conference.”
“We decided to move our Executive Conference to the spring of 2023 to ensure our attendees can get the most value out of the event and put their time and resources to the best use,” SPESA said. “Part of the draw of Puerto Rico is to help connect SPESA members and other conference attendees with local Puerto Rican manufacturers and government contractors, so, we felt it made sense to avoid overlapping with JAPBI (Joint Advanced Planning Brief for Industry), which is happening around the same time. We are currently exploring new opportunities and ideas to restructure our San Juan event and create a unique experience for attendees.”
The JAPBI is an annual engagement hosted by the clothing and textiles supply chain, geared toward fostering communication between the Department of Defense and military clothing and textiles manufacturers.
“One thing we feel is very important to acknowledge is the impact Hurricane Fiona has had on Puerto Rico,” SPESA added. “Today, our thoughts are with the people of Puerto Rico as they recover from Fiona. As we have seen in the past, Puerto Rico’s resilience is inspiring, and we’re excited to shine a spotlight on the thriving and dynamic sewn products industry that exists there.”
The annual event is a key education and networking event for SPESA members, their customers and stakeholders interested in learning more about the current issues, trends and policies impacting the global sewn products industry. The conference features educational sessions and casual off-site events that provide an opportunity for attendees to make business and personal connections.
In addition, each iteration of the Executive Conference is in a new city to ensure it is accessible to interested sewn products professionals from all regions. Last year’s conference was held in Boston.
SPESA is the industry association for suppliers to the sewn products industry, which includes apparel, upholstered furniture, home textiles, transportation interiors, leather goods, footwear and industrial textiles. These suppliers are manufacturers and distributors of machinery, systems, technology, supply chain solutions, equipment and parts, along with other products and services used for the development, manufacture or distribution of sewn products.