Lively music enticed attendees waiting in line as the COMPOSITES 2013 Opening Reception kicked off Tuesday evening. Plenty of handshakes and business cards were passed around the Cuba Libre restaurant, showing there is much to gain from COMPOSITES far beyond the showroom floor. Networking is paramount to many attendees here — you can’t survive in the composites industry without getting to know your peers.

For two new COMPOSITES attendees, the Opening Reception and networking events will be their first step toward making life-changing connections. Casey Haufman, COO of Vistex Composites LLC, is looking forward to gaining industry insight. “We are really interested in getting to know other people in the industry and see what other companies we can work with,” he said.

Micah McCrary-Dennis, HPMI researcher and student, is presenting a technical paper today on carbon nanotube positioning. “I’m really looking to gain a new insight into the composites industry as a whole,” he said. “I love presenting my research, and I think it is a very novel technique.”

As more attendees poured into the lobby of Cuba Libre, it was clear that people — not just products and processes — are a driving force for the entire COMPOSITES experience. Meetings were set up, bonds were made and, by the end of the night, the Opening Reception enabled attendees to do exactly what they came to do — network!