Las Vegas' current advertising campaign tells us that, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." While that may be the case for some personal indiscretions that take place in Sin City, it certainly won't hold true for the upcoming IFPE show, March 15-19. After three years of frustrating economic conditions, the fluid power industry — along with the construction-oriented exhibitors at the co-located CONEXPO-CON/AGG — seems raring to go. And manufacturers certainly want you to see (and talk about) what new products, systems, and services they have to offer.

The numbers for these shows look very positive. IFPE 2005 will be the largest in the history of the event, with more than 110,000 square feet of exhibit space already reserved — an impressive 17% increase over the 2002 show. CONEXPOCON/AGG is also poised to be the largest ever, with a record 1.85 million net square feet of exhibit space as of this writing. The combined shows are expected to attract more than 100,000 industry professionals from around the globe.

It will certainly be a busy week in Las Vegas — not only will these shows descend on the city, but a major NASCAR event is being held days beforehand, and March Madness (apparently Vegas' busiest wagering time) begins on St. Patrick's Day, driving gamblers to casinos all along the Strip.

Hydraulics & Pneumatics will have a major presence at the IFPE show, and I'm pleased to announce that our booth will feature the exciting Hydristor hydraulic motor concept, installed in a John Deere lawn tractor by the Hydristor's creator, Tom Kasmer. We also plan on having details on our new website, set to debut later this month, as well as a few surprises.

When not at the booth, our editors will be busy helping to moderate panels at the popular National Conference on Fluid Power (co-located with the shows) and visiting the various exhibits, collecting ideas for future articles. We hope to see you at the Conference, at the booth, or in the aisles. Stop us and let us know what's happening at your company, what new applications you're working on, or what you'd like to see in future issues.