GFA Spring 2023 Meeting

March 20-22, 2023
Charleston Marriott
Charleston, SC

Registration Coming Soon!

About the GFA Spring Meeting

Attending the GFA’s semi-annual meetings is one of the most valuable benefits of membership, and it provides priceless opportunities to connect with top quality fabricators and suppliers, learn from industry experts, solve problems, and have fun doing it. With meeting highlights, including the Supplier Expo, presentations, and multiple discussion forums, attending GFA meetings is a must.

Keynote Presentation

Tuesday, March 21st
Leading at Mach 2
Anthony Bourke, Fighter Pilot and CEO of March 2 Consulting

All great leaders have a system for driving peak performance. This hard-charging, high-impact keynote offers your leaders the straightforward, critical tools that U.S. fighter pilots employ to lead their wingmen into the demanding environment of aerial combat.

Learn how the best fighter squadrons and the best businesses in the world hire future leaders, how they then properly train those individuals, and continually promote a process of continuous improvement to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Special Presentation

Monday, March 20th
Designs on the Future: How to Think about the Next Five Years
David Zach, Futurist

These days, predictions about the future are a dime-a-dozen. What’s rare and valuable are clues on how to make sense of them all. David Zach can help you do that. He talks about how to tell the strategic difference between fads and trends, between the value of change vs. tradition, and ways to spot trends before they show up in the headlines. He’s not a fortune teller – he’s a guy who lives in Milwaukee and attends the conferences he speaks at, so he takes the time to learn what’s going on in the real world and shares humorous insights and opportunities that he sees all around us. At the end of his talk, you’ll find yourself either thoughtfully quiet or engaged in some of the best conversations you’ve ever had at a conference. He may not be the Futurist you expected, but he is the one you’ll remember.

David Zach is a Futurist. No really. He has a degree in Futures Research from the University of Houston. (Then again, he got that degree way back in 1981, so it’s pretty much history at this point.) Since then, he’s given over 1,500 fascinating and funny talks to audiences throughout North America and Europe on the interconnections between such topics as curiosity, art and design, technology, keyboards vs. pencils, demographics and history. And pirates. He likes to talk about pirates and their role in innovation. For more:

Discussion Sessions

CEO Luncheon

On Monday, we will again have a CEO Luncheon Meeting, featuring a roundtable discussion of items that would be of interest to CEOs. Attendance will be limited to CEOs and senior officers with P/L responsibility. A maximum of two people per member company may attend, provided that they both meet the provisions. There is a $70 per person fee in addition to the meeting registration fee to attend this session.

Fabricator Forum

Enjoy an opportunity to discuss the issues that are of specific interest to Fabricators and that are most relevant to you and your company with your peers in the industry. Pre-registration for the Monday afternoon session is required, but there is no additional fee. Attendance will be limited to Fabricator members of the GFA.

Roundtable Discussion

On Tuesday morning, participate in a lively discussion of timely and relevant topics with other GFA members, and learn what they are doing to address the issues that are keeping them up at night. All attendees, including spouses and guests, are welcome!

Welcome Breakfast and Orientation

Monday morning will begin with a Welcome Breakfast and Orientation, open to all meeting attendees, to kick off a day of committee meetings and discussion sessions. New members and first-time attendees, along with their spouses, are encouraged to attend this orientation for a brief overview of the GFA, and for a chance to meet a few people before the general meeting.

Supplier Expo

If you want access to top quality fabricators and converters, there is no better way than exhibiting at the GFA Spring 2023 Meeting. The cost-effective table top display format allows you to have unprecedented exposure to decision makers without having to arrange for elaborate displays and logistics.

Table Top Fee: $200 per table

View Table Top Guidelines

Charleston Marriott

The Charleston Marriott is an easy 20-minute ride from the Charleston International Airport. Located just moments from downtown Charleston, local shopping, dining, and entertainment, our hotel is the ideal place to stay while looking for hotels in downtown Charleston.

Address: 170 Lockwood Dr., Charleston, SC 29403

Phone: (843) 723-3000





This downtown Charleston hotel offers luxurious hotel amenities including high-speed wireless internet, state of the art business and fitness centers. Savor delicious favorites at our signature on-site restaurant, Saffire. Unwind enjoying the Ashley River sunset with a cocktail at one of the only roof top bars in Charleston.

Our discounted group room rate is $239 plus state and local taxes per night. Attendees will also have access to the following accommodations:

+ Wireless internet access in guest rooms

+ Access to fitness center and pool

+ Business center access

The check-in time is 4:00 pm and the check-out time is 11:00 am.


Ground Transportation

Hotel Parking: The hotel offers onsite valet and self-parking to attendees. Self park is $14/day. Valet is $20/day.

Airport Shuttle: The hotel offers complimentary shuttle transportation to and from Charleston International Airport. The shuttle operates from 5:30am to 11:00pm, and runs every 30 minutes upon request. You can arrange for shuttle transportation by calling 843.747.1900.

Uber/Lyft: The ride-sharing apps, Uber and Lyft, are available for local transportation, and can be downloaded to your smart device via the app store on IOS and Android products.

Taxi: Taxi services are available at the hotel and airport. Taxis fares from the Charleston International Airport to the Charleston Marriott is an estimated $40.

Spouse/Companion Activities

The spouse/companion registration fee includes admission to all sessions unless otherwise noted on the program. This includes all general sessions and presentations, continental breakfasts, lunch on Tuesday, and all cocktail receptions. Please note that spouses/companions who are full-time employees of GFA member companies must pay the full member registration fee.

Mentor Program

The GFA Mentor Program focuses on improving the initial experience of new GFA members and first-time meeting attendees by matching them with an active member of the GFA’s Membership Committee who will help to familiarize them with the organization, facilitate engagement in GFA activities, and answer any questions that they have. A strong personal connection helps to build relationships and connections, and makes it easier for new members and first-time attendees to actively participate. Mentors will reach out to first-time attendees prior to the meeting, and they will connect onsite at the Welcome Breakfast and Orientation on the morning of Monday, March 20th to assist with introductions. If you are a first-time attendee who would like to be assigned a mentor, please select this option when registering.

GFA Committees

All the committees will meet from 10:00 am to 11:30 am on Monday, March 20th. All attendees are welcome!

The Communications Committee considers enhancements to the GFA’s website, newsletter, social media program, and other tools to promote the GFA and deliver information to members.

The Membership Committee develops and implements initiatives for the recruitment of new members, reviews and recommends for approval the applications of potential members, and encourages participation in GFA activities.

The Program & Content Committee selects future meeting programs and speakers for the GFA’s semi-annual meetings, Gasketing/Converting Expos, and special content meetings.

The Technical Content Development Committee develops technical content of interest to GFA members for delivery through webinars, newsletter articles, and meeting programs.

What People Have to Say

Hear from Past Attendees of GFA Meetings!

GFA has been invaluable in providing us with technical resources, as well as with connecting us with new partners, and most importantly, with new friends.

Anne-Sophie Dorey

DCS USA Corporation

Because of GFA relationships, PGC has grown by millions of dollars. It’s due to the relationships and alignment with key resources in our industry, built face-to-face over time at the meetings.

Steve Hanson


The time that we’ve devoted to attending GFA meetings has far exceeded expectations around networking, education, and opportunity development.

Scott Kearns

ElastaPro Silicone Sheeting

Frequently Asked Questions

May I Go to the Meetings?

Meetings are open to all attendees except as noted on the schedule. Please note that Manufacturer Representatives are NOT permitted to attend any GFA functions.

What is the Proper Attire?

For all committee meetings and general sessions, the attire is casual. The cocktail receptions are informal.

What will the Weather be Like?

The daytime temperature in Charleston is expected to average about 66°F. Evening temperatures are expected to average about 51°F.