At times, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it to Fabtech last week. The tornadoes that hit the Chicagoland area Nov. 17 delayed my arrival into the city by about 20 hours.

The airlines original plan to rebook me would have caused me to miss most of the show. But I did make it, and I was glad I did.

The annual metal-forming and fabrication show has recovered nicely from the recession that caused attendance to drop just a few years ago. According to official figures, 40,667 people attended the Nov. 18-21 show at Chicago’s McCormick Place, setting a record.

Many of the exhibitors I spoke with said they were very pleased. John Catalano, a co-manager of the show, was also happy with the figures.

“While breaking our own records is impressive, most important were the reports we received from attendees and exhibitors,” Catalano said. “Attendees were impressed with the record size and scope of the show and the number of new products and innovative technologies on display. Exhibitors were enthusiastic and report that sales activity was brisk and leads were plentiful.”

I did my best to let our Twitter followers, as well as show officials, updated on my attempts to arrive. We communicated through the event’s official Twitter handle, @fabtechexpo. And as usual, I posted a number of updates and pictures from the show floor, along with images on the SNIPS Facebook page. Check them out, and watch for the rest of our coverage of the show soon.