Circus comes to town
24 September 2007
This week sees the launch of a new event for the electronics manufacturing community – but I am not going to give the name just yet. The event is an indication of how the industry is adapting to meet the combined needs of suppliers and customers –and this week will determine the success of the latest blueprint. If it works I think many people, particularly on the supplier side of the business, may reassess their approach to exhibitions.
First of all, I suspect that many readers who are engineers involved in electronics manufacturing (which is the vast majority of our readers) may sometimes get a little weary of talk about exhibitions. Exhibitions are big events for suppliers. That three-day creation of an industry specific ‘shopping mall’ is the suppliers chance to shine, so it is no surprise that those of us in the press see more promotional material coming through when a major exhibition is upon us. You could also argue that magazines (online or paper) not only give a guide to people who are intending to visit a show, they also keep those who cannot go up to speed on the latest products. But none the less – if you suffer from exhibition fatigue then I apologise for going on.
My second point is related to the first. If I had said the name of the new show, which is IPC Midwest, how many of you would have thought ‘American – not of interest to me’. But I think the truth is that these shows will become more interesting as time goes on. The day of the global exhibition is not yet over, but it is stuck in Munich and only rears its head every two years. Beyond that every exhibition is regional. Even IPC’s APEX, a game replacement for the old Nepcon West, has become established as the main show on America’s West Coast. But it is not a global show and barely a national one.
The same is true everywhere. If you ask a group of suppliers which is the best show in Asia you will get a number of different answers, mainly reflecting each supplier’s customer base. But there is no stand-out show and this, I believe, is a good thing. Driven by lack of time and budget to leave their factories, engineers need a local show. If the information is not on the doorstep then they will not go. This results in most suppliers supporting most shows as they cannot afford to miss out on new business opportunities and it is incumbent on the exhibition companies themselves to make sure that there is added value in conferences, seminars and so on. Suppliers moving from one show to the next will not allow standards to slip. Everyone ends up with a good quality show within reasonable traveling distance.
You could argue that this turns the whole exhibition circuit into a traveling circus. Which it is. But the winners are the visitors. The losers, unless they love the life of a nomad, are the suppliers with the dog-eared passports.
IPC Midwest was announced last December at which time IPC Board member, Pierre de Villeméjane, president & CEO, Speedline Technologies, commented: “We’re excited to offer this regional exhibition and conference to the industry. When our members come to us and ask for help to meet their regional exhibition needs, as well as that of their customers and suppliers, it is rewarding to be able to make it happen and create a fair, focused and cost-effective event.”
The show has since sold out of exhibition space, so for those who can visit the new event this week - I hope it is a roaring success, and for those too far away to visit – don’t worry, the circus will come to your town soon.
The products we have included on this week’s newsletter are a sample of those that are going to be on show at IPC Midwest and there are another 110 or so exhibitors with their own opinions of what should be the stars of the show.
On another matter - a small addendum to my comment on 28th August ( China – under siege or under-appreciated?) when I was putting forward my belief that some manufacturers in the West were possibly taking a little bit too much enjoyment in the ‘tarnished’ reputation of the Chinese manufacturing industry. Well apparently the company responsible for getting this bandwagon rolling, Mattel, has admitted that the responsibility for (and cause of) loose magnets and lead-based paints lay with its own designs, rather than its Chinese manufacturers.
Contact Details and Archive...