Many new beginnings at IPC APEX EXPO

As we start the second decade of the 21st century, IPC APEX EXPO is also starting its second decade. The new beginnings come as more companies appear to be starting to emerge from the long economic downturn, making the show a potential starting point for solid growth. The show may also herald the crowning of the American Idol of the technical world.

APEX will open at a time and place that could help lure people in, and new features like a YouTube video contest will augment the many technical sessions and keynotes that have made the show one of the nation’s 200 largest trade shows.

Overall trade show attendance in the U.S. has been declining, but the show’s location and timing, April 6-9 in Las Vegas, could both help attendance. After seven quarters of decline, the third quarter of 2009 saw an increase in trade show attendance, reversing nearly two full years of attendance declines, according to Tradeshow Week magazine. That uptick was led by shows in Vegas, which saw a 6.4% increase in attendance.

“The death of Vegas was announced prematurely,” said Michael Hughes, Tradeshow Week’s vice president of research. “The shows that remain in Vegas are healthy.”

APEX EXPO is known for its wide scope, which includes several international companies as well as the U.S. Department of Commerce, which will provide export/import assistance through its International Buyer Program. Technical sessions and keynotes will hit on numerous topics including new regulatory changes and business outlooks.

All this may be eclipsed by the emergence of a new media star. The YouTube video contest winner will be announced there. Even if the winning video doesn’t rocket to the top of new decade’s YouTube viewing lists, it will be seen by several thousand attendees during the show’s keynote session, as well as all year long on the IPC’s YouTube page. And if that’s not enough to get you to send an entry before Feb. 13, there’s also a free Nintendo Wii for the winner.

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