One for the Record Books

IPC President Denny McGuirk’s monthly editorial:

As I write this, I’ve been back in the office for a few days after IPC APEX EXPO™ and my head is still swirling with impressions of the people, events and energy I experienced.

The vibe on the show floor was teeming with pent up energy from the last few years resulting in orders and noticeable investment on the show floor. Exhibitors shipped an additional 150,000 pounds (68,000 kg) of freight to the show this year, providing a wide range of choices for attendees looking to compare equipment. Attendees finally had the willingness — and the budgets — to make serious investments for their companies. Exhibitors were elated with the response and the activity on the show floor.

Steve Wozniak, our keynote speaker, was an investment for IPC that “paid off” big time. I heard from many attendees that he was one of the best keynotes at any show they had ever attended. That’s saying a lot considering we have had keynote speakers like General Norman Schwarzkopf and explorer Bob Ballard. The “Woz” was truly gracious and members described his talk as “inspirational,” “amazing” and “fabulous” — and I know you are a pretty tough crowd.

Another inspirational moment was the awarding of the IPC Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame award to Don Dupriest from Lockheed Martin. Don has been involved in IPC for nearly 25 years and has served as chairman of the IPC Technical Activities Executive Committee, among other committee leadership positions. Don stressed the rewards of his participation, including the many friends he has made over the years and the impact he has had on his company through the knowledge gained. I truly enjoyed meeting his family and seeing the support he received from his work colleagues.

As always, I was impressed by the dedication of our committee members, who attended hours of committee meetings to contribute to the standards they, their customers and suppliers depend on. During our awards luncheons, we recognized 119 individuals with special recognition, committee leadership, and distinguished committee service awards. Because of the number of people, I sometimes worry that our award recipients may not feel as special as they should. I wish to thank each one of them again.

Some people question the future of trade shows, but IPC APEX EXPO 2011 made me confident that this show has an important place in our industry. From the double-digit growth in the educational programming to the interest in next year’s event, it’s clear that the show is meeting your needs. A recent article in B-to-B found three reasons live events continue to be essential: in-person events are better suited [than virtual events or communications] for capturing attendees’ attention, inspiring positive emotions and building networks and relationships. From the feedback we’ve received on-site and since the show, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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