I have questioned before whether face-to-face events such as conferences and trade shows were still a relevant meeting spot. When the economy was struggling and we were in the midst of the recession, companies seemed wary to spend extra money on travel and outside opportunities such as conferences and shows. That philosophy seems to have subsided as more and more people are heading back to in-person events.
IQMS Blog for Manufacturing ERP Expertise
NPE 2012 has come and gone. This every three year event is one of the largest trade shows for one manufacturing industry segment: plastics. If you were following a lot of the conversations surrounding this latest event, you are aware that the big question was: How would the new venue (Orlando) compare to NPE's previous home for the last few decades (Chicago)? Would people come? Would it be successful? Are trade shows still a viable forum for companies to present and attendees to gain knowledge?
I attended my third straight MAPP Benchmarking Conference last week, October 27 and 28. A two-day event filled with industry statistics and trends, operational best practices and market forecasts, I have to say it was the best event I have been to so far. The attendance was the best I have seen which is a credit to MAPP Executive Director, Troy Nix, and his boundless energy and enthusiasm for the organization and the executive team led by President Matt Hlavin of Thogus Products Company.
Last week, IQMS participated in its third ERP Vendor Shootout and we all agree that it was the best one yet. The organizers of the event - Brij and TEC - have done a very nice job in refining the script and screening the attendees to recommend the software systems that best fit them. In fact, this latest event turned around the quickest manufacturing plant visit and demonstration invitation yet - just hours after our first demonstration began!
As IQMS embarks on planning for our next User Group conference, I am struck by how many trade shows and events the company will be at between now and the end of the year. With the onslaught of social media and online networking, it got me wondering ... how much priority is set on face-to-face meetings nowadays?