Putting Our Best Foot Forward

One of the down sides of publishing a bimonthly magazine is that sometimes important events fall between issues. That's the case with the—seems like a long time ago—PMTS 2001 show. Because of deadlines (we have them too) associated with putting out Production Machining magazine, we were not able to comment on the conclusion of the April show in our May/June issue because the magazine was “put to bed” before show was over. By almost all accounts from exhibitors, attendees and technical session presenters, PMTS 2001 was a success.

One of the down sides of publishing a bimonthly magazine is that sometimes important events fall between issues. That's the case with the—seems like a long time ago—PMTS 2001 show. Because of deadlines (we have them too) associated with putting out Production Machining magazine, we were not able to comment on the conclusion of the April show in our May/June issue because the magazine was “put to bed” before show was over.

By almost all accounts from exhibitors, attendees and technical session presenters, PMTS 2001 was a success. In many cases, comments were not even qualified by saying, “it was good for a first show.” Rather, many of the participants felt that PMTS was an unqualified success.

Part of the reason for such an upbeat atmosphere, I think, has to do with a couple of factors. One of the more important factors, perhaps, is the nature of an industry focused trade show like PMTS.

Precision parts manufacturing is, by most standards, a relatively small industry. Much of what we do is fairly specialized in process and often in vocabulary. Some exhibitors I spoke with commented favorably about how refreshing it was to spend time with booth visitors who understood what a screw machine was.

Sounds simple, but at many less focused trade shows, screw machine specialists spend an inordinate amount of time providing tutorials on here is a multispindle, here is a Swiss-type, form tools do this, back working does this, only to have attendees stumble off looking at a manual tray-top lathe to get their bearings back. A focused show brings in a focused audience.

Several attendees I talked to told me they came to the show expecting to blow through it in an hour or two. Instead they found themselves stopping at almost every booth because the products and services presented were germane to the business of making precision parts. Several visitors told me they came to the show just to check it out and after seeing it, planned to send additional personnel because of the size and quality of the exhibition.

Concurrent with the trade show were five technical presentations. Even these were very well attended. I know because I moderated them. Attendance was around 100 people for each session, which, one presenter told me, was way better than the 25 to 30 people he usually spoke to at a typical trade show technical session.

For me, one of the biggest and neatest aspects of PMTS was its atmosphere. We all know that business is down. But enthusiasm remains high because in spite of business conditions, seeing and visiting with business friends, competitors, customers and meeting new people is an especially nice side show to the main show.

We're a small industry, and it's nice to get together once in a while and put the industry's best foot forward. The show will go on again in 2 short years. For those of you who weren't able to participate in PMTS 2001, try to plan on it in 2003. For all of you who did participate, we thank you and look forward to our next reunion.