Shows Are On My Mind . . . And Feet, And Back

By the time you get this issue, I will have completed my 12th IMTS. Now, with the big IMTS show complete, it's time to turn some attention to our industry's show coming up in May 2003.

By the time you get this issue, I will have completed my 12th IMTS. Whew, I'm sure I'll be glad it's over . . . not that I mind going there. Actually, after all these years, it is as much a reunion as it is a trade show.

But there is also a marathon quality to IMTS simply because of its scope. The biggest show means many miles of aisles. Covering it well is a test of endurance. I hope to strap a pedometer on my ankle to record how many miles I travel in the 8 days in Chicago. Maybe I can get 32 cents a mile.

Now, with the big IMTS show complete, it's time to turn some attention to our industry's show coming up in May 2003. It's certainly not on the scale of IMTS, so I'll forgo the pedometer, but it's important to the screw machine industry. I thought it might be a good time to give a progress update on how PMTS is coming together.

First, a little background is in order for those of you not familiar with the screw machine industry's only exclusive trade show in North America. The origin of PMTS was with the PMPA (Precision Machined Products Association) National Technical Conference.

For many years, an integral component of this conference was a tabletop exhibition. Companies used this opportunity to demonstrate a variety of screw machine related products to the tech conference attendees.

Of course, tabletops tend to exclude demonstrations for companies with large equipment. To accommodate these technical members of the association, a decision was made to expand the tabletop exhibition into a trade show. The new Show—called Precision Machining Technology Show—is still an adjunct to the PMPA technical conference, but the show is open to association members and non-members alike.

The first PMTS was held in April 2001 at the Greater Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center. By all accounts and measures, it was a big success with more than 160 exhibitors, 3,000 attendees and five well-attended technical sessions. Most of the comments from attendees expressed their pleasure at the efficiency of visiting a trade show focused on their industry. Exhibitors liked the idea of talking to people who knew a multi-spindle from a Swiss-type.

The next PMTS will be held May 6-8, 2003, once again at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. This next edition has already surpassed the first show in the amount of space that has been booked by exhibitors.

Even with the down economy, companies understand the necessity of getting in front of potential customers. A focused show such as PMTS offers a venue to accomplish that for the screw machine industry.

Incentive for attendees is also high because most shops know that how they do business today is almost guaranteed to be insufficient. Precision parts manufacturers need to find tools that can improve the way they make parts and ensure that they continue to make money. A day at an industry focused show such as PMTS, attending the technical conferences for processing information and visiting the exhibitors for new ideas, is a good use of time.

We're all in this manufacturing boat together. It's up to us to collectively row or drift. Opportunities such as PMTS are possible because of support from the industry. The incentives are clear for all involved in precision parts making. We must keep our edge to keep our businesses. Supporting PMTS is one way to help.