Effective planning is critical when it comes to successfully managing your time at trade shows. With the Powder Coating 2004 Show just a couple weeks away, I thought I’d use my column this month to share with you some of the highlights on my personal agenda.
1) Clyde Fessler’s Keynote Presentation is at the top of my list. Fessler is the retired vice president, business development at Harley-Davidson Motor Company. The motorcycle manufacturer was on the verge of bankruptcy in the early 1980s, before its now legendary turnaround. Fessler played a key role in that turnaround, and his story is sure to be a good one.
2) Take it Off, Take it ALL Off has to be the most creatively titled session at the show (the “Harry Powder” session is a close second), and I’m told that there is going to be some stripping going on. No, not that kind of stripping! Instead, this session promises to be a review of the various stripping methods and technologies available for today’s plants and job shops. Should be interesting.
3) Wednesday morning’s Track II Technical Sessions hold special appeal for me. One of the unofficial industry themes of the past couple of years has been the use of technology and technical expertise to increase efficiency and profits. We’ve tried to address that approach in many of the articles that we’ve run in PF. The sessions feature titles like “Controlling Profits by Controlling Your System” and “Optimizing Your Powder System Efficiency.” I’ll be attending, pen and notebook in hand, and prepared to absorb as much information as I can.
4) Smart attendees will be sure to spend some quality time on the trade show floor. There is plenty of time—both between and after the conference sessions—for users to visit with suppliers and check out the latest powder coating technologies. Already, there is quite a bit of buzz about some of the quick color change technologies that will be on display at the show, and many of the new pretreatment technologies hold a lot of promise, too. Of course, there will be plenty of other interesting technologies—including the latest in powder coatings, masking, thickness testing equipment, ovens, stripping equipment and others—on hand as well.
5) I’d be remiss (and probably beaten to within an inch of my life by my publisher) if I didn’t encourage you to stop by the Products Finishing booth (booth #1004) while at the show. For the PF staff, one of the highlights of any trade show is the opportunity to interact with our readers and hear what you think about our publication and the industry as a whole. It's also an opportunity for us to generate story ideas based on your questions and observations. Plus, you can pick up a free T-shirt while you’re at the booth.