Monday, June 18, 2018
Publication Date: 12/1/2011
Archive >  December 2011 Issue >  Tech-Op-Ed > 

Have We Finally Turned the Corner?
Jacob Fattal, Publisher
The Autumn round of trade shows can get very hectic. It seems as though everyone's Trade Show persona has been slumbering all Summer, and is suddenly let out of its cage. First there was Autotestcon in mid-August. Then the twin shows in Chicagoland: AATE and IPC Midwest, followed by South-TEC, IMAPS, SMTAI, and finally productronica in Germany. If all those others didn't wear you down, the Munich show will, it's that huge.

Productronica is definitely a show where renting electric scooters might well be the answer. It was busy and crowded, even though it was in seven separate halls. While they were connected by enclosed walkways, these were usually the long way around. The short way between those separate halls was to go outdoors, and Munich in November can be quite cold. But the 38,500 visitors didn't seem to mind. After all, this show is only presented every other year. It gathered together some 1,234 exhibitors from 39 countries and covered more than 800,000 square feet of exhibit space. Somewhere in the midst of all that was the U.S. Tech booth, stacked up with copies of our print edition.

According to show management, participation had increased significantly over the 2009 show — recovering to the 2007 level. This could mean that the electronics industry has recovered and is on the way to setting new world records.

Unfortunately, there are several stumbling blocks in the way, not the least of which is the struggle to right the financial ships of Greece and Italy. The European Union as well as the U.K. and the U.S. have all pledged support to prop up the Euro during this crisis, and in the face of this support, stock markets worldwide have rebounded strongly. Earlier this year, we had to deal with the effects of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, followed by the October monsoons in Southeast Asia — all having a negative effect on the supply chains and global productivity.

The hoped-for rush to buy Holiday gifts in the U.S. has far exceeded hopes and expectations. The American economy after all, is really based on consumer confidence and spending, and as we close out this year, it looks as though we are definitely on the rebound. Let's just hope we don't get slapped with another natural disaster or another failing national economy somewhere in the world. We are all interconnected today; if someone belches in Athens, we certainly hear it in Philadelphia.  

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