PCB West is this week in Santa Clara, historically the big tradeshow for electronic design professionals in Silicon Valley. Are you attending?
I’ve noticed a huge decrease in attendance at all tradeshows over the years, and I’ve heard many reasons why. The usual answer is “we’re too busy to attend”. Commonly because the company has experienced downsizing, they have only one or two designers, and can’t leave work for a day or two. I’ve heard that the engineers get to go to one or two events a year, so they have to choose between a training event, another tradeshow or conference, an EDA vendor’s user group meeting, or a number of other possibilities.
Another reason could be the “age of information” we live in and the internet. Much of the information designers are looking for is right there at their fingertips online. Could be at a vendors website, a journal’s website (Printed Circuit Design & Fab, EE Journal, or EE Times for example), a component suppliers site, or the many user communities in cyberspace that target electrical engineers and PCB designers.
Many people would attend the shows to check out new tools. Again, much of that information is available online now, plus us EDA vendors have made it pretty easy to evaluate tools. (We’re no different – we have PADS Virtual Labs and an Evaluation download you can check out 24/7)
So what about you? Do you still see value in attending tradeshows? What are you looking for when you go?