Coming up: Live Events

Published 28 April 2009

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: prototype, rapid prototyping, live events, productpoint, live reports, rapid2009

So, I don’t know if you heard, but there’s supposed to be some sort of global economic apocalypse happening. Would someone please tell my travel agent, because it seems that whilst the world is in financial freefall, I’m travelling more than ever, both within the UK and to the US. and its not just me, its the rest of the DEVELOP3D team too.

I’ve been in the US for a month of 2009 already this year and just got back from a trip to Portland and Arizona and I’m headed out to RAPID2009 in Chiacgo early next month. I’ve not been to RAPID before, so I’m pretty excited to see what’s on show. There’s pretty much three events that make my calender for a year on the rapid prototyping front. Euromold in Frankfurt at the tail end of the year and TCT Live just a few months before it in October in the UK.

RAPID is a new addition, organised by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and its on in Schaumburg, just outside of Chicago, 12 May to the 14th. A quick gander at the exhibitor list and all the big boys are there, Objet, Stratasys, EOS, Z Corp, all the reverse engineering guys as well as a some of the bigger service providers. It’ll be interesting to speak to the latter to see how things are going. I discovered a long while ago that talking to those that ’service’ the product development industry is a fantastic gauge for seeing how the industry is doing as a whole.

After that, next US trip is out to Orlando again for PTC/User 2009 – always an intriguing event. One thing I found interesting is that rather than, as they have in previous years, segregated the press/media from the users for all but a few select occasions, this year, we seem to have a lot more freedom to wander and to explore. Of course, with Wildfire 5 on its way very soon, I’ll be trying to find out a little more about what’s coming up and let you guys know. PTC also have another event on I’m going to try and make, that’s looking at Windchill ProductPoint, something I looked at in the last issue of DEVEVLOP3D. It’s running in the UK on the 7th of May at the Warwick Manufacturing Group International Centre. Details are here.

Which brings me to the point of my post. Are live events something you’re interested in? With staff reductions, greater work load and more pressure than ever, is a live event something you’d consider stepping foot out of the office for? I’m curious to know. I suspect the answer is a no, but if its a yes, I’d love to know the reason why.


Attending a live event where you shake hands and speak face to face with people will alwyas have a larger benefit than logging into a web meeting. You can convey so much more in person then you can over a phone line. Even though times may be tight, its still important for companies to be sending their people out to these events so they can stay on the cutting edge of technology, and to also maintain good personal business contacts.

Posted by Mike Puckett on 01 January 1970 at 02:00 AM

Hi Al I'd venture to suggest that you can’t put all live events in the same pile. True, some poorly managed and under resourced events with a lack of focus have gone to the wall this year and the reasons will include lack of interest both on the visitor side and from potential exhibitors, but this would be case in both an economic boom or the current situ. Focused events with cutting edge content, that are managed and marketed well will always encourage people to leave their cubicles. There is sometimes nothing better than seeing technology first hand. Event content and quality is the key, get that right and you have an event. Take your eye off the ball on any aspect, be it the venue, marketing or focus and you'll see it die, perhaps more quickly in tougher times but it will still die. Personal experience suggests that it is possible to deliver a good event that is well attended in tough times, witness TCT last year. (Shameless plug..sorry!) See you in Chicago at another one of the good ones! DW

Posted by Duncan Wood on 01 January 1970 at 02:00 AM

Some live events yes. If I was in the market to buy something or source something a live event is hard to beat as you can wander from stand to stand comparing offerings. The problem is you never know how good the evnts are until you get there! Many’s the time I have dragged myself down to Excel to wander aimlessly around for an hour and head back again wondering why I wasted my time. It’s quite simple – all events should be at the NEC or Telford grin

Posted by Kevin Quigley on 01 January 1970 at 02:00 AM

I think the combination of Duncan’s (Shameless but entirely acceptable plug aside) and Kevin’s makes a nice point.. If you're in the market for something that’s tactile or physical in nature, then live events serve a fantastic purpose.. Software, not so much, an online demo, seminar whatever is better, as you can focus on the job at hand. If you're wanting to investigate new prototyping techniques or machines for either purchase or outsourcing, then live makes much more sense. Hence TCT’s popularity, as Duncan says, in tough times.. Mike’s got a good point too – its about Face to Face too.. its always nice and you get more done..

Posted by Al Dean on 01 January 1970 at 02:00 AM

Not sure if anyone can help or if this is the correct place for this query – Last months magazine had a note on A1 Technologies Rap-man 3D rapid prototyper – the website it referenced cannot be accesses – does anyone know any contact number or email to find out further information on this equipement? Thanks in advance – Andrew

Posted by Anonymous on 01 January 1970 at 02:00 AM

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