EDI CON 2014 is about six months away and commitments to participate in the conference and exhibition are well over half way toward our goal. Doubling the size of the exhibition, next year’s EDI CON has already attracted more exhibitors than it did in its successful first year and is on track to be another sold-out exhibition next April. The same holds true for the reserved workshops and other speaking opportunities in the expanded three-day event. The long term goal for EDI CON is to grow organically into a leading, world-class event in terms of size, focus of participants and quality of content. The expected growth of next year’s show is on track with the development of EDI CON into a major gathering of microwave professionals including the component/test instrument/software supply chain and  the designers/system integrators that work in this space. A vibrant and sizable trade show is a healthy reflection of an industry’s support of a given market. The existence of such an event should be welcome news to everyone conducting business in China.

Establishing EDI CON’s leadership status now is critical to connecting technologists just as the number of RF/microwave companies operating in China reaches critical mass and the local customer base, technical communities and new marketing channels are becoming increasingly influential. In just under two years, Microwave Journal China has established itself as the leading microwave-focused print magazine with over 10,000 qualified subscribers. The magazine, closely linked to the editorial in our English edition, is providing Chinese engineers with access to the same content consumed by our North American and European readers. In addition, our China edition allows editors and contributors to update readers on the technology presented at EDI CON throughout the year. Together, EDI CON and MWJ China will educate working engineers, making for better end-users (customers) and spreading the demand for more technology.

A study by the management consulting firm Bain & Company found that companies that set up operations in countries offering lower cost manufacturing are also better equipped to build new markets in that host country. One case study of an electronics company doing $900 million worth of manufacturing and sourcing in China is now realizing more than $1 billion in annual sales of products there. Its increased presence in China deepened the company’s knowledge of the market and helped it build the connections necessary to thrive in the country. China is evolving from a manufacturing center to a region capable of indigenous design and system integration. The Beijing government’s efforts to promote education in science and engineering on a massive scale have produced a highly skilled labor force, creating a sizable and growing market for microwave electronics.

Engineering achievement is fueled by information as much as inspiration. To provide the China market with up- to-date content, we are looking to all industry-related organizations to contribute to EDI CON and Microwave Journal China. Our outreach efforts include local and multi-national companies, academia, Chinese engineering societies, government research centers, telecommunication OEMs, carriers and even other media outlets. Multi-national companies such as our premium EDI CON 2014 sponsors, Agilent (Host), Rohde & Schwarz (Diamond) and National Instruments/AWR (Corporate), will provide support and emphasis on the tools and techniques necessary for successful design of RF/microwave and high-speed digital-based systems. Similarly, integrated device manufacturers, semiconductor foundries and component vendors are also assuming leading roles in defining the EDI CON technical program. Together, we will create an event with an unprecedented level of integration between the technical conference and exhibition and maximize the educational opportunities offered by both.

Over the next few months, we will be announcing the keynote speakers for next year’s plenary sessions. These speakers will be selected based on their high-level perspective of technology and business trends in China. We are building EDI CON around a supply chain ecosystem most of us recognize in North America and Europe. From our vantage point as publisher and event organizer, we take great pleasure in watching this network evolve as connections are made and relationships are formed. After all, one cannot overstate the importance of relationships in doing business.