Immediately following IMS every year, I go through a week or so where I assimilate and digest the immensity of the show and my experiences there. This year was no exception. I find that I’m inevitably left with the feeling that I just barely scooped up a cupful of water out of a vast ocean. But it’s my cupful, nonetheless, and it’s all I get to take home at the end of a frenetic week. So, here are a few reflections and observations I have as I look back at IMS 2012.
It was a curious year for IMS with the show location being outside of the US. Starting at the conclusion of IMS 2011 in Baltimore, the conjecture on the success of IMS2012 began to swell. The naysayers contended that no one would show up and that ITAR restrictions would be certain death for the 60 year old conference. The Defense and aerospace companies would be automatic opt-outs, they said. Others thought the added expense of travel, shipping, and customs would certainly disallow smaller companies from exhibiting. Others saw a wonderful opportunity to draw in more international attendees and participants and felt that many students would be drawn in by the location. To some degree, they were all correct. Attendance was definitely down, by approximately 1000 people, below IMS2011. The defense and aerospace exhibitors were fewer or less grand, but not absent. Student participation was up, and record numbers of papers were submitted. The international attendance appeared to be buoyed as well. Most exhibitors I spoke with agreed that while they had less booth traffic than usual, the quality of visitors was quite good and they were pleased that they chose to exhibit. I would echo those sentiments for our company as well.
Every year IMS is a stand-out show for Transline and many other companies who exhibit there—but why, I wonder? I’m sure it’s for many reasons that exist well beyond the scope of the keyhole-view through which I see things. Yet one thing stood out to me this year that permeated the show: Collaboration. Putting the show together requires a massive collaborative effort. Agilent and its partners collaborate and put solutions together for their customers and prospects conveniently on the exhibit floor in the form of Agilent Avenue. Microwave Journal unleashes a journalistic and support team to cover every aspect of the show and keeps us up to date in real time. Most competition that I observe is a friendly, respectful brand. In fact, much of the magic of the IMS exhibition happens when the exhibitors interact and entertain opportunities for collaboration.
Of course, my eyes were naturally drawn to notice collaboration all around me since I had collaborated, in a big way, with Jamie Leger of SLN Marketing Communications to create the Passport to IMS. It was a lot of fun and very successful. Neither of us could have pulled it off alone. As mentioned earlier, the magic was first sparked on the exhibit floor. Just last year I met Jaime at IMS, after having been introduced through Linked In. Little did I know at the time, that we would work collaboratively for many months while creating the Passport to IMS. Just one short year later, I consider Jaime to be a dear friend and an extremely talented marketing and communications professional.
The world is a better place, in my opinion, when people don’t operate out of a sense of scarcity but rather abundance. Yes, even in a down economy! IMS is a glass-half-full kind of show that is replete with collaborators and givers. Even in the face of naysayers, the show was still a success and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Montreal. The city, like the show, was full of kind and gracious people. Once again, IMS proved to be as great as the collaborative lot who graced its halls. Looking for a bigger “cup” for Seattle in IMS2013!
IMS Re-cap and video links from Microwave Journal:
Transline photos of IMS and Montreal:
SLN Marketing Communications Website: