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As an American attending this year’s European Microwave Week (EuMW), I was happy to spend time away from the political circus taking place in Washington over the government shut-down and looming debt ceiling. The week was also a welcome opportunity to spend quality time with leading members of the European microwave industry and the technologists, marketers and executives who travelled from across the globe to conduct business at this annual gathering. Early reports back from the show organizers (Microwave Journal’s parent company Horizon House) show a record number of unique registrants and record number of exhibitors.
The spacious and ultra-modern convention center allowed exhibition traffic to flow easily among vendors with plenty of room for chance encounters and impromptu conversations between attendees roaming the show floor. As a gathering point for the continent’s microwave elite, EuMW is a one stop shop for meeting those responsible for developing Euro-centric systems in the telecommunications, aerospace and defense arenas. Savvy business leaders and marketers have come to recognize that EuMW is an excellent opportunity to pre-arrange meetings with their sales representatives and key European customers. And of course, the event also provides an opportunity to prospect for new business.
Like the MTT-S IMS, which has had relatively steady attendance for years, EuMW also has a steady attendance record that fluctuates only slightly depending on factors such as the host country (presence of local industry, ease of travel, visiting costs) and the general economy. This year’s Nuremberg venue, equidistant to research and manufacturing centers in Munich, Stuttgart and Frankfurt, was able to draw a sizable number of local German engineers and managers to bolster the number of this year’s attendees.
For me, EuMW offered a glimpse at the technological progress and recent product releases from companies of all sizes. It has been four months since visiting many of these companies in Seattle at IMS and there certainly has been activity among most vendors. EuMW also features companies that do not travel to the US-based microwave week and so this event is a unique opportunity to engage these companies as well. The Journal’s three editors took three full days to try and cover the bulk of exhibitor news and product announcements, summarized in our EuMW wrap-up report. More details are available in the multiple Online Show Daily newsletters, which covered the activity before, during and after the event.
Special highlights from the week included the EuMW reception dinner hosted by Agilent Technologies, the Aerospace & Defense forum featuring talks on automotive radar (an application that is clearly moving from R&D into a real and sizable market, at least among German car manufacturers) and the Compound Semiconductor Foundry Panel that I had the pleasure of moderating at the Wednesday afternoon MicroApps keynote session. As our eyes turn to next year’s event in Rome, with its strong local presence of defense contractors, I encourage business leaders and microwave marketers in Europe, Asia and North America to start thinking about how to best support this event and take advantage of the opportunity it presents - a strong and mature microwave market that is aligned with the US aerospace/defense industry and very much interested in the systems our technology supports. With sequestration most likely to be the new norm in the US, the smart money is betting on Europe stepping up as a strong trading partner. EuMW represents an efficent way to tap into the European based microwave market.