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12 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 Randy came up with the name PCB Carolina. It was his baby from the start. Maybe I'll let Randy speak to that. Randy Faucette: Sure. We took this show from something small—just meeting space at a local hotel—and moved to the convention center, which had more space. That meant we wouldn't be limited to the main software companies and a couple of fabrication shops, but could really expand it to benefit all of the engineering disciplines and put companies that had special products or services in front of potential customers. We wanted to do it without large, expensive booth space to keep it to more of a tabletop show where the small million-dollar company could be represented next to a billion-dollar company. There are many local companies in this very high-tech area. There wasn't a PCB show here in the RTP area, so we felt like there was an opportunity to do something about that. There are a lot of small companies here that just can't afford the big national shows. When I engaged my customers, I would hear, "Well, you know, I use this company in Ohio or Mary- land." And I would say, "You know, there is a company just around the corner that does that, right? We have that here in this city." There was an opportunity for us to let the local com- munity know that there are products and ser- vices in our backyard. With local companies, turn times are shortened without worry about shipping times. It's hard to put a value on face- to-face interactions with your vendor. After growing the tradeshow, the next chal- lenge was getting people to attend. The value of our trade show needed to be there so attend- ees felt like, "Yes, I can put my project on hold and go to this show." And we need their super- visors to say, "Yes, I want to shut down the department and send them to PCB Carolina." So, we needed technical content and other benefits to really draw attendees. Over the years, we developed a nice formula for that. The more success we had, the more the ven- dors saw that the attendees were quality; they weren't people just here to pick up a trinket. Shaughnessy: What year was the first "big" show—the first time you had a show that wasn't just in a conference room? Faucette: I think 2008 was probably the first step out into something big when we really had to have catering and needed to start print- ing some materials. We needed to print hand- outs so that people understand everything that was offered. Shaughnessy: Then, you get into the whole logistics of show management. Faucette: That's right. Cosentino: Once we realized it was more than just PCB design, we wanted electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, quality managers, all types of analysis engineers, and all the software vendors to come. We found out the market is really big, so why not invite all the vendors that make up the whole value chain from the creation of the CAD tool all the way to product delivery? We bring all of those to this show. Then, you have to offer technical content; you have to teach some- Gary Ferrari speaking at PCB Carolina.

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