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48 SMT007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2021 It seems Santa was unable to bring me the one thing I asked for this Christmas: in-per- son conferences. Maybe what I really wanted was just for safe travels again, but the confer- ence thing kind of rolls up under that umbrella. IPC APEX EXPO was the last conference I attended in person in 2020. I know asking to have it in person again is a lot to ask for (and we will get there), but for now, IPC APEX EXPO 2021 is going virtual. For some reason, during most of 2020 I wasn't the least bit interested in virtual conferences. I've sat in on many webinars over the years and didn't think twice about the format, but confer- ences seem a lot different. How can I see the lat- est and greatest equipment? I remember, years ago, being in awe as I watched a pick-and-place machine placing 01005s by the thousands; sit- ting in meeting rooms discussing acceptance criteria; and learning about other companies' test results looking into failure analysis. How can all of that be recreated over a Zoom call? As you well know by now, it can't; but we can work with it this time around and hopefully we will all be back together for SMTAI in the fall. I'm buying the first round up in Minne- sota come November. So how does the virtual IPC APEX EXPO tie in with reliability? It does by recommending we all get registered and sign up for the same technical sessions and professional develop- ment courses that you would if we were meet- ing in-person. One good thing about data is it stays the same no matter how it is presented. Here We Go (Virtual) Again Quest for Reliability Feature Column by Eric Camden, FORESITE INC.

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