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DECEMBER 2021 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 9 ones. We crave person-to-person interac- tions, and virtual trade shows simply can't provide that. Even more, a live event is a great way for a journalist to take the pulse of an industry. What's the buzz on the show floor? What new technology is everyone talking about? What challenges are bedeviling your engineers? We'll find out next month. But in the mean- time, jump into this issue, where we provide you with a preview of what you can expect in San Diego. We have interviews with fabrica- tors and suppliers who are exhibiting and pre- senting classes at IPC APEX EXPO. IPC show managers discuss the events planned for this year's event, and we share a variety of conver- sations with those involved in IPC's STEM program, including a local high school teacher whose students are now planning engineer- ing careers aer being inspired by last year's STEM event. IPC APEX EXPO oen feels like a reunion, but I believe this year's show will have an air of celebration. And aer the last two years, I think we deserve to celebrate. I hope to see you all there, doing the stroll on the show floor. PCB007 medical, defense, and aerospace sectors were dubbed "essential businesses" and never shut their doors. e PCB industry survived and thrived. We saw a lot of silver linings to this dark cloud. Last year, some company owners would tell me, in a conspiratorial whisper, "We're actu- ally having a great year. Mum's the word." We all learned to adapt, and we made our compa- nies better and stronger. Tens of thousands of people found out that they could work from home. Try getting your people back into the office now that they've experienced the 15-foot commute. If they're not required to be on the shop floor, you probably have not seen them in person lately. We then saw the advent of the "Zoom employee," and eventually, the virtual trade show. I'm sure you attended at least one vir- tual trade show or conference. We covered all of them in these pages, and I enjoyed watch- ing expert panels and sessions while wearing pajamas. (Speaking of silver linings, how much did your company save on air travel and hotel rooms last year? Six figures?) But we quickly discovered that, while a Zoom show is better than no show at all, it's not the same as rubbing elbows with your colleagues and customers. For many of us, trade shows and conferences are the pay- off, the best part of the job. We are social creatures, and trade shows give us the chance to reconnect with old friends and make new Andy Shaughnessy is managing editor of Design007 Magazine and co-managing editor for PCB007 Magazine. He has been covering PCB design for 20 years. He can be reached by clicking here.

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