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82 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2021 Feature Interview by Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 In a far-ranging interview, Dr. John Mitchell and Barry Matties discuss the upcoming IPC APEX EXPO, IPC programs, and the chal- lenges (and opportunities) facing our industry. If you think Dr. Mitchell's assessment would be pessimistic, you'd be wrong. Barry Matties: I think this next APEX EXPO will be, for many, the first event that they will have attended in-person since about two years ago. Has the last two years impacted the format for it? John Mitchell: e biggest impact really is about making sure everybody is safe at the event. In accordance with the guidelines in Califor- nia and the San Diego Convention Center, we expect the requirement will be that peo- ple show either proof of vaccination or a neg- ative COVID test within 72 hours. (Most peo- ple coming from overseas must do that any- way when they get on the plane.) Attendees will find a COVID Q&A on our website that explains our protocols more fully. Matties: Do you expect a lot of international participation? Mitchell: We had some concerns about that a few months ago, but with the U.S. re-open- ing its borders to international tourists, we're encouraged. Our registrations show that we have people signing up from literally every- where, even from places where they're going to have to quarantine when they go back. We found that very gratifying and encouraging. Matties: Speaking of registrations, how is that tracking? Are you seeing an increase over the last in-person event or is it an adjusted goal? Mitchell: I think people are being more cautious right now because they just don't know what's going to happen. e whole Delta variant July caught everybody by surprise. We thought we were getting out of the COVID concerns, and everything was going to be rosy. en Delta hit, and people thought, "Oh wait, whoa." at was a few weeks before we opened reg- istration, so I think there's some cautiousness. We have a lot of people saying, "Yeah, we're John Mitchell: Focus on the Future

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