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76 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2018 Alicia Balonek has seen it all. IPC's senior director of trade shows and events joined IPC during the dotcom bubble, and helped launch the first IPC APEX EXPO. Editors Andy Shaughnessy and Patty Goldman spoke with Alicia about IPC APEX EXPO 2018, what attendees can expect, and the organization's continuing efforts to attract talented young people to this industry. Andy Shaughnessy: Alicia, I didn't realize you've been doing this with IPC for 18 years. I'm sure you've seen a lot through the years—including substantial changes. Alicia Balonek: Well, that's true. I started with IPC in 1999 and I was part of the launch of APEX in 2000, so this show is very dear to me and it was a great opportunity to be involved with a launch show. There's such a connection to the show, we've certainly experienced our fair share of ups and downs but for the most part it's been an extremely enjoyable experience through the years. There have been a lot of changes in the industry, especially on the board side, particu - larly in 2004 when IPC Printed Circuits Expo, a show produced by IPC since 1994, was co-located with APEX and IPC APEX EXPO was formed. Every show is a new experience and we just seem to keep learning from that, and we do it for the industry. This is the largest event in North America for electronics manufacturing and it has been since its inception. Everything is under one roof, from one end of the manufacturing process to the very end of the process, and we're proud to be able to bring the industry together for this important event. Shaughnessy: We're glad it's not in Anaheim anymore (laughing). Balonek: Well, for a show this size, especially with the extensive electrical and plumbing require- ments, there aren't many facili- ties throughout the country that can handle this event, especially with the long move-in time. We have almost two million pounds of freight on the show floor. It's a heavy equipment show, so not only does it take time to get that freight onto the show floor, we also must make sure that we're giving the exhibitors ample time to calibrate the machinery and their assembly lines so they're ready before the show begins. Shaughnessy: I think everyone really likes San Diego. It's hard to have a bad time here. Balonek: Especially when you're coming from the Midwest or the East Coast in February. Everybody enjoys that warm weather and it is a great facility. I've been in this industry for a long time and I've worked in many different conven - tion centers, and we have great staff from the San Diego Conv ention Center working with us. I couldn't ask for a better team. They look forward to our show every year. Patty Goldman: So what will be happening this year? Balonek: Well, it's not necessarily new, but a favorite of the event, is the show floor reception on Tuesday evening which is a great gathering place for attendees to network with the exhib - itors. We're introducing "Passport to Prizes" this year and we'll be giving away an iPad mini, What to Expect at IPC APEX EXPO 2018: EXPO Veteran Alicia Balonek Shares Alicia Balonek IPC APEX EXPO 2018 PRE-SHOW SPECIAL COVERAGE

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