- February 01, 2011
Who would argue that the best part of any cake is the icing? There must be a study someplace that suggests, for most practical matters, the icing is the cake. If it's true, then on April 6-8 in Orlando, some serious sampling will be taking place — particularly at the conference program ICE USA will be offering.
Some industry leaders have argued with me over the absence of multiple tracks for technical instruction at a number of past converting trade shows. It's difficult to put up much of a defense. Attendance has been sparse during several of the last CMM shows, almost embarrassingly so. To push a metaphor, perhaps the cake (a.k.a. the exhibitor base) was there, but the “icing” was missing. As a result, after playing an integral role on ICE USA Steering Committee meetings, I have high expectations with the debut of ICE USA's conference program. With nearly 40 conference sessions, coordinated by the Assn. of Intl. Metallizers, Coaters & Laminators (AIMCAL), there's little left to the imagination in terms of converting-related subject matter that will not be covered.
- Keynote presentations will have a marketing flavor with emphasis on global outlooks and challenges from corporate consolidations to paper-based packaging and label market overviews.
- A web coating track has 12 sessions devoted to methods, advancements and innovations, measurement and process control, as well as developments in the growing flexible electronics field.
- Web handling sessions comprise ten presentations, including PFFC's expert contributors Tim Walker, who will present a “Video Guide to Web Wrinkling & Spreading,” and Kelly Robinson, who will address “Web Handling Machine Design for Static Control.” Other contributions include thin film waste reduction, drive systems, nip mechanics, tension control, and splicing accuracy.
- A third track on package printing and converting will feature a final 12 sessions covering such subject matter as web cleanliness, slitting, inspection, emissions issues, color measurement, monitoring pressure-sensitive adhesives, and energy curable acrylates for food packaging applications.
Three solid mornings of concurrent conference sessions, starting at 9 A.M. and finishing at 12 P.M., will keep attendees focused and hungry by the time noon rolls around. Not to worry, ICE USA organizers are offering conference attendees a complimentary lunch on the show floor. Come visit PFFC at nearby booth 1050.
Only a few months ago in November, I commented in an ICE USA Ice Cream newsletter that in Europe trade shows are viewed as investments that allow attendees to network and educate themselves face to face. The Internet, e-mail, and phone calls are wonderful accessory tools for gathering information and maintaining relationships, but they shouldn't replace personal contact. Trade shows and their complementary conference programs are excellent locations for both networking and learning. And I expect at the upcoming ICE USA, attendees actually will be able to have their cake and ice-ing too.
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