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Managing Editor Nolan Johnson recently spoke with Kristen Smit-Westerberg about the upcoming EIPC Winter Conference, February 13−14, 2020, in Rotterdam.
Nolan Johnson: For our readers who don’t know you yet, what is your role with EIPC?
Kristen Smit-Westerberg: I am the executive director for the EIPC. This year I am 19 years with the EIPC. My responsibility is to grow the EIPC membership and organize network events to support the PCB and electronics industry.
Johnson: EIPC has a conference event scheduled soon, don’t you? Tell me about it.
Smit-Westerberg: We are in the midst of organizing our Winter Conference in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. It will be held on February 13−14, 2020. We already have over 80 people registered for the event, so the attendee numbers are again looking good.
We will have five sessions over two days. On the first day, we will have speakers that talk about new business, inkjet and coating technologies, material technology, reliability, and environmental issues. We will also have a Round Table on day one, where the focus will be on roadmapping and standardization. The bonus programme at the end of day one will take us to the Hutchison Ports ECT in Rotterdam, and will end with a dinner at the Sparta Football stadium, “The Castle.” On the second day of the conference, we will have speakers that address New technologies and design as well as manufacturing technologies and new processes. Registration is open until the event takes place.
Johnson: The semi-annual conferences are always content-rich events. Who have you lined up for this installment?
Smit-Westerberg: Yes, we have a busy programme over the two days with 22 speakers. A few names: Custer Consulting, Dr. Hayao Nakahara, Atotech, Cicor, Isola, Technolam, Ventec, Schmid, SAT, and Nextgin.
Johnson: You have a keynote speaker?
Smit-Westerberg: We have three actually: Walt Custer from Custer Consulting, Dr. Hayao Nakahara from NT Information, and Mr. Kuldip from Atotech. Walt and Dr. Nakahara will give a business outlook on the global electronics industry and Mr. Kuldip will talk about 5G.
Johnson: How does someone register for the conference? Is this for members only? If so, then I guess we should discuss how to become a member.
Smit-Westerberg: Members and non-members can register for the conference via the EIPC.org website or via various mailings and apply with an online form. You can also request a pdf registration form at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Johnson: This is a good networking opportunity for industry professionals, too, right? How does EIPC help facilitate networking?
Smit-Westerberg: Absolutely, I dare to say the EIPC is well known for its networking events. We have several coffee breaks in the Tabletop area, where our guests can network as well during—or after—lunch. Furthermore, we all take a tour together on a bus to our bonus programme. The tour destination, Hutchison Ports ECT of Rotterdam, is another opportunity where people can network, And we’ll be having dinner together after that visit at “the Castle.” So there are plenty of opportunities to talk to some (potential) customers and colleagues from the industry alike.
Johnson: Is there anything in particular that you’re excited about for this conference?
Smit-Westerberg: I am always enthusiastic about our conferences because the actual conference itself shows the months of work and preparations we put into it. To see how a programme comes together and witness the reactions and interactions within the audience is always great. We also always look forward to the bonus programme. We are proud to see that over 95% of the conference delegates also sign up for the bonus programme; these events always turn in to memorable evenings.