Nolan’s Notes: Preparing for APEX—The 2022 Edition

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As summer was waning, I found myself at the airport with my carry-on, headed to a technical conference for the first time in nearly 20 months. During a normal winter trade show season, I keep a “go bag” packed, ready to just grab on my way to the airport. But after more than a year and a half travel-free, my “go bag” had gone. It had long since been unpacked, the contents folded in with my normal household belongings. Repacking my bag was a treasure hunt; I had to remember all the things I’d found useful on the road (and the ones that seemed to be useful but weren’t). But once I’d brought all my gear together, and boarded the plane, I felt a familiarity settle over me; everything seemed to be back in place again. 

I suspect that many of you will have a similar experience (both personally and professionally) as you prepare for IPC APEX EXPO in January 2022. Relax, breathe, and start gathering your stuff early. It will all be fine. If you thought you were the only one who had a burning need to reconnect, please hearken to my words: You are not alone. 

Our collective need for (re)connection is at a peak. In our pre-show interview with IPC President and CEO Dr. John Mitchell, he said, “It’s been a long time since most of us have been together face-to-face. While we’re going to have a lot of tremendous and compelling content, the thing I’m most excited about is for everybody in the industry actually being able to reengage.” 

This sentiment runs throughout all the conversations in which the I-Connect007 editorial staff has been involved. IPC APEX EXPO 2022 is a time to come back together. As we return to in-person work, meeting new people as one can only do at an in-person event, those new remote work skills that we’ve learned (and likely mastered) should serve us well in maintaining those working relationships. In his interview, Mitchell captured that thinking quite well, “I hope people have that as one of their priorities, to meet different people. Of course, we want to say hello to all our old friends, but there’s going to be a lot of new people there too. And those connections can be super important.”

There is so much that is new, or different, than in previous years. Committees will function just a little differently this year; the EMS Leadership Summit has retooled in some exciting ways to meet changing needs; social events have morphed and evolved to bring freshness and relevance to the program; and a big highlight is how the technical tracks are thriving and growing. 

To read this entire column, which appears in the December 2021 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.


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