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After a two-year hiatus, Dallas SMTA Expo and Tech Forum returned to the Plano Event Center in Plano, Texas on March 22, 2022. Even tornadoes that touched down the night before the show couldn’t keep attendees away.
This year’s theme was “Texas is Open for Business,” and the turnout seemed to reflect that observation. We saw a steady stream of attendees arriving throughout the day, and most of them stayed through the barbecue lunch and happy hour, which began at 1 pm.
As Dallas SMTA Chapter President Gary Tanel explained, starting happy hour earlier in the day makes perfect sense—exhibitors say that’s when they get the most high-quality leads. (Think about any trade show you’ve attended.)
This year also marked the first time that exhibitors were able to set up the day before the show instead of that same morning, which drove the stress level down quite a bit for them. This year’s show boasted more exhibitors than ever before, with 94 companies listed.
The technical conference took place in a room just off the show floor, featuring presentations throughout the day by Gerry Partida of Summit Interconnect, Brian O’Leary of Indium, Brad Ward of Omron, and Ed Zamborsky of Thermaltronics.
Dallas SMTA Expo is becoming much more than a regional show. I met exhibitors and attendees from around the southwest, and a few from across the country. Some out-of-state visitors said they were enjoying the mask-free environment of the Lone Star State. The Plano Event Center has a configurable layout that can accommodate events of all sizes, and Gary expects next year’s show to be even bigger.
So far this year, we’ve seen strong turnout for IPC APEX EXPO and Dallas SMTA Expo. Let’s hope this is a good omen for industry events throughout 2022, and our entire industry is truly open for business.