After the Show: Share What You’ve Learned

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You’ve just attended a trade show, spending time in conference classes, seeing some new ideas that you think could help your company. What’s your next step? I asked IPC design instructor Kris Moyer to share his thoughts, and he explained how to best share your newfound information, convince management to adopt what you’ve learned, and build on this momentum.

Nolan Johnson: Kris, staff members have attended conference classes at the trade show, learned some new techniques and processes, so what’s next?

Kris Moyer: It’s simple: You present and disseminate it to your co-workers. First, the individual who learned that technique at the trade show might have a small get-together with senior design engineers and say, “Here's what I saw. This is my understanding of it. Does this look like something that would be useful to us?”

Then you have a working lunch. Maybe you contact the company or the individual who presented the new information, and see about bringing them in as a consultant to teach the technique to your company. In some bigger companies, management may have to approve in-house training. But a lot of times you just go to the show, get the information, bring it back, and you disseminate it.

Johnson: I'm sure it would help to have a prep meeting with management before the show so you could set expectations about what to look for and pay attention to.

Moyer: Exactly. Have a prep meeting with your manager before the show. I worked with a fairly large company once, and they basically said, “As soon as you get back, give us a write-up of what you saw, and what you thought would be beneficial to the company.” Then management would have their own meeting and hopefully say, “Oh yeah, this does sound cool; we want more information on this kind of thing.”

But sometimes, the information may not be as applicable to your company as you thought. You think, “This is really more for a fabricator. They would be more interested in this than we are. I’ll talk to my fabricator about it, but it’s not really something I need to analyze now.”

Johnson: Exactly. Let’s say you’re a designer and you’ve been speaking about the design side. Compare and contrast how this works on the manufacturing side. How does the process differ?

Moyer: On the fabrication side of things, as well as for assembly companies, materials providers, and so on, it's really the same.

Maybe you learned a newer technique for calculating the intermetallic bond strength of ENIG, or gold bond. Maybe you took a course on reduction of glass fracturing during the lamination process. Whatever you learned, present it.

If the course you took is a fit for your niche, you just take it back to your company. After that, you might consider online courses on this topic, or bring the presenter in as a consultant to give you more hands-on specifics for manufacturers.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the February 2023 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.


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