Last month’s National Plastics Exposition (NPE) was touted as the biggest in the show’s history. Not only did Linear exhibit at its first NPE, it shared its knowledge in the conference program. And plans are for keeping the message going in many more trade shows and conferences this year and beyond. Marketing and Sales Coordinator Kristen Eisiminger explains the role of a production company in the trade show business:
NPE only happens every three years, so it’s a big deal, and they’re bragging this year’s was the biggest. Your impressions?
KE: They’re telling the truth. I’ve been to IMTS, so I’ve seen big shows, but this was really big, the biggest show I’ve seen so far. The diversity in show exhibitors and attendees was amazing and truly global. This was the first time Linear had exhibited at NPE, and coincidentally it was NPE’s first 3D printing pavilion, so we were definitely in the right place at the right time.
Was there a typical booth visitor? What were they there to see?
KE: Lots of engineering people in design, R&D, and production, and I’d say upwards of 90 percent were interested in what conformal cooling could do for them. We were on the educational program with a technical presentation on conformal cooling and there was a lot of interest there, too. We determine what we can in person, and then follow up with a thank-you message to each visitor and turn it over to our account managers to help them out with more information. We’re definitely making plans to be at NPE 2018.
Speaking of shows, you have a full schedule for the rest of this year.
KE: We have a booth at the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) show later this month in Jacksonville, the RAPID show in Long Beach, CA, in May, and Amerimold & OMTEC in Chicago in June, and that’s just part of our commitment for this year. We consider it very important that we participate in conference and educational programs as well as being on the show floor. At AMUG, for example, working Linear pros will be talking about “Real Parts for Real Applications” (Bob Henderson), “Trials and Tribulations of Additive Manufacturing Training Development” (Paul Parzuchowski), and “Cracking the Code to Additive Manufacturing in Production” (Brandy Badami).
For us, we can’t keep additive manufacturing and production separate. We’re talking 3D printing throughout, but we’re also bringing a strong production, manufacturing, and training message as well. 3D printing doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and that’s the awareness we want to continue building through exhibiting at shows and participating in conferences, all in addition to running a mold business.
So there’s a portion of show business in the mold business?
KE: I mentioned it was NPE’s first 3D Printing pavilion, and not only were we the only metals service provider there, we were the only production business. When I started with Linear, I was all for the exposure that trade shows provide, but the investment in time and money is not cheap. However, new customers prove the case that shows are all about bringing customers and technology providers together. Everyone has to have their own system of determining leads and turning those leads into quotes and jobs, but we’ve added two or three trade shows and conferences per year over the last three years and so far I see that holding true going forward.
Linear is a singular company channeling additive and subtractive manufacturing into a production platform unlike any other. There’s much more to follow.