By Lloyd Graff
WESTEC as we know it is changing. There will be no show in 2011 in Los Angeles. SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers), which organized the 2010 event, is planning an Aerospace Defense oriented manufacturing show for next April in Anaheim, Cal. In September, 2011 they will host a Las Vegas event which will be a cross between a trade show and a collection of open houses.
SME has found it increasingly difficult to put on a major L.A. show during an IMTS year. It isn’t that the West Coast people are necessarily going to IMTS, but the exhibitors do not have the budget for two big shows in one year.
WESTEC was becoming the Haas Show (Gene Haas came on the first day) but even they were reducing their presence in 2010. There were a lot of small exhibitors but no major ones besides Haas. Attendance was not terrible, but by the time business had begun to rebound the die had been cast for the large displayers.
Question: Are trade shows becoming obsolete?