Many of the 'usual suspects' from the additive manufacturing (AM) world — you know who you are! — will know that even when I left Rapid News Communications, the publishing and media company behind the TCT Magazine and Annual TCT Live event on which I had a permanent position, I stayed involved on a freelance basis with the coordination of the 2009 Conference on AM. I am delighted to be doing the same for 2010!
I have absolutely no regrets about the decision I made at the end of 2008, but as far as the manufacturing calendar of events goes, TCT is in a very small minority — probably on its own — and is definitely one of those shows that once you get caught up in it, you find you don't want to miss it when it comes around again. I realise that I am talking from a position of bias, but I have worn out a substantial number of shoes walking show floors in my time and I believe I have enough experience on which to make this judgement. I think there are a number of reasons why TCT stands out on the calendar for me. Primarily, despite year on year growth, it is very different to the super-sized, soulless exhibitions that one can attend with halls and halls of exhibitors, because it draws together a real community of professionals focusing holistically on advanced product development and manufacturing. It's also a show that doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is, and it is done well, providing an exhibition, conference and tutorials; together with many other useful on-site resources. Moreover, and this is significant, most people who attend TCT in any given year will remember it long after they return to their desks, and will be able to recall their time there, even many years later (the event is in its 16th year). Often the result of a successful business contact coming to fruition, this is also invariably to do with the fact that TCT offers a unique face-to-face opportunity for social/business networking for a fantastic and growing community that are not afraid to let their hair down when the business of the day is completed!