After having a pretty good first day of the show, I was looking forward to a good second day and it did not disappoint. The second day of the show on Wednesday is the longest day of the show as the exhibit hours go from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM (day one is 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and day three is 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM). The last hour of the day has a little more relaxed atmosphere as it is the industry hosted reception and the crowd turns a little more casual. Nevertheless, working the booth the extra time does make for somewhat of a long delay. However, the reward on the second day is the always fun and entertaining evening event hosted by National Instruments and AWR. Let’s move on to what happened throughout the day.
Since Wednesday is the longest day many folks take advantage of the one day exhibit only pass to maximize their time at the show for their dollar. The crowd on Wednesday started off a bit slow but picked up pretty well by late morning and on through lunch. As a matter of fact both day one and day two brought late lunches (at about 2:00 PM) for this applications engineer at the show. It is great to have the steady traffic expressing interest in the demonstrations and products in our booth. Before the booth traffic picked up in the morning I was able to take a stroll over the exhibit floor and visit various booths.
I made my way around the exhibit floor to pick up a t-shirt from the folks at Microwave Journal as they always have a nice design for the show. I made rounds to track down some nice booth giveaways for my children (who always like to see what I bring home), but unfortunately did not find very much. I did find a really nice Phoenix-themed tote bag at the K&L Microwave booth which is so far my favorite design.
As I made my way around the exhibit floor I was able to find many former colleagues and do a little bit of catching up. As many are aware, if you stay in this industry for any amount of time you quickly learn that it is a very small world and over time some people will migrate amongst companies. I had the pleasure of catching up with former colleagues that I worked with at two of my previous positions. As a matter of fact I was at the booth of one of my former employers when a former colleague at that company also dropped by. As it turns out he was no longer at the particular company either, but had dropped in to visit. I made my way around to other booths to find more former colleagues was not disappointed. I even found out that a former colleague had recently got engaged. What great news and what a great stage of life for them. There is so much excitement leading up to a marriage. I recall fondly the proposal and the engagement with my wife and I cherish her more each day. After all, she has a nerdy engineer to deal every day!
As I continued walking the exhibit floor I found that not only is it possible to find former colleagues at new place but it is also typical to find that folks have moved on or retired. I found out that some great folks I knew had been able to retire comfortably and was happy to hear that for them. That is part of what makes the IMS event so enjoyable. One can take time to chat and catch up with folks that are at all stages of their careers, from just starting out to wrapping things up. We have a gentleman in our booth who is experiencing his first trade show and is doing an incredible job. He has been nervous as one would expect, but has managed to handle himself well in the booth. I’ve encourage him to not be intimidated since no matter your level of experience you will almost always run into someone with more experience…and you’ll find those with less experience. At the end of the day, neither really matter as long as you can convey the necessary information about the company’s products and answer customer questions even if that answer is “I’ll get back to you on that with more information when I get back from the IMS show.”
After taking my short stroll around the exhibit floor I returned to the ADI booth and was able to have some quality discussions with several customers. I once again had a few customers from university’s doing different kinds of research in the RF ADC realm as well as customers from major companies. Some folks were asking about 1 GHz of continuous bandwidth while others were asking about digitizing 100 MHz of bandwidth located at 1 to 2 GHz and above in the RF spectrum. With products like the AD9680 and the AD9625, ADI has these types of applications covered and with the best performance in the industry. The AD9625 with sample rates at ≥ 2.0 GSPS provides a Nyquist bandwidth of ≥ 1 GHz. The AD9680 provides up to 2 GHz of analog input bandwidth with an available Nyquist bandwidth up to 500 MHz.
While at the booth I also had a chance to meet the editor of Planet Analog, Steve Taranovich, and his lovely wife, Loretta. It was an absolute pleasure to meet them and have a great chat about the show, Planet Analog, and just general conversation. I had a great time with them at the booth. I would like to say thanks to Steve and Loretta for stopping by. It is always great to meet folks that you mostly work with remotely over email. Once again, this is one of the great things about the IMS show. I am probably one of the small percentage of engineers who is actually a people person and loves meeting people and striking up a great conversation. The typical engineer mold is one of an introvert who is not keen on larger crowds nor on meeting new people.
At the end of the exhibit hours the industry hosted reception started up at 5:00 PM and ran until 6:00 PM for the last hour of the day. It was mostly just a casual environment with more general conversation occurring while folks took advantage of the wine and other beverages provided to begin to unwind for the day. Following the exhibit hours, the National Instruments and AWR hosted event began at 7:00 PM over at Lucky Strike and run until midnight. It was a great venue as expected. The folks at National Instruments and AWR always host a great evening event during IMS and this one was no exception. The venue had game and activities for everyone. Lucky Strike has bowling, arcade games, basketball games, air hockey, and billiards. There was even a fun and wacky photo booth. I had some fun with my colleagues and used the props provided to take some fun and wacky photos. Thanks to National Instruments and AWR for hosting a great evening event. It was all around a very fun place to go to relax and let loose after the long day of the IMS show. In order to get prepared for the last day of the show, I heading back to the hotel just a bit early around 11:00 PM so I could make sure to get plenty of sleep (I’m finding I don’t function as well as I used to on less sleep as the years go by).
The first two days of the show have gone well and I am sure the last day will be just as good. Things do typically start winding down since it the last and shortest day. I hope that you have had equally as good of a time if you are in attendance and hope that maybe reading this will encourage folks to participate next year in San Francisco. Phoenix thus far has been a great host and Mother Nature has been especially kind keeping the daily temperatures around 10 degrees below normal. Once again, if you are at the show, please drop by the ADI booth and say hello, I’d love to hear from you.