Why The Show Doesn't Go On -- Letter to the Editor

Dear Mark,
I was about a week late in having time to read my latest issue of Chemical Processing Magazine.  As usual, the first article that drew my attention was your "From The Editor: Trade Shows Require Rethinking."  This is a very good and timely editorial.  I am sad to learn that the yearly ISA Exhibition will be no more. Little did I know when I attended the exhibition in October 2009 that it would the last.  Then I read in your editorial about the "show of shows" The NY ChemShow.  I am not surprised that IEC may be contemplating a change of location for that Show.  Having arranged and managed exhibits at that ChemShow for my former employer from 1973 through 2001 and having organized Filtration Seminars during the show from 1995 through 2001, I witnessed the decline in attendance to the ChemShow. 

Since 1997 the engineering firms in the vicinity of NYC discontinued the practice of sending large groups of engineers and staff to the Show.  The same happened with the Pharmaceutical firms as a result of the disappearance of some of the locally based firms victims of the mergers of that industry.  Then came 9/11/01 and in spite of it, the participation and attendance although reduced was still not bad considering what had just happened.

But the fact is that there are too many shows and exhibitions, almost every organization has a show or exhibition.  The ChemShow is no longer the show of shows.  Engineers today do not have to travel to see who has what in process equipment, it is all right there at their computers thanks to the Internet and the Web. 

No longer interested companies send their purchasing engineers to the Show to evaluate what is available to decide what to purchase.  Yes, I will miss visiting the ISA Exhibition and I do hope that IEC opts to bring the ChemShow to Houston, after all, the heart of the petrochemical industry is here and the majority of the engineering companies have offices here if not their home offices.

As always, I enjoyed reading your editorial, this changing world has also affected the trade journals looking at the reduced size of the journals and magazines that I receive every month.  Also, every organization and/or association has their own publication and that affects the ones that have been the source of technical and informative articles in the past.

Keep up the good work and your editorials coming,
Thank you and regards,
Jose M. Sentmanat