Written by Steven Palmatier, Workforce & Industrial Development Liaison
Two weeks ago Norwich Aero employees and I spent three days in West Springfield Massachusetts at the EASTEC trade show, which was organized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (they are probably best known outside of manufacturing circles for organizing the FIRST Robotics programs). Held every other year, this is the largest event on the East Coast devoted to manufacturing, with an emphasis on machining, fabrication and inspection.
Arriving at the Eastern States Exposition Center, the site of the show, I registered as a vendor and found our location among the 350 other vendors in building three. I had an hour after I had set up our booth to walk through the five buildings that were being used for the show. Buildings one and two where most of the large machine tools were on display were even more chaotic than ours. Large CNC lathes and milling machines were still in their shipping crates on the floor and many of the booths had 30 or 40 people working to get them up and running. The next morning I arrived on site at 7:30 a.m., grabbed a cup of coffee, and headed for building three wondering what I would find. Aisles that had been bare concrete when I left were now carpeted and everything was in place. The show was ready to begin!
At 9:00 a.m. the doors opened and people started to walk through the buildings, and by 10:00 a.m. there were people filing in continuously. When I was not talking with someone, I was scanning the badges on people passing by looking for engineers and executives from aerospace and medical device companies that I could engage in a conversation about the Norwich Aero opportunity.
The sight of Paul Erwin and Ron Charles from Norwich Aero at around noon that day was a welcome respite. I would bet that over the three days of the show we engaged in conversations with well over 2,500 people and handed out more than 350 flyers on the building along with other material on Chenango County.