$250 Million On the Hoof

Last night CSIA held their annual table top show, run by the Associate Members. With the exception of the AutomationXchanges held by CONTROL, Control Design, and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (all sister publications) this is the most economically significant gathering of the automation tribe in the entire year. Really, you say? Absolutely. NOwhere else can you find 250 people with purchasing authority of at least $1 million per year gathered in the same place to be friendly with their most important vendors. Think about it. One of the traits of a good tabletop show is that the vendors and users stick around until the hotel kicks them out. When I left last night, people were still looking at exhibits, even though the bar had been closed for an hour. And deals were being cut, and significant money was changing hands. If you are a vendor, and a significant part of your income derives from system integrators, and you weren't there last night, you ought to be asking yourself why. If you are a system integrator, and you don't belong to CSIA, you need to ask yourself how much longer you think you can be in business where the benchmarks are being tightened up as bravely and as toughly as CSIA is tightening them. Out of a membership of 215, they fully expect to lose at least 10% when the "be Registered or be gone" rules completely kick in next year. Comments? --Walt Boyes