ISA's "exchanges" aren't the real AutomationXchange

ISA's new publicity campaign for ISA Expo causes me to need to clarify something. For the past four years, Control has sponsored a quite different event, something we call AutomationXchange. AutomationXchange does what the ISA show used to do, before the show ossified and people with checkbooks stopped coming. What we do is to profile twenty to thirty end user companies, find the ones with funded projects who are interested in relationships with new suppliers, and invite them to come to a private "exchange." We then make contact with about the same number of suppliers, who the end users have agreed they'd like to meet with, and invite them. There's no party, no golf, no "bring your spouse." It is buyers and sellers meeting in private, face to face, about projects that are real, and that it is likely they can do business together on. It is, in fact, the heart of what ISA Expo used to be, and ceased to be, way back in the 1990s, when I was on the C&E Committee. It is something very like what I originally proposed that ISA scrap the show and do, back over 10 years ago. ISA can call Expo anything they want, but unless the buyers actually come back, and actually meet productively with the sellers, there isn't an "exchange" of anything, except possibly business cards, and the cold-like crud we all seem to acquire by going to large conventions. This year, the real "AutomationXchange" will take place in Park City, UT from August 19-22. To learn more, visit