The Digital Layout: Interaction—The Cure for Industry Contraction

In this month’s column, I share reports from our PCEA leadership on a flurry of activity over the past month. Next, I highlight some inspiring words that Chairman Steph Chavez recently delivered to our executive staff. Then, I wrap it up with a list of events for 2021 and 2022. 

PCEA Updates

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It seemed that the electronics trade show industry had been shrinking over the past year only to swell with a sudden, extreme realization that some venues were opening and the dormant plans for last year are now in the latent stage of metamorphosis and coming back to life. August provided a positive swell of relief in the form of a significant trade show called DesignCon, August 16-18, at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. PCEA was happy to participate by setting up our first trade show booth ever. PCEA executive staff gives a special nod to Eriko Yamato, our PCEA events coordinator, on design, coordination and delivery of our booth, as well as some very special T-shirts to hand out during the show. 

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Michael Creeden, PCEA vice chair and treasurer/coordinator of our PCEA sponsors, manned the booth throughout the show with some help from PCEA media coordinator Tara Dunn. Mike reports that while the show numbers were slightly down, he enjoyed the spirit of a “family reunion” and quite a few were interested in hearing about the value of becoming associated with the PCEA.

Message from the Chairman
As I was closing out my weekly “post-a-notes” of action items, Inoticed that many of them are regarding PCEA. One common theme that puts a huge smile on my face is the fact that PCEA is truly active and alive within the industry.

Here are just a few highlights:


  1. PCEA had its first major physical presence (booth) at an industry conference at DesignCon 2021.
  2. PCEA Ohio had its initial kickoff meeting to jump start this new chapter.
  3. An industry veteran has contacted me acknowledging his willingness to initiate a new PCEA chapter in Texas.
  4. Our education committee is set to publicly release an official process for publishing industry technical content on our website.

And now, I am looking forward to our next major event. My focus is a PCEA booth and presence at PCB West 2021. It will be the first face-to-face event I will have attended since this pandemic hit the public. I can’t wait for that integration with friends and fellow industry colleagues at this event.

As I reviewed the list of PCB West 2021 presenters, I noticed several of them are PCEA members. I love this fact. Let us look forward to and continue to show a strong support for our fellow PCEA members, as well as our support the PCEA presence within the industry and at our next major event.

Best Regards,

Stephen V. Chavez MIT, CPCD, CID+,


Next Month
As Steph mentions, our PCEA educational committee has been hard at work crafting policies for publishing educational materials on the PCEA website and making them available to our members. Tomas Chester, our new head of the education committee, tells me that the committee will continue to review educational article submissions and even web links to outside existing resources. He hopes they will serve as an educational resource to the PCB engineering community. With some of the best minds in PCB engineering education on our PCEA educational committee, I look forward to hearing more from Tomas and reporting on what they come up with.

Upcoming Events
Here is our list of upcoming events. Hope to see you at any or all of these.

PCB West 2021
October 5–8, 2021
Santa Clara, California

SMTA International 2021
November 1–4, 2021
Minneapolis, Minnesota

November 16–19, 2021
Munich, Germany

PCB Carolina
November 10, 2021
Raleigh, North Carolina

AltiumLive 2022
January 26–28, 2022
San Diego, California

January 22–27, 2022
San Diego, California

PCB East 2022
April 11–13, 2022
Marlborough, Massachusetts

Spread the word. If you have a significant electronics industry event that you would like to announce, please send me the details at, and we will consider adding it to the list.

Refer to our column and for upcoming industry events. If you have not yet joined the PCEA collective, please visit our website and find out how to become a PCEA member.

We’ve all been waiting for our industry to cease contraction and expand back to a form so robust that it will enable the flow of information and ideas again. How great it was to experience this through our PCEA representation at DesignCon last month. Now is the time to tap in to the PCEA for what is coming your way in the future. As Steph indicates, this organization is committed to participation in the trade show industry and to reach out with educational support to its membership. Who knows what great educational, presentational, and organizational endeavors will grow from the PCEA by placing a simple blue trade-show booth on a show floor? I am excited to hear about any potentially historic and monumental leadership opportunities which may come about in the trade show industry as the PCEA sets up its next event right around the corner. Could we be looking forward to any big announcements? Yes, please.

See you next month or sooner.

This column originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of Design007 Magazine.



The Digital Layout: Interaction—The Cure for Industry Contraction


In this month’s column, I share reports from our PCEA leadership on a flurry of activity over the past month. Next, I highlight some inspiring words which our Chairman Steph Chavez recently delivered to our executive staff. Again, I am happy to provide our readers with a list of events which are coming up in 2021 and 2022.

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