I’ll be heading to the ISA Expo next week.  In the U.S., this is one of the largest Automation Industry trade shows, although it is not nearly as large as it used to be.

Why should you attend the ISA Expo?

As a practitioner in the field of process control, you should definitely attend the ISA Expo, at least once.   Why? There are several good reasons:

  • You get to see what is new & exciting in the industry.  Some is rather ho-hum.  But some is pretty exciting!
  • You get to meet some of the leaders in the field, face-to-face.  For example, at this year’s ISA Expo, you can meet Dick Morley, the “inventor of the PLC”, and Greg Shinskey,  the grandfather of modern process control.  If you want to meet more geek gods (that’s not a typo!), stop by ISA’s book store.  Many authors will be milling about.  Here’s an insider tip: Most of the authors will be hanging around the book store on Wednesday evening, as ISA hosts a reception for authors right after the show floor closes.
  • The technical sessions are usually pretty good.  You can see case studies and technical examples from your peers.

The Dark Side

It’s not all peaches & cream…Here are some things to watch out for:

  • The food at the expo. It’s terrible, concessionized, overprocessed, yuck, yuck, yuck. After the expo, head off to some better Houston restaurants, like my favorite, Pappadeaux cajun seafood.
  • Vendors looking for a warm body to talk with.  Do yourself a favor, and plot out which booths you want to visit.  Because the show is smaller each year, vendors are a bit hungry, and they may “pounce” on you as you walk by.