There’s something 3D printing vendors should know about AMUG.
AMUG, or the Additive Manufacturing User Group, hosts a well-regarded annual conference bristling with dozens of deeply informative sessions where attendees can learn a great deal about better ways to perform 3D printing and associated activities. Many attendees attend each year to ensure they are up to date on the latest practices.
Even in the off-session during networking events, attendees are eager to share ideas, failures and other important knowledge that can improve one’s ability to successfully 3D print. It’s incredibly valuable for anyone in the industry.
But there’s an emphasis on “in the industry”. According to AMUG’s registration process:
“Please note that AMUG Conference attendance is limited to those with direct ownership of industrial additive manufacturing equipment; using it for professional applications.”
The idea here was to ensure that the entire group would be deeply involved in the technology and thus conversations and exchanges would be at a high level. This clearly made the event attractive as the information received and given would be valuable.
But the implication was that vendors and media would not be able to attend.
For us that was disappointing, as we would miss out on learning some new developments in operational practices, networking and the ability to interview some notable 3D print operators.
Something changed along the way as it now seems that vendors are permitted to attend the event. AMUG now operates a small trade show on the event site, with perhaps 100 vendors of 3D printing gear displaying their products. Like most conferences, this is a fantastic way to provide more information to attendees, where they can often see equipment in operation and ask questions of the experts.
However, there is still no way for media to register for the event, outside of a very small number of media partners with long-term MoUs in place, as the organizers retain their “user” priority.
We’re fine with this policy; it’s a good event for users and vendors.
However, there’s a problem: some of the 3D printing vendors exhibiting at the event mistakenly think the AMUG event is similar to other trade shows. Thus they intend on announcing new products and services as is commonly done at other events. Additionally, we have received many requests from vendors to meet with them in person at AMUG for interviews, chats and to see and ask questions about new products, but we have to awkwardly explain that we are not able to attend, often to the great surprise of the vendor.
The problem is they will find very few media people present to carry forward their message. We won’t be present, and thus can only rely on electronically transmitted information and thus our coverage of any announcements at AMUG will be quite restricted.
Perhaps it’s time for AMUG to consider admitting media to the event? Even beyond media there are yet other categories of attendee, such as investors and those learning about the technology, who are also not able to attend. All of these attendees are able to successfully participate in all other 3D print events worldwide.
This year we may see some disappointed vendors, but the future can always see changes.