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Enduring Connections

Jan. 11, 2021
Machine Design enters 2021 with an eye toward expanded online offerings and the return of in-person trade shows.

I met some family members on New Year’s Day—socially distant, masked up and brief in duration. It was nice to see people in three dimensions again.

As we take the first halting steps toward being able to get better connected person-to-person, the last few months have shown how our human spirit cannot be overcome. We remain mostly engaged and mostly hopeful that we can close the distance between us in the near future. For now, we continue to use technology to stay productive and remain relevant as we build toward the future.

The year promises an improvement in our lives as COVID-19 vaccines become more widespread and the manufacturing and distribution becomes better managed. Getting to this stage, as we discuss in our January cover story, has been a result of technology enabling faster verification of vaccines and a collaborative distribution network given its most crucial task ever.

Technology use expanded in 2020 largely out of necessity. We incorporated video chats and virtual meetings, such as Machine Design’s successful Design Summit in November, as a way to share information despite the limits of our world. In doing this, we also found there still was a certain aspect to the human experience that cannot be digitized.

There has been a lot of speculation about the future of trade shows, particularly as we see so many events cancelled or recast as virtual events in the first half of the new year. I believe there is something compelling about the trade show experience, which is one of the reasons Machine Design will stage its Industrial Design, Engineering & Automation (IDEA!) event in November in Cleveland as part of Endeavor Business Media’s Manufacturing & Technology Show. We’re already planning a spectacular week of content and engagement that will be of great value.

We’ve also learned of the value of convenience, which is why you’ll see an expanded offering at that will include videos, podcasts and connected content. We also have an expanded chat function on every story that will allow you to provide feedback to our authors. Machine Design also has a robust social media connection with our global audience that includes more than 16,000 members on LinkedIn.

I encourage you to stay connected in every possible way—with me, with your industry partners, with your trade associations and with your friends and colleagues in our industry. We all have learned lessons in the past 12 months we never imagined we’d have to know. At the top of that list is our ability to endure. That will serve us well as we face the challenges yet to come.

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