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JULY 2020        TAP TIMES       -9-            The show was presented by the then-pow-
                                                                erful, now defunct, Electronic Packaging &
                                                                Production magaine. It was common for
                  SEMICON West (from 8)                         publications to spin-off trade shows as an

                                                                advertising medium.
        SEMICON West, according to SEMI, will
        return to Moscone Center next year in the               A rite-of-passage
        July time frame.  Will it remain “forever”              Although the show was nearly a rite-of-
        at Moscone Center?  Only SEMI knows and                 passage for members of the PC board
        they are not telling.                                   community, escalating costs and what

                                                                exhibitors believed was an excessively
        Perhaps a more telling question is, “How                greedy mangement finally ended this be-
        long will a show like SEMICON West be vi-               hemoth in 2002.
        able?” No one has the answer to that, but
        over the years we have seen highly suc-                 A competing show, APEX, organized and
        cessful shows grow, prosper and vanish.                 sponsored by the IPC trade group in 2001
                                                                formed its own successful show backed by
        NEPCON West                                             NEPCON West’s larger exhibitors.
        One sterling example is NEPCON West,
        which ran from the late 1950s to 2002. It               The familiar NEPCON name still exists, but
        was an annual show held at the Anaheim                  its shows in Asia and Europe are under dif-
        Convention Center, then California’s largest            ferent owners.The WESCON shows, com-
        events venue.                                           peting in some areas with NEPCON West,
                                                                also failed to survive over the long haul.
        The show was several times the size of
        SEMICON West, occupying almost the to-
        tality of the mammoth Convention Center,
        just blocks from Disneyland, and featured
        mostly materials and tools for the printed
        circuit board industry.  It was wildly suc-
        cessful and hugely profitable over the de-

                                                                Technical panels and forums, such as this one, labeled a
                                                                “Tech Xpot” by SEMI, had become increasingly common at
                                                                the show.  There was, in fact, severe competition for the
                                                                show attendees’ time between panels, exhibits and other
                                                                events.  (TAP TIMES Archive)

                                                                Trade shows are like people
                                                                To  paraphrase  a  former  presidential  can-
                                                                didate, now a senator  from  Utah,  “Trade
                                                                shows are like people.”
        NEPCON West 2000 in Anaheim, Calif., was several times
        the size of SEMICON West.  It disappeared in 2002.                                             next page
                                          (TAP TIMES Archive)
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