You know, I have been with PCI for almost 19 years, and I have to admit that 2009 was the most challenging year for the publishing industry, as well as the coatings industry. As you know, we all had to make changes – not only in the way we conducted our business, but also in our personal lives.
Now where on earth did that expression come from anyway? Well it so happens that traditionally the “dog days” are those that fall between July 3 and August 11 – days that are often known for their extreme heat and humidity. Some say it signifies hot, sultry days “not fit for a dog” and others claim it is the weather in which dogs go mad.
In some respects, the last half of 2008 and almost all of 2009 was a time when the world collectively held its breath, as we watched the global economy come to a sudden halt and teeter on the brink of serious disaster. The money supply literally froze as banks stopped lending. The U.S. housing market dropped precipitously. The American automotive industry, a mainstay of U.S. manufacturing, also wavered on the edge, with two of the Big Three automakers going into bankruptcy proceedings.
You know each issue of PCI that we finish I think is the best one – until the next month. I am always so pleased with the features, the new technology and all of the technological changes I see in the industry – particularly when you have been around a while you can look back and see significant change over time. I have the advantage of reading a great number of submitted papers and company literature each day, and it is always exciting.
The 2010 American Coatings Show & Conference wrapped up on April 15, and the general consensus of the organizers as well as all whom PCI staff spoke with was that the event was a success. Numbers were up from 2008, with 328 exhibitors and about 6,700 overall participants (2008: 331/5,600).
As hard as I try to maintain optimism and really look in all the nooks and crannies for signs of a major turnaround – it is still tough out there. When you have been in the industry as long as I have it is so frustrating and sad to see a lack of growth, R&D budgets severely curtailed and in some cases cut completely, and an industry that you love continue to shrink.
We have two choices as we start this New Year – approach with fear and hesitancy or be guardedly optimistic and move forward. I choose the latter, as I think if we don’t show confidence we will spiral ourselves downward.