NAATBatt 2020 will be held on February 10-13, 2020, in Pasadena, California. It will be the 11th annual meeting of the NAATBatt International organization, which dates from 2008. For all of those years I have struggled with the question of why NAATBatt should have an annual meeting at all?
Trade shows are a big business. You can go to a battery, electric drive or energy storage-focused trade show somewhere in the world just about every week if you want to. Sophisticated media companies run most of those shows. They run them well and make a lot of money by doing so.
So the question for NAATBatt, a small not-for-profit organization with a staff of just five part-time consultants, has always has been: what kind of a meeting can NAATBatt run that would be bring value to our members beyond what they could get from a much more professionally run trade show? That question keeps me up at night.
While I do not know that NAATBatt has yet found the definitive answer to that question, I sense that the answer lies in having NAATBatt meetings focus on the mission of NAATBatt rather than on maximizing the number of exhibit booths and sponsorships. NAATBatt’s mission is to support the development of the advanced battery business in North America. If NAATBatt focuses on that rather than on booth sales, I figure it might not go too far wrong.
NAATBatt 2020’s focus on mission will express itself most clearly in the 56 Member Update Presentations that will be the core of the program. The Member Update Presentations are 5-minute speaking slots allocated to each NAATBatt firm. Each member firm can use that time to talk about whatever it wants. A member will usually use those 5 minutes to introduce itself to the 150+ other companies in the room and explain why those companies should do business with that member.
There is no charge to make a Member Update Presentation. NAATBatt does not make a nickel by facilitating them. But Member Update Presentations further NAATBatt’s core mission by educating attendees about the amazing variety of expertise in North America related to advanced battery technology and encouraging the formation of collaborations and partnerships that will turn that expertise into profitable businesses.
56 five-minute commercials might sound mind-numbing. But year after year in post-conference surveys attendees report that the Member Update Presentations are the most interesting and valuable part of the show. Nowhere can you see in one place the enormous capability of North American firms to compete in the worldwide business of advanced battery technology. And nowhere can you understand more accurately exactly which firms have exactly what capabilities.
The NAATBatt Member Update Presentations will be the highlight of the NAATBatt 2020 program. Don’t miss them.