Welcome to LA


Last issue, I discussed how fitting it was that Display Week, the biggest event of the year for the display industry, was taking place in Los Angeles, the world center of entertainment. It's hard to imagine a better convergence. The long-anticipated celebration of displays in the entertainment capital of the world has arrived, and it promises to be the best Display Week ever. Between the Short Courses, Display Technology Seminars, Business Conference, Symposium sessions, Keynotes, Applications Tutorials, Luncheon, Evening Panel, Special Event, and, of course, the world class Exhibition, it is literally impossible to see and do it all.

If you are new to SID, welcome! As a veteran of Display Week, I strongly encourage you to look beyond the world-class exhibition and consider all the other things going on during the week as well. I have been attending Display Week for too many years to count, and I still treat it like a trip to Disney World. I gather the maps and schedules, I mark off the things that are most important to me, I plan my days to try and minimize down time, I coordinate with colleagues to make sure the stuff I miss is covered by someone else, and I usually turn my cell phone off because this is my week to learn and grow with the industry. Usually there are a number of things I know I want to attend, such as technical presentations on technology areas I'm following, or specific speakers I want to hear, but there are always many surprises I don't anticipate that I can only find if I explore as much as possible.

At SID you will learn about the term "Session Surfing." The parallel tracks of the Symposium sessions are timed so all the talks begin and end at about the same time. You can literally hop from session to session picking the specific presentations that are most important to you, as long as you don't mind the walking.

Maybe one of the biggest benefits of Display Week is simply the chance to meet so many other colleagues from around the world that you might never have the chance to go visit. My memories of previous events are rich with chance meetings with people from Europe and Asia who have become friends and trusted advisors. Meeting people face to face establishes a relationship that e-mail and phone calls cannot do, and therefore Display Week is an important event for this as well as it's so many other features.

It's my suspicion that quite a few people join SID by registering for one of our many conferences – such as Display Week – and then fail to take full advantage of that membership throughout the rest of the year. This is unfortunate. Even if you attend only one additional SID event or take even partial advantage of your local chapter activities and the online resources, you get the value of your membership back many times over. The Society for Information Display is about much more than just one great event per year. In fact, SID offers a calendar abounding with exciting international display-industry events, some focused on a particular technology or field of research, and others almost as broad as the Symposium. For example, just within the next 6 months, there are many significant upcoming SID events, including Mobile Displays 2008, IMID/IMDC/Asia Display 2008, and 2008 Vehicles and Photons in October; IDRC, and the Color Imaging Conference in November; and IDW in December. For a complete list of SID events, visit www.sid.org. This is only a partial list, but it is indicative of the very rich calendar of SID events that spans the globe.

However, some of the most important Society activities are those taking place regularly on a local and regional level in each of SID's 30-plus chapters worldwide. It's hard to find any industrialized part of the world that doesn't have some SID chapter activities going on. And if all that isn't enough, SID's publications such as this magazine, online resources, and network make it a truly indispensable tool to a successful display-industry career. In particular, Information Display magazine publishes 11 issues per year full of important and timely narratives about the technology of displays, from applications to new innovations to the business of displays. We also have a Web site that is updated daily with breaking news from around the display industry and has other valuable features that complement what you see in print each month – be sure to visit www.informationdisplay.org daily. In this particular issue, you can read about the most important new display products from 2007, which are being honored during Display Week with SID's coveted Display of the Year awards. Another article examines the value of different types of LCD glass. We also have the privilege of presenting the first of a two-part series on the evolution of projection technology. I was surprised to learn about the many different schemes used throughout the last century to create projected display images. I thought it was all done with CRTs and film – I was wrong.

This month, we begin what I hope will be a continuing series of columns titled "President's Corner" written by incoming SID President Paul Drzaic. Paul will be discussing a variety of topics concerning the Society, it's membership, and strategic directions for the future. I have known Paul for many years and I have the highest regard for his vision and insight into the industry. I hope you will enjoy his writing, and through this feature we will enhance the communication between the President's office and the membership at large.

So, if you are new to SID, I hope you find it a truly enriching experience. If you are a regular member and ID reader, welcome back and thank you for your generous support of SID.

– Stephen P. Atwood