FROM THE TOP
by John O’Brien
With the changing of the calendar, we simultaneously look back on the year that was and forward to the year that will be. 2022 was an interesting year. Constrained supply chain continued to drive customer behaviors. Lead times began to stabilize on some products, while continuing to expand on others. Customers placed orders 12-18 months out to secure their allocation and then the correction began. Those orders were being pushed out or cancelled. Certain markets saw contraction in their forecasts.
At ERA, we held the largest ERA Conference in decades in February 2022, with over 500 attendees. With a record number of sponsors, we were able to secure top-rated speakers like Seth Mattison, our Keynote speaker, and General Session speakers Bernard Baumohl, Jason Dorsey, Crystal Kadakia and of course, Michael Knight. Once again, the breakout sessions were the hit of the event where attendees could gather in a more intimate setting to delve deeper into topics germane to our businesses.
ERA launched a number of new initiatives that really took hold in 2022. The NEXGEN SIG began regularly meeting to discuss topics they felt, as the next generation of leaders, would be pertinent to them. ERA gave out the first White Pin Internship scholarships to English Technical Sales and Aurora Technical Sales.
All in all, 2022 was a great year.
What’s in store for 2023?
On the business front, more uncertainty. Bookings have seen a decline. Pushout and cancellation requests continue and while some products are seeing a decrease in lead times, others continued to be constrained. But, at ERA, it’s full steam ahead…
On February 26-28, in Austin, Texas, we will host an even bigger 2023 ERA Conference. With over 600 registered attendees it promises to be a great conference. The committees have been hard at work securing keynote speaker Meridith Elliott Powell who will help us all turn the uncertainty we know we’ll be facing, into a competitive edge. Bernard Baumohl will be back for an economic update, while Chris McChesney will explore how to successfully execute on the strategies we develop. Cheryl Cran will be presenting on the future of leadership and of course, no conference would be complete without Michael Knight’s insights into “Technology Drivers for 2023 and Beyond.”
Of course, there will be extensive breakout sessions and a new venue for the Conference party. A huge shout-out to the over 75 volunteers led by the 2023 Conference committee, the Sponsorship sub-committee, the Keynote sub-committee, the General Session sub-committee and the Breakout Sessions sub-committee. We look forward to seeing you all there.