Having just returned from DCIM World, oops, I meant Data Center World, I can say the future of that show is safe in the hands of new president Tom Roberts and new owners iNet Interactive. Mission Critical’s booth, located just across the aisle from AFCOM’s offered me a terrific observation post.

Tom was a constant presence in the AFCOM booth. Not only did he never seem to sit, he was continually greeting friends and well wishers at the booth. In addition, it can be fairly said that he aggressively courted other attendees at the show. In short, he was a dynamic representative of AFCOM.

Tom has been on the job for less than a month, so he can’t fairly take credit or blame for changes in Data Center World. Judging by the number of changes in the show, new owners iNet Interactive seem to have taken past criticisms of Data Center World. For instance, in past years, vendors and exhibitors would complain about the limited exhibit hours, typically about 3 per day. This year the hours more than doubled, and some vendors grumbled that the hours were too long.

Lesson, well you can’t please everyone, but the change of the hours suggests the AFCOM management is listening to feedback from the industry and is willing to make changes.

Other changes were small but significant and ranged from the cutting knife provided to exhibitors, which helped them build displays, to the plentiful coffee and iced tea, which made the networking area a great deal more comfortable.

Could there be other improvements? Sure. And I expect Tom and others will be making them. AFCOM is more than Data Center World, of course. It is member-driven organization, and Tom’s long history of leadership in the Michigan chapter helps him understand the needs of the chapters. And he plans to deepen his understanding of these needs by visiting each and every chapter, which will help him tailor services that meet the needs of as many chapters as possible plus increase awareness of existing AFCOM services.

I’m already looking forward to Spring 2013 event, April 28 - May 2, 2013, at the Mandala Bay in Las Vegas, NV.