Thinking ForwardShedding light on disruptive, cutting-edge trends and technologies poised to impact the equipment manufacturing industry in the not-too-distant future has been a priority of great significance for AEM in the last few years.

But our association’s efforts to inform our members and the industry at large through our Thinking Forward series of events and related thought leadership content are only worthwhile if equipment manufacturers take advantage of unique opportunities to gain information and insights they can incorporate into day-to-day business activities.

That’s why we’re excited to announce our plans to help AEM members do just that through our 2019 lineup of Thinking Forward events. This year’s kickoff event is set for Feb. 20-21 in Washington D.C., where attendees will have an opportunity to visit the Airbus D.C. Experience Center. We have a great lineup of speakers set for our inaugural event of 2019: Maritz’s Charlotte Blank will discuss what motivates the customer of the future, Dr. Lonnie Love will present on the topic of additive manufacturing, and McKinsey & Co.’s Paolo Sandrone will discuss the customer decision journey. The night before the Feb. 21 Thinking Forward event, on Feb. 20 from 5:30-7p.m. ET, we will have a reception at the new AEM Washington D.C. office. Contact me if you would like to attend or register now. 

2018 was an exciting year for AEM’s Thinking Forward initiative. We held seven events at innovation centers across the country, including Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), 3M’s Innovation Center, the Autodesk Pier 9 Technology Center, Penske Racing’s headquarters, among others. In addition, a record number of people and companies were in attendance, and they were able listen to leading experts discuss cutting-edge topics such as:

Last year’s events were very well received, and AEM is committed to building on the success of Thinking Forward in 2019. In addition to the kickoff event in our nation’s capital, this year’s slate of seven events will include stops at a number of innovation centers across the country and a trip to Canada. Locations include the Airbus D.C. Experience Center, the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan,  and the Cisco Innovation Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

I’m excited for the AEM membership team to get back on the road and connect with member company representatives at these valuable and informative events. To see a full schedule of AEM Thinking Forward locations, visit

Sign up today to attend one of these new and exciting events to help keep your company “Thinking Forward” in 2019 – and beyond.

Finally, the AEM membership team is always here to help. Please give me a call at any time, 414-298-4150, or email me at

For more information on AEM's Thinking Forward series of member events, visit or subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor