If Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Internet of Things (IoT) are now well-known names and concepts in the business world, much is owed to a man named Mark Roberti, the journalist who founded and edited—until this month and for more than 20 years—what has become the largest provider of content and events in the sector: the RFID Journal. After his long successful trajectory, Mark Roberti retires from RFID Journal and leaves a valuable legacy of knowledge, success stories, learnings and relationships, which help create and nurture a mature RFID ecosystem.
Mark Roberti told about his departure from RFID Journal, in an interview with IoP Journal. Click here and watch.
I met Mark in 2011, when he came to Brazil looking for an editor for what became the RFID Journal Brasil website and the RFID Journal LIVE! Brasil, which lasted until 2019 and 2016 respectively. RFID Journal Brasil became, in 2019, IoP Journal – The Internet of Packaging, in order to address successful business cases with other technologies that add to RFID, such as QR Codes and Digital Printing.
Mark and I got together at an event to launch a special printed edition of the RFID Journal for Brazil, which quickly proved unfeasible due to costs and the trend of migrating journalistic content to the online world. The US RFID Journal went 100 percent digital the following year, too.
In the first conversations, we had great empathy, with similar views on how to practice journalism and with great expectations about the importance and evolution of RFID. So, Mark hired me, and, in November 2011, we launched the RFID Journal Brasil website on the Internet. The following year we launched the conference and exhibition for Brazilian and Latin American markets. The website and the events were very important to bring the Brazilian ecosystem closer and Mark entrusted me with the role of editor, master of ceremonies, panel mediator and speaker.
In the United States, in 2012, at my debut at RFID Journal LIVE! in Orlando, I was surprised by the general behavior of the public towards Mark Roberti. Many people, especially college students, wanted to take pictures with him, treating him like a pop star. Gradually, I understood the importance of RFID Journal and its ability to attract the business and research public to what would transform the Internet of Humans into the Internet of Things.
Over the years, I cultivated with Mark a relationship of extreme professionalism, admiration and, also, a deep friendship. When I heard about his departure from RFID Journal, I was quite upset and sad. After all, we never like to see the phases of our lives come to an end, which is inevitable. And I especially don’t like to be away from my friends, even if it’s for retirement.
So, I would like to take advantage of this editorial dedicated to the retirement of my friend Mark to thank this great professional for the years I was able to help him in this endeavor to spread RFID and IoT technologies to improve the way companies in all sectors do business. It was thanks to RFID Journal and the support of my friend Mark Roberti and the entire team, especially Debbie Hughes, that I became an international speaker on RFID and IoT, which put me on the global stage as a reference on these technologies in Brazil and the world abroad.
In these years of working with Mark, I was able to get to know not only the technologies and their uses in different companies and industries, but, mainly, to meet professionals who work in these RFID and IoT markets, including Smart Packaging, all over the world. I am very grateful to my great friend Mark, and I wish him the maximum peace of mind and benefits that recognition for the excellent work he has done in his professional career can bring. “We are together, friend! You can always count on me!”
Mark Roberti said via email: “It has been an honor and privilege to serve the RFID industry for the past 20 years. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to support companies around the world that are looking to successfully deploy RFID and work with vendors of solutions creating amazing RFID products. The industry is set to grow dramatically over the next five years, and I’m looking forward to watching that happen.”
Edson Perin is the editor of IoP Journal and founder of Netpress Editora.