So, now that the does has settled, and we’ve done the majority of our AIIM follow-ups, the question is what did you all think of the show?
Please post on this, as I’ve heard mixed reactions and definitely have my own viewpoints, which I will share:
I thought from a gross attendance standpoint, it was awful. That is every day except for Wednesday. Wednesday, the floor really appeared to be hopping, like it was for most of two days last year. So, what was the problem? I don’t know. Could have been the Monday hotel jam up due to Penn’s graduation, slowed down the first day of the show. The last day always stinks, so we’ll just discount that. Kerry Gumans, of Questex swore up and down (well, not literally, he just insisted very politely – as he’s really a nice guy, so we’re rooting for the show to succeed), that in the end, hotels were not an issue and that in the end everyone was accomodated, but just my visuials would seem to indicate differently. I wish I could say next year, we’d have a chance to validate this theory, but the fact is, Penn’s graducation is once again schduled for the Monday before the show, Monday, May 15. Well, at least this year, everyone, including Questex, will know what they’re getting into ahead of time. Hopefully, this knowledge will help push up Tuesday’s attendance.
Then, of course, there is the whole issue of regional traffic. I think New York defintely offers better regional traffic. The question revolves around how valuable that regional traffic is. Does a location like New York present more tire kickers, which are a waste of vendors time? It’s my thought that tire kickers eventually turn into buyers, so all traffic is good. But I did receive feedback from some vendors that because Philadelphia was more of a distination site for many of the attendees, that the quality of attendees was up despite the overall drop in numbers. The increase in conference attendees would seem to reinforce this.
And when you take out the tire kickers and factor in that Philly is less expensive in most regards than New York, even cheaper beer, than is it a better payback on your trade show investment?
More on my thoughts on a future format for the AIIM show in particular later.
Out. – RG