For the first time in our memory, heavy document imaging hitters Kodak and Kofax will not be exhibiting at our industry’s largest annual get together. Citing reasons like “the most expensive leads you get come at AIIM,” and “we’ve been thinking about pulling out for several years and the down economy gave us the impetus to finally go through with it,” the industry’s leading production scanner vendor and the leading capture software player have pulled out of the AIIM Expo (scheduled for end of March-early April). Neither one has even committed to having a meeting room.
I must admit , I have been hearing complaints for several years, with last year’s being the most serious, about the lack of quality floor traffic at the event. I also received feedback that exhibitors have been making suggestions that have gone largely ignored by Questex, which purchased the show from AIIM (the trade organization) eight or nine years ago. And, although Questex has been offering increased targeted marketing services to exhibitors, by our observation, the event itself has changed little since started going to it in the late 1990s – and some pundits were already proclaiming that the event was dead then.
Across the board marketing cuts due the down economy may be the last nail in the coffin. Prior to this year, despite the complaints, and slowly dwindling attendance, little actually changed, except for maybe smaller booth sizes. Sure, some companies would leave for a year, but they’d always come back. We’ll see of they come back after this year.
I’ve got a call with Questex set up for Thursday. We’ll see what they have to say…