I have no idea, how they do their math, but these are the numbers they came up with. Now, it used to be I could get a detailed report of how many were vendors, attendees, press/analysts, etc. but I haven’t seen that for a few years. So, the general consensus seemed to be that the majority of the crowds were on the On Demand side this year. What for, I don’t know, as vendors like Ricoh, Sharp and Toshiba didn’t even show up – and Ricoh, in fact, had its own event in Vegas simultaneously. But, assuming those observations are correct, we’re talking clearly less than 10,000 for the AIIM event, although the combined show floor was so small, I don’t see how an attendee couldn’t have made it to both events.
That all said, the Questex release clearly has some positive exhibitor quotes in it, and I definitely heard a lot less complaining than last year. My theory is that all the malcontents (and I’m not saying their malcontention wasn’t well founded) pulled out. And everyone there this year pretty much got what they expected, as the show didn’t seem considerably worse than last year, and maybe even a little better, if you account for the fact that many Europeans were delayed or deterred because of the volcanic ash in the skies over Iceland.
I thought Chris Riley had a great quote about the event (it’s included in the Questex press release): “I would be lost without my once a year pow-wow with industry peers. This year at AIIM, the attendance, to me at least, did not seem to take the normal steps downward. I believe this was because of some positive sentiments surfacing about economic recovery and [rising interest in] Microsoft [SharePoint].” (I think that’s what he meant to say at least. I didn’t quite understand the phrasing in the release.)
By the way, Chris is now with ShareSquared, which apparently specializes in image-enabling SharePoint, and from that standpoint, it was probably a good event. The Microsoft SharePoint lab looked fairly busy and Bob Bueltmann, of Microsoft imaging partner KnowledgeLake, seemed very happy with his investment in the event.
Finally, next year’s AIIM On Demand event has been scheduled for March 22-24 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C. I think everyone agreed that Philly was beat, and it was time to move on. Thankfully, we’re not heading back to Boston (nothing against the city, but we were just there and fresher markets are better, I think). D.C., of course, also has the built-in federal government market. Interestingly, AIIM got the dates that FOSE, the big government technology show, had this year. FOSE 2011 has been pushed back to July. So, that seems like nice coincidence (or planning) to help get people out who are used to going to FOSE in the spring.
The only thing I don’t like (aside from the possible prices for D.C. hotels) is the MFP dealer event ITEX being co-located with AIIM and On Demand in D.C. Dealer events are almost always held in Vegas, and there’s reasons for that. It will be interesting to see how many dealers show up in D.C. Perhaps it would have been better to hold off a year on the co-lo and move AIIM to Vegas in 2012, as people have certainly been clammering for a more western venue.