All’s Quite at the IPI show…****Updated****


All’s Quite at the IPI show…****Updated****


I spoke to Bonnie Watts, marketing head for the IPI and the Exhibition. She told me that first of all, this show is not the biggest, the show in Las Vegas two years ago was bigger, with over 230 exhibitors. She also noted that the change in "approach" that is, not having a marching band or other things to generate "excitement" was at the direct request of the exhibitors (it bothered them in their booths).

Thanks for the clarification, Bonnie.


The exhibition is the best I have ever seen. There are 193 exhibitors, the biggest number ever. I understand that registered attendance was up there, too. There was some new technology and one booth (Federal APD) when against type and had 120 square feet and no equipment on display. When I asked Joe Wilson, President of the Federal Signal division, about it he smiled, shrugged, and said that maybe it was time for a change in how exhibitors approached these exhibitions.

However the overall mood seemed to me to be subdued. It was quiet. There was no buzz. I hope it will be better tomorrow, and I will report same. (This had nothing to do with the so called "recession" as to a company, everyone I asked and the sample was large, about their business this year, said that it was the best year they ever had.)

There seemed to be attendees in the aisles, but when I walked around, I had no problem talking to exhibitors. (I don’t like to bother them when they are in "selling" mode." Virtually everyone I spoke to commented on the tone of the event.)

Is the IPI show becoming a bit stodgy in its dotage? I remember shows that were in tents with marching bands and comedians walking the halls. The events were noisy, exciting, and people were laughing and jostling each other in the aisles.

I’ll report back tomorrow – most said (and hoped) that things would pick up on Monday. However some said that many municipalities couldn’t attend because of budget cuts. We shall see.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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