The event continues to be quiet. Exhibitors aren’t complaining any more than usual, however they do note that although the "quality" of leads seem to be very high, the number is down. Tom Rollo at Skidata commented that he felt that the larger booths (like his) were more quiet than the smaller ones. He said that he felt that attendees were pretty much on board with the major companies, been there done that, and that they were interested in the smaller ones with niche products.
The companies that are really profiting from their attendance at the IPI are those that spent a lot of time and money before the show setting up individual appointments with potential customers and then focusing on those meetings. They tell me that those meetings (some have as many as 40 set up over the three days, have made their event. Its always been my opinion that companies make their own success and this seems to prove my point.
The economy is getting some blame, although every exhibitor I spoke to, and the number is now well over 70, tell me that they are having their best year ever. There is one issue that may have affected the attendees, cities, it seems, are having budget problems (due in part to lowering property values) and that is reflected in cutting back on travel and training funding.
If one were to focus on "what’s new" at this show, you would proabably fine few really NEW products, however I have seen a lot of companies selling automated garages, Pay by Cell seems to be "hot" and it seemed to me that on street monitoring, citation management, and parking fee collection is on every aisle. That includes all types of meters, hand helds, individual space monitoring, and software. These booth sizes go from tiny 10x10s to major presentations by Duncan, Paylock, Metric, POM, Digital Payment, and MacKay.
The location of your booth seemed to have a lot to do with your activity, as those near the main door seemed to have more activity than those at the sides and rear of the hall. It was commented that the aisles seemed wide and noted that at Intertraffic, even though they have an attendance 10 or 15 times that of the IPI, they have very narrow aisles. This adds to the frenetic activity in the hall and the buzz and excitement.
I was very happy to see John Manno of Southland printing in attendance. He has been missing in action for the past few shows however for this one, he rented a bus and drove his senior management staff over from Shreveport. John was our first advertiser and has been loyal and supportive ever since that first ad nearly a dozen years ago. I wish him and his family all the best.
I’m off now for the last day and then back to LA for a couple of weeks.