The IPI Show – GREAT! Now if you could just tell us how to turn dirt into Gold.


The IPI Show – GREAT! Now if you could just tell us how to turn dirt into Gold.

First of all – there were 2400 registrants – exhibitor personnel and attendees. With over 200 exhibit booths, easily half of the attendees were exhibitor personnel. This is the largest IPI show ever, and good for the IPI

My informal survey was typical of most IPI shows. Traffic was good on the first day, excellent the morning of the second day, and then tended to drop off after that. It was quiet on the last day. Exhibitors did say that the quality of the attendees was extremely high. They also commented that they greatly appreciated having IPI board members coming to their booths to thank them for their participation. This is all good stuff.

I might recommend to the IPI – open the doors at the time scheduled – Exhibitors need every moment to prepare (The first day the doors opened 20 minutes early). Second – take a hint from the European shows and make the aisles narrower. (I know about fire marshals but the aisles were wider than the minimum requirement. Even the huge World of Concrete has narrow aisles, and they have 50,000 visitors.) Sure – people will be crowded a bit, but it will also add to the excitement of the event. Remember your show is very big, there is plenty of room. You might have noticed that over on aisle 1 it always seemed to be busier than the rest of the event. That was, I think, because most of the booths were single booths and there were many people visiting lots of booths. That frenzy and excitement is good for exhibitors and for attendees.

I’m not sure that having two sessions on Tuesday is a good idea. Perhaps you could consider one longer session. Then people could come and stay longer. Particularly when it is a hike from the hotel to the exhibits, many folks wanted to cut down on walking time. (I did some calculations and at this show, I would expect most people spent 45 minutes to an hour each day just walking back and forth. That takes a lot of time away from events and seminars.)

Having “power pitch” programs in the hall is a very good idea, but it is also distracting for those booths that surround the presentation area. The Brits enclose the presentation area and it helps a lot.

Another GREAT idea is the internet café – however, if it were located in the exhibit hall, people would feel enticed to come into the hall to use it. I know that you wanted to make it available when the hall was closed, but then why not supply two smaller ones and close the one at the registration area when the hall was open. Exhibitors want every possible attraction to get people into the hall. (I think the staff at the Kenwood booth brought a lot of particularly male folks into the hall. Blue has always been a favorite color of mine)

As usual the food was superb – You spared no expense – As an exhibitor I wish there were a way to get people to eat faster and then move back in to the exhibit hall. If you can work that out, we would appreciate it. Also, while you are at it, if you could let us know how to turn dirt into gold it would be helpful.

Good job, Bonnie and your team. Well done.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

5 Responses

  1. John,
    As an attendee, I agree with your comments. I especially appreciated the seating areas within the showfloor for people to eat the food instead of trying to balance the plate with one hand and get the idea. Although, the seating area probably allowed folks to spend more time networking and visiting prior to returning to the exhibits. Overall, a good show and as usual, Las Vegas was a good draw.

  2. I can’t help but feel like your critiques are intended to be a slap in the face to IPI. From what I know, they graciously included you (a competitor) in their show, which is unquestionably the premier event in parking each year. Maybe your minor criticisms would have been better served in a private email directly to them, as opposed to this petty rant. I attended the show and was impressed by the quality of this event. You appear to have sour grapes, which is unfortunate.

  3. I thing that I probably erred with the “dirt into gold” comment. My guess is that you misunderstood. I asked if they could solve a problem that was unsolvable, and then asked them to provide the solution to one that was obviously also unsolvable. The meaning, my friend, is that they did the best that was possible. There is no solution to the problem. Sigh — there is no win…JVH

  4. The editor’s response seems weak and rather insincere. I was referring to the 8 pithy complaints you highlighted in your post, which would have been better directed in an email to the tradeshow than as a public slap in the face to your host. The reference to “dirt into gold” was as disjointed as much of your other musings, and is not what I was referencing.

  5. Ahhhhh That was my problem — there were no complaints in my post, merely some observations that I’m certain the IPI most likely has considered already. And as for the “8 pithy complaints” I could only count four recommendations and as for being Pithy (pith·i·er, pith·i·est. brief, forceful, and meaningful in expression; full of vigor, substance, or meaning; terse; forcible: a pithy observation) I would suggest that they were merely “off hand.” But then, being “disjointed, weak and insincere,” I guess that means that the first two paragraphs of the post were meaningless, too. I repeat, whether Jim wants to believe it or not, the IPI ran a good show in Vegas, and it’s management certainly deserves any credit it gets. JVH

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