A View From the Back Aisle

I know it is early, but I am already hearing the same question I hear every year, “What do you think about the traffic on the show floor?” Everyone seems concerned about how many people are walking around at the show. I know it matters, but I have to wonder if it matters as much as we think. After all, the show floor is sold out and attendance seems strong from what I can see, even in the educational sessions.

Sometimes I think we judge the success of a show by how many people we have to squeeze past as we try to get to the next appointment. Do we take into consideration the size of the hall or the time of day or the people who are trying to get out early (we know who we are!)

Earlier today, I had a conversation with a colleague about quality over quantity. I decided I would apply that to the floor traffic. I visited the figurative back aisle. You know that place – where you see the smaller booths with the vendors that are watching their marketing spend or dipping their toe into the hospitality pool.

This is where you begin to see what kind of HITEC it is shaping up to be.  It’s easy to see everyone crowded around big TV booth watching Columbia take on Japan in the World Cup and say – “they are having a good show.” Before any of those exhibitors chastise me – I’m not taking shots. I’m only pointing out that success often looks different on the back aisle.

It isn’t just about how much traffic comes by the booth. It is about how many scans you are getting and the quality of the leads you are generating. Are the people wandering by stopping to talk to you or are they just window shopping (i.e., how many of you have stopped by, oh say, Kubesystems in the back corner?)  For these companies, success tends to be measured not in the number of people walking around, but the number of people stopping by.

Back to the view from the back aisle. As I said before, its early, but I believe it is encouraging. What I saw was an engaged set of exhibitors. I saw booths being visited by attendees. Who knows, maybe even a little bit of business is being conducted.

So what is your floor vibe? For me, the early returns are good. Agree or Disagree?  Let me know in the comments section below.

James is the president of James Lingle Consulting. In his consulting business James works with both vendors and hoteliers across a wide range of needs. Actively involved in the industry, James is currently a director at large for the HFTP Rocky Mountain chapter and has served on the HITEC Advisory Council.

The content published in this section was provided by HITEC Guest Bloggers. The information is the view/opinions of the Guest Bloggers and not of HFTP, nor of any person or organization affiliated or doing business with HFTP.

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