The Weave Factor Signals Business Rebound

At high noon on the opening day of GRAPH EXPO 2012, I was at a client’s booth along the left side wall about 150 feet back from the entrance. Moments after the show floor officially opened, there were people coming down the aisle, even though this location was hardly in a direct route to anywhere. And the traffic kept on coming. It was never crazy busy, but it was steady; and the people stopping in the booth were in ready-to-buy mode.

The traffic flow was much better than last year when maybe 100 people milled about outside the entrance at the opening and filtered slowly into the hall. While official numbers aren’t out yet, this year’s show certainly seemed busier than last year.

My own measure—the Weave Factor, or how much you have to weave around other people while walking the aisles—was much higher than in the past two or three years. I was towing my usual bag of video gear and there weren’t many straight paths to follow. (My apologies to those whose feet I ran over!).

By comparison, a few weeks earlier I attended Labelexpo Americas 2012 at the Rosemont Convention Center by O’Hare Airport. That show had a pretty strong vibe of excitement, but the Weave Factor was almost non-existent, even though the show floor was much smaller.

Could GRAPH EXPO traffic have been better? Sure, but I didn’t find one vendor who wasn’t pleased with the quality of the people cruising the show floor.

“They’re asking the kind of questions people ask when they are ready to buy,” more than one vendor told me. “Some are coming in ready to deal.”

“I got 60 good leads on the first day,” grinned one vendor.

“People are coming here looking for answers,” commented another. “They want to move their businesses forward.”

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