PRINT 13 and What’s Wrong with Trade Shows
Billed as the largest print trade show in North America, PRINT 13 took up most of the south hall of McCormick Place. Most vendors I spoke with called it a good show, but admit that the real analysis comes after they follow up the leads and see how many deals actually close.
Throughout the four and a half days, the flow of attendees moved in fits and starts—crowded, then sparse, fairly packed in the stands of the big players but less apparent in many smaller booths. The “Weave Factor,” my personal measure of floor traffic, was not all that high because I could move easily through the milling hordes while crossing the show floor. Still, vendors said many people coming to see them were in buying mode, looking for information and getting ready to pull the trigger on software and equipment. A consistent feeling from execs at several companies was, “There’s a lot of pent-up demand at this show. People want to buy, they see the value of newer technologies.” And no wonder. After a few years of not buying, many print providers need new machines and software, and see that the gains in productivity and performance over stuff that’s five or more years old can be substantial. Checkbooks are being opened, which is a very good thing.