The new venue (Cleveland’s I-X Center) gets a big thumbs up. There was plenty of space for exhibitors as well as the local IPMS club’s model contest, multiple demonstration areas, the make and take area, and ample seating near the food concessions.
The first two days were open to retailers and distributors only. I found the traffic these days to be very light, however I did hear many exhibitors say that they were meeting dealers that they didn’t normally see in Rosemont (previous show location). As always, it’s enjoyable to talk with the dealers and get to know more about their stores.
The second two days were open to the public and I wasn’t sure what to expect since this was the first year in a new location. Big sigh of relief when, on Saturday, the aisles were filled (all day) with enthusiastic consumers. Sunday was a bit less busy, but not disappointingly so.
Maybe being in the new venue made me more observant but I clearly noticed more teenagers this year than in Rosemont – I take this as a good sign. Also, I found that people were very engaged and enthusiastic about the show and looking forward to coming again in 2013.
Some other random observations from the show floor:
- There were a good number of retailers set up to sell on Saturday and Sunday and they were always busy – people were buying.
- More empty booth (exhibitor) spaces than I had anticipated. Not sure if this was due to last minute cancellations or spaces that were allocated but never purchased.
- Fewer exhibitors than I had expected. Some high profile manufacturers were noticeably absent and this may have been disappointing to retailers and/ or consumers who were hoping to see these companies.
So, was this a good show? For us, yes it was. The move to Cleveland offered a reduction in expenses and the opportunity to introduce Xuron® brand products to a new audience.
If you were at the show, what did you think?