HomeWorld Business: How do you feel the show went?
Phil Brandl: It was an excellent show. That’s not just my summary: It’s based on the feedback we received from exhibitors. The show reflected a genuine optimism by the buyers and sellers.
HWB: How was overall attendance?
PB: We still need to evaluate the data in detail, but I can say that attendance was up marginally, driven by an increase in international attendance.
HWB: What was the impact of the additional half day—starting the show on Saturday afternoon and concluding on Tuesday?
PB: We do know that many buyers took advantage of the Saturday start. Saturday buyer attendance represented 70% of what attended on opening day of the previous year, based on scanned badges.
Clearly there was a difference in the perception of needing to rush through meetings at the show. That may not have been a primary thought of people coming into the show, but they figured that out as they worked through the show. They realized they had a little more time, which resulted in improved meeting quality. That’s a big plus.
If you’re talking with exhibitors, you may get the initial emotional response that three days would be fine. When you drill into that and provide the context to them, in most cases they say [the extra day]makes sense. Then you can get into the specifics of how each company can benefit from that additional time.
HWB: Are there considerations to adjust the schedule next year, for example by starting earlier on Saturday or closing earlier on Tuesday?
PB: We’ll look at all the data and information we’ve collected and we’ll listen to each of our audience segments. If it needs tweaking, we’ll tweak it, but the four-day schedule looks like a keeper.