Well, just like the economy has been hammering contractors and manufacturers it took a swipe at National Pavement Expo West just for good measure...wouldn't want to leave any event or organization unscathed, would it? But despite the economy the 2010 NPE West in Las Vegas was , I think it's fair to say, a success. Seminar rooms weren't full but virtually all speakers presented top-notch programs that garnered "good" and "excellent" reviews almost across the board. That means the folks that came and attended sessions must have gotten what they were looking for. And while I didn't poll all exhibitors by any stretch I had a number pull me aside to let me know they sold (depending on the exhibitor) "several units," "a machine we thought we would be driving home," and "two machines early with at least a couple of solid leads we expect to talk with again." In addition, lead gathering in general seemed to be strong and one exhibitor told me he had his best NPE West ever -- and he's been exhibiting for years. "Attendance was down, that was clear and traffic was slow, but that had to be expected in this economy," this exhibitor told me. "But I've had my best year ever at this show and I think the people stopping by my booth were the people I was looking for -- the ones who can make the decision to buy. So while the numbers might have been down it seemed to me the quality of the attendees was up." More on NPE West -- including the future of NPE West -- in coming days.