A Positive Sign from NPE?

Attendance was up by more than a couple hundred contractors at the recent National Pavement Expo in Nashville, and that's just one of what might be hopeful signs for the coming season. Overall attendance at seminars was up over 2009, Roundtables (the free Q&A sessions at the end of the day) were close to standing-room-only, and NPE hasn't seen that kind of end-of-day interest in at least a couple of years. Then there's the exhibit floor. Typically I get an opportunity to walk the floor on the show's first and second day, but I steer clear of booths where exhibitors are talking with prospective buyers. Still, usually I am able by the end of the second day to at least stop in most booths to say hello, welcome exhibitors to the show, and learn about what they are displaying. Not the case this year. The first day of the show was awfully busy, and while I couldn't spend much time on day two when I was out there in late morning it looked almost like a first day. And it there must have been a pretty good combination of contractors looking to buy and exhibitors doing a good job selling because in the last four days I've received numerous e-mails from exhibitors letting me know not only how happy they are with the 2010 show -- but that they sold equipment (in more than one case several pieces of equipment) before the show closed. So as I said, maybe some positive signs for the upcoming season.