NPE Review #1

Great to see everyone at NPE in Charlotte, from old friends to those first-timers I met in the halls. A great group of contractors (and exhibitors) despite the economy, which certainly had an impact on attendance. But that didn't dampen enthusiasm for the program or activity on the exhibit floor. What became fairly obvious early on was that contractor owners and supervisors -- the decision makers -- showed up in force but they didn't bring as many people from their crews as they often do. But these folks were serious. Many took the full slate or near the full slate of sessions -- they came for information and the buzz in the hallways was they got it. And when contractors moved to the exhibit floor they provided the exhibitors with what they wanted and needed: quality contacts. While I don't know (and wouldn't release if I did) how each exhibitor did over the show, I can tell you that as a rule the exhibitors did pretty well. I know that by the end of Day 1 there were at least 21 equipment sales, and one exhibitor told me the first day "made the show for them." And materials and service providers faired just as well by the end of the third day. More updates to come, but thanks to all who attended, to the speakers who presented, and to the exhibitors who took the time to talk with me on the floor.