How do you measure whether a trade show was a success? Was it the number of contacts that you (as an attendee) made? Was it the amount of new design ideas you thought of? Was is how many solutions you found to pain points in your design process?
Well, from this editor’s standpoint, IFPE 2014 was a resounding success. It was so inspirational to see so many fluid power manufacturers from not just the U.S., but from Germany, Italy, the U.K., Japan, and China. I’m constantly amused when people say that this is an industry on the down slope—the enthusiasm and creativity that filled the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center certainly said otherwise.
The co-located shows (IFPE, CONEXPO and CON-AGG) were expected to draw 125,000 people, and they blew past that with total registration of 129,364. There were records set not just in attendance but in the amount of exhibits and educational tickets sold.
According to AEM, the shows’ owner, the number of countries represented increased from 159 (in 2011) to 170, and the number of international attendees matched the record 24% of total attendance set at the last show. International attendance drew heavily from Latin America, China, Canada, and Europe.
“CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2014 reflected the feeling of momentum building in the industry,” said Melissa Magestro, IFPE show director. “We are industry-run shows with industry needs put first; these show numbers are a testament to the value attendees, exhibitors, and other stakeholders derive from their participation.”
“The enthusiasm and traffic on the show floor was just incredible. Exhibitors cited the high quality of attendees; they told us these were serious buyers and reported robust sales to existing as well as new customers that exceeded their expectations,” said Megan Tanel, CONEXPO-CONAGG show director.
While it’s a shame that we have to wait until 2017 for the next IFPE, there’s something to be said for having a break between shows. Many annual shows develop a same-old-same-old feeling, and it was great to see so many new products. AEM says there were more than 1,000 new products unveiled, and that right there is a great measure of a successful trade show, in my opinion.