Walking the show allowed us to get some air, meet new people and forget about the terrible lunch we'd been served. Note to self: try the Mexican place across the way on Tuesday.
This area of the show is growing. Over 300 exhibitors ranging from simple banner makers to I&D companies to freight companies to exhibit builders are here. If a company provides a service to the the exhibit industry, they are here.
This walk gave us the chance to renew old friendships, meet new suppliers and see things that we only get to see at our own shows. Getting to share what we liked, what we didn't was a great exercise.
Most of the large builders emphasized their ability to design within a brand and be a part of the larger mix--or drive it if need be. Derse, Freeman, 3D, ExhibitGroup and Elements (among others) were front and center representing custom exhibit builders. Skyline was there with several booths touting their product and dealer network. Fish Software and Exhibit Surveys were among the led trackers. And Mayflower, United, ABF and LAS Worldwide were representative of the freight handlers.
Now that we've seen the floor from a larger perspective, we can go back and review what we'd like to focus in on.
Lesson Learned: this is a vast and complex industry, but it is largely built on relationships.