Typically, the second day of the show is the busiest day for attendees and foot traffic in the halls. By lunch, the aisles are getting to be crowded with people carrying large bags full of material and giveaways. Sometimes, they are so packed, you can not even walk in the aisle without getting hit with a bag or backpack. But that was not the case today.
I started in the North hall, heading past a very packed SEMI Theater in the lobby. I have to say, it is a pretty cool theater and good use of space, but it is too small. Who would have thought that the theater, which in the past was a large structure would be that much of a draw. Kudos to SEMI and Freeman for coming up with that one. As I roamed the North hall in search of an elusive former client, I noticed many people in their booths with blank stares on their faces. Some were either surfing the internet or checking their inbox while others were texting or engrossed in their mobile phone/device. Still, there were some who were hopeful and greeted anyone that passed by to try and draw them in. At the same time, there were some booths that did have conversations and demos going. Not everyone in this hall seemd as if they wanted to take a nap, or at least end the show early today.
As I walked over to the South hall, I had forgot to mention that there were some booths in the corridor as well. These were mostly other show organizers and promoters for other events that could be considered crossover or related shows. But, one thing to also note; less benches in the corridor this year and no massage people. The South hall was not too bad today. A decent amount of people in the aisles, some booths were busy and packed while others had the same situations as in the North hall. One person said to me today, “I walked over to South hall and noticed all these smaller guys now, since all the big guys are gone.” A very fitting comment for a hall that is filled with many smaller sized booths. I have not seen this many pop up and modular booths in a while at this show.
The main event this year seems to be the InterSolar North America show. This show has grown 3 times in size in 12 months, is drawing large crowds to all floors and corners of the hall, and seems to be buzzing even after the 5pm announcement saying the show is over for the day. The show is now being called “The Largest Solar show in North America.” Whether that is true or not, it is a large and good show. Much better than last year in terms of quality exhibitors and focus and the structure and flow is improved. I am curious to see how the show floor is going to look tomorrow and if the traffic is going to be as heavy as it has been. If you get a chance to visit the show; there are some great looking booths and very cool technology being presented.
And last but not least, the parties. What has happened to the large parties that are put on beginning Tuesday night and onto Wednesday night? No more Loomis party; they did away with it last year. How about Applied? Did anyone rent out Jillians this year? Nextest (now owned by Teradyne) had it there and didn’t return. I did stroll over to the W Hotel to catch up with Entegris and they had a private event in conjunction with their meeting space and hospitality rooms. Praxair was holding their annual meetings in the hotel and not sure if they had their party as they have been for a few years on the terrace. Honeywell decided not to attend this year and in turn, canceled their party at The Thirsty Bear. But, there are still some that put on an event during the show and keep the party going. Will they did it again next year?
Check back tomorrow for our recap and last day of show report. As always, you can follow our live Tweets and impressions from the show floor in addition to things overheard.