PRINT 09 drew a total 18,999 actual verified attendee/buyers who were greeted by 9679 booth sales and demo personnel. Put another way, there was about one vendor representative for every two attendees.
I thought it was a pretty good show - but not very much was causing any show floor buzz - no "oh wow did you see what they've got/doing/showing at booth xyz."
Most of the folks I spoke with felt that the Kodak booth was high on flash but low on making their solutions or products visible. "No substance" was a term I heard several times. Very hard to discover what was new or exciting in their product line up. A great many people either couldn't figure out how to use the RFID triggered displays (and other displays), or once they did weren't that impressed by the content. "Why go to a tradeshow to see what you could see on the web?"
The outstanding thing for me at the Kodak booth was their ONE magazine which demonstrated Staccato screening printed with flexo. It was easy to miss if you didn't read the production notes - and there wasn't, to my knowledge, any reference in their booth to this amazing technology that I'm sure that flexo printers would have wanted to know more about.
BTW MAN-Roland also had no equipment in their booth (but without the fanfare). - Their solutions were very well displayed and articulated.
Agfa, Screen, Heidelberg, and Fuji all had very standard booths (not that there's anything wrong with that) - and probably the only ones that showed CtP devices.
It was great finally seeing the Xingraphics no-process plate - but I'll bet many people missed that.
There was a very strong and well organized presence from Chinese suppliers - they're coming on much stronger than in previous years.
East Indian print and prepress suppliers were represented for the first time - but, unfortunately, not that well IMHO. The fellow staffing their booth had a great deal of difficulty with English - which I though was quite odd.
I was surprised and disappointed that Esko didn't have a booth at this show. I'm not sure that they were that well represented by their partners – at least when I tried to get information.
Some presenters seemed to pop up at different booths (Barb Pellow comes to mind) making the same pitch about printers should transform into becoming a variable/personalized/marketing services provider rather than just a printer. As a result, the message seems interchangeable between vendors like Kodak, Canon, Xerox, et al. No vendor differentiation. Also, in Kodak's case, out of some twenty roundtable-type K-Zone presentations there were no solutions stories for other market segments - e.g. publication, packaging, commercial printers who don't want to go down the road of variable transactional marketing.
If I hear one more call to "Tweet or die" I'll explode.
Personally, it was great for me to finally be able to visit vendor's booths, like Agfa's without being thrown out. Actually, I lie, Agfa was always gracious about competitors, like the former me visiting their booth - the other vendors not so much though.
The show itself was better promoted and organized than previous years.
The food was just as expensive and mediocre.
Due to the poor attendance there were no lineups at the cafeteria check-outs - and plenty of seating was available.
Thankfully the weather turned from the originally predicted thunderstorms and rain to very pleasant sunny days. I hope a good omen for our industry.
All in all, a very sedate show which required more effort on the part of attendees to extract the value of attending than previous years.