Based on a recent press release from the Graphic Arts Show Company, I estimate that the average printing company attending Graph Expo 2008 brought 1.9 people, compared with the 2.3 people they sent last year. (You can read how I arrived at this number here.) The total number of those left at home this year was about 3,000. So who were the 3,000 who didn’t come this year, even though others from their company did?
I don’t know the answer, but here are some possible explanations for who the missing people were:
- They were top managers who went to Drupa in May/June and figured they wouldn’t see anything new at Graph Expo
- They were employees who, in previous years, would have gone as a “reward” for a job well done (but with no specific job-related purpose in attending)
- They were people whose trip was vendor-subsidized in previous years, but who didn’t get that kind of support this year
- They were people from the finance department whose services were not needed this year because there was no intention of buying anything
- They were local “tire-kickers” from the Chicago region who usually come to Graph Expo in order to see what is new and because it is convenient to do so, but who decided to pass up the opportunity this year
- They were employees who would have come again this year if they had not been among the “downsized” in our shrinking industry
There are probably other possibilities I haven’t thought of. It would be interesting to know what really happened, because that might tell us something about where the industry is headed.
Did your company send fewer people this year? Were you perhaps one of those who missed the trip? Who didn’t go, and why not? Please let the rest of us know.