Were you among the 3,000 who didn’t come to Graph Expo 2008?

By | November 25, 2008

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:

  1. They were top managers who went to Drupa in May/June and figured they wouldn’t see anything new at Graph Expo
  2. 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)
  3. They were people whose trip was vendor-subsidized in previous years, but who didn’t get that kind of support this year
  4. They were people from the finance department whose services were not needed this year because there was no intention of buying anything
  5. 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
  6. 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.

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3 thoughts on “Were you among the 3,000 who didn’t come to Graph Expo 2008?

  1. Roy Grossman

    Reasons 2 – 6 are valid. I think #1 is not because not that many U.S. companies attend DRUPA anyway. But I think you have omitted the most obvious reason: the economy. Many companies that have traditionally sent numerous people to Graph Expo simply decided not to for economic reasons. Where there might have been numerous internal departments sending employees, this year only employees with a specific purpose went (i.e., work flow, IT, etc). And the fact is, this type of thinking on the part of these companies is “penny wise and pound foolish”.

  2. Jonathan Ward

    To extend what’s already been mentioned about the exoncomy, the main reson to attend Graph Expo is to review equipment in support of a capital invenstment plan. Because of economic uncertainty, people are simply putting off large capital purchases and expenditures. Thus, no need to go to the show. Moreover, I don’t think that the conference session content is the main reason people attend – more of an added benefit once you get there.

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