Got a short email from a buddy over at EE Times Group about ESC. Practically giddy. Their initial numbers are showing a 30 percent increase in PAID attendance and a preshow increase of total attendance by 25 percent. We always have to wait for the final numbers but if they show even a 10 percent increase over last year, that's a very positive number.
I only got to go down to one day. Got to hear Dr. Michio Kaku (and yes I am a fanboy) talk on teleportation and molecular computing. Probably the best keynote I ever heard and I got there half way through. I dropped into the TI Day event over at the Marriott, which was packed and probably a reason for the big bump. The Multicore event, which was stand alone last year, got folded in to ESC this year, which might also explain the increase. But I wasn't sure starting a new event in this downturn was a great idea. Having it part of ESC might do it more good than ESC.
But I go to conferences for the exhibits. The programs are for engineers but the exhibits are supposed to show us what is happening in the industry. This year, as others, the traffic on the floor was comparable to other years. In other words it was better than any other tradeshow I've been to in the past five. Lots of people looking at lots of stuff. I did notice something interesting about the dynamic, though.
When I saw a booth packed with people I would look to see whose booth it was. Each time it was a company that I could remember seeing an ad for in one of the many (50+) trade magazines I read. Each time I saw a booth where the booth team was staring off into space with no traffic, it was for a company I could not remember hearing anything about in any way. So I see a definite corollary to advertising and trade show traffic.
The exception to that was having a booth that stood out, and for me, there was only one. A company called Nabto caught my eye for that reason. They had one of the smallest booths you could buy and didn't have much in it. What captured my attention was their tag line (simply connect) and the complete absence of typical hyperbole (industry leading... the first.. fastest...) They just knew what they did well and said it. It practically screamed at me out of everything else in it's understatement. Naturally, they are Danish. Not exactly the flashiest people in the world.
So for me, Nabto and Dr. Kaku absolutely made ESC worth the time. But the rest of you guys need to step it up a notch.