Three down, one half to go.
That’s how we head into Friday in Las Vegas, when the 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show ends with a half-day on the show floor. Then the booths come down, the boxes get packed, and the migration to the airport begins. So after three days crisscrossing the show floor, what’s my impression?
I’m not impressed.
Allow me to qualify that statement a bit. Many of the booths are quite impressive, and continue to get bigger and better every year. Many companies had a number of new releases, though I haven’t yet had a chance to smoke most of them. There were a lot of people and associates who I got to visit with, which is always great, even though there is never enough time.
And I even had the opportunity to sit down and talk to David Ortiz for 15 minutes or so.
So why am I not impressed?
I’m not exactly sure, though I have to say it’s much more a reflection of how I’ve changed rather than how the show has. This is my seventh trade show, and somewhere along the way I think a bit of the luster of the show wore off. I’m not the same person I was, and I certainly don’t look at it through the same set of eyes that I did for first few shows I attended. Covering the industry day in and day out will do that to a person.
We’ve also spent months prepping for this, and I think that there’s a certain anti-climatic effect when the event finally arrives. The process has become fairly routine, though we did add some new features, so maybe that’s part of it as well.
There certainly is less new product than in years past, and we’ve anticipated this for some time. I’m not complaining about that; in fact I’m probably happy about it. New is fine and all, but maybe this is a year to build and strengthen the core products. Last year was unquestionably the busiest as far as new products that I have experienced; thankfully we’re not repeating that this year.
Additionally, much of the new product has been seen for some time now thanks to FDA rules and phantom releases, so big reveals have become much rarer.
When I think of the miles of show floor that I’ve walked, the products I’ve seen and the conversations I’ve had, nothing really stands out. I know that’s not what anyone wants to hear, but that’s my take after three days.
My colleagues have touched on many of the bigger issues of the show—some of which contribute to my feeling—so here are a few things I found interesting.
1. Shipping issues — I only get to visit 20-25 percent of the booths long enough to have any sort of conversation, but I heard from at least two accessory companies that there were issues with shipping that affected their samples and displays. I’m sure this has happened before, though I can’t recall hearing of it happening to multiple companies.
2. We’re still not understood — I hate to think about how much time I’ve spent explaining things about how halfwheel works or listening to complaints about ratings, coverage, editorials, and so on. It’s part of the job, and I understand it, I just wish we could do it off the floor when time is at a premium. But it shows that people aren’t exactly sure how we operate, and that’s quite intriguing to me.
Thankfully, there are some folks who took the time to express their appreciation for our work, which is quite a good feeling.
3. The rumor mill is much quieter — The trade show seems to fire up the rumor mill, mainly about acquisitions, some personnel movement, and just random things. However, I can’t say I’ve heard many rumors this year, if any, to be honest. I’m certainly not seeking them out actively, but they’re also not finding me.
Even though there’s just four hours of show left today, we’ve got plenty of coverage left and plenty of booths to see. Maybe I’ll finally find something that really excites me today.