Your humble editor attended the NECA Show this week in Las Vegas. It was my first NECA Show for since 2002. The crowds were huge on Sunday, slow on Monday and non-existent on Tuesday—which is somewhat typical for a tradeshow. We hear that many of the contractors fly in on Friday to enjoy the weekend and out on Monday. Also, there was a strong local pull on Sunday.
Most exhibitors seemed pleased with the show and commented that it was significantly better than 2011 in San Diego. One unhappy exhibitor, who was late with his booth setup, was punished and moved to a more remote location.
NECA does their Showstopper Awards right. Each product that receives the prestigious award is located in a front and center location in the exhibit hall. Further, manufactures are not allowed in this area during the show hours. This is brilliant as it allows contractors to explore and learn about the product without being sold something. If the contractors want more information, they can visit the exhibitor’s booth. It works well.
What does not work well is the technical workshops.
NECA holds these workshops on the exhibit floor in open air make-shift rooms. Organizations do this in an effort to transmit a certain amount of energy to the discussions. They are great unless one wants to actually hear the speaker. I attended a Fulham presentation with Rich White and a Cree presentation by Eric Haugaard. While each “room” had two speakers, the rooms were strategically located next to an exhibitor who sells vertical lifts—which were constantly whirring as they went up and down. In addition, the continuous NECA announcements were also distracting. Couple this with Sunday’s crowd noise and the audio was extremely frustrating.
Since I could not hear the speakers, I hoped to just concentrate on their slides, but many of those were washed out by the fluorescent highbays.
The next NECA show will be held in Washington DC 12-15 OCT. Let’s hope they fix their workshop issues.