Friday, March 18, 2011

Back from NSTA and Pittcon

It's safe to say that I've got a bit of "jet lag", albeit just the North American variety. In a 24 day period I went from:

Chicago to Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta to Chicago
Chicago to San Francisco
San Francisco to Denver
Denver to Chicago
Chicago to Atlanta
Atlanta to Chicago

Now that I've had a few days to clear my head from all of that, I thought I'd share my views of NSTA and Pittcon from last week.

NSTA was in San Francisco this week. This is a terrible idea. In times of budget cuts and overall cost cutting, there is no easier way to make sure that teachers from the east coast (note: most populous part of our country) don't get a chance to see what is new in the science education market than to put the yearly show in a very expensive and far out of the way city like San Francisco. Everything is overpriced and foot traffic at the show looked very light from my "eye test". I heard more than one vendor gripe about the cost and location and heard the show referred to as a "joke" more than once. As a manufacturer's representative, NSTA is invaluable to me as I get a chance to visit many of our distributors and see what our competitors are now offering. One of our European suppliers, NTL exhibited some very nice Physics Kits that we hope to bring to the North American Market very soon. My advice to distributors would be to strongly consider CAST in November as the foot traffic is much better, there is money in the Texas school budgets, and the booth costs are substantially lower. Frank Butcher does a fantastic job of organizing that show and we're proud to give him our support each year.

Pittcon was in Atlanta this year and I found the location and show to be terrific. While San Fran was prettier to look at, there were plenty of restaurants for all budgets nearby and plenty of close by hotels in downtown Atlanta. Foot traffic was very good and I heard many vendors mention that this was their best show in years. As always, the show is a great place to do business with South and Central America. I was able to have very positive and productive meetings with many of our distributors. This was the first year in a long time where I felt I could have used a third day at the show to cover everything I wanted to see. I'm looking forward to next year's show in Orlando as they also do a very good job.

Back on the road soon.....


No comments:

Post a Comment