This year NSTA was held in Indianapolis. I was fortunate enough to spend two days at the exhibition and I must say, it was an excellent show. Overall attendance was down just like virtually every show in recent history. 7K is the number I was hearing. Also, only three importers of lab supplies/teaching aids exhibited this year, which is down from years past.
While the traffic was down, I got a strong feeling from the exhibitors that the teachers that were there were very interested in learning about new products and spent quality time at their booths. Very heavy traffic as usual at the workshops.
One of our dealers hosted an "in booth workshop" of our new WormWatcher Kits. The product seems to be a big hit and we anticipate big things from it!
One of the best parts of the NSTA national show is that the dealers who are exhibiting virtually all feature their lead product managers and upper management in the booths. This is always a great chance for me to catch up with our customers and gather ideas as to which products they'd prefer us to present to them when we have our official visit later in the spring.
One improvement I'd like to see is a more focused integration of social media similar to the way Pittcon tried to use Twitter. This would be a great way to promote workshops and drive interest.
Usually, I find that CAST is the best science education show of the year for us, but this year, the bar was raised by NSTA and I can't wait until November to see what CAST has to offer. I hope to see you in Corpus Christi this fall or hopefully sooner!
Have a great day!