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Cover Story

April 3, 2006
Volume 84, Number 14
p. 46

Exhibit Buzz

Pittcon, Other Trade Shows May Be Declining In Importance For Small Firms

Stu Borman

Exhibitor complaints about Pittcon are one of the meeting's long-standing traditions. But one exhibitor C&EN talked to this year believes Pittcon is becoming less important and less cost-effective for small instrument vendors, which make up the majority of the exposition.

"We've been a Pittcon exhibitor for about 27 years, and we've certainly seen a decline over the years," said John B. Lipsky, president of Quadrex Corp., a manufacturer of gas chromatography products. "Attendance is down, and the show is smaller."

With the Internet, e-mail, and other modern forms of communication, "it has crossed our minds that the whole concept of a large trade show in this market is becoming a dinosaur," Lipsky said. "We now look at Pittcon more as a business-to-business type of opportunity, where we're meeting with people we're already doing business with to solidify those relationships."

Traditionally, Quadrex purchased a 20-foot booth at Pittcon. "This year for the first time, I decided that it just wasn't worth it and went down to a 10-footer," Lipsky said. "I still had enough space and the same exposure."

So the exposition is "becoming a disappointment," Lipsky said. He has asked Pittcon representatives if they would permit his company to opt out of the conference alternate years and still maintain its seniority for booth placement, but so far they haven't agreed.

Lipsky noted that many Pittcon organizers are volunteers and "do a good job. But we're a small company, and Pittcon week represents quite an investment for us. I'm sure many other small companies would share my opinion that the return on investment from exhibiting at Pittcon isn't what it used to be."

Pittcon 2006 President Kevin J. McKaveney said exhibitor success at Pittcon depends on a number of factors, "such as products of interest to the audience, booth location, and preshow promotion. These factors vary from exhibitor to exhibitor and affect each differently. We do have many small exhibitors who are typically very happy with their results."


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Pittcon, Other Trade Shows May Be Declining In Importance For Small Firms

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New & Notable At Pittcon 2006

Instrumentation and More

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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