Last December, I shared my excitement about the 2008 NFDA Convention prospectus that had arrived in the mail.  In the post, 2008 NFDA Convention Prospectus, I talked about the changes to the show, including the inclusion of the general session stage and seating within the expo hall.

I observed that:

This means exhibitors will get more face time with important clients as they attend the main sessions, lunches and receptions. 

I also think this will encourage attendees to visit more booths and to revisit and spend more time with exhibitors they find especially interesting.

Now that the convention is over and we’re busy preparing for the 2009 schedule, I can look back at how well the convention fulfilled those expectations.

First, there definitely was more face time with clients, although I still think NFDA should trim some of the early morning hours when no one is walking the show floor (2008 NFDA Convention: What NFDA Should Fix).

The extended hours and inclusion of the general sessions on the floor actually helped the exhibitors, but possibly at the expense of the general sessions.  There weren’t as many people sitting in the assigned seats and paying undivided attention to the opening session as I expected.  On the plus side, more of them were talking to me and listening to the session in bits and pieces!

We also got a lot of repeat business, which didn’t happen in 2007 (bad booth location), with attendees stopping by our booth two and three times.  Many who had already ordered dragged their friends over to look at the product. 

More encouraging, we saw people walking the floor on subsequent days, meaning that the expo is no longer “that room you visit once during the show” but the center of the activities.

Now, if they could only figure out how to offer the CEU’s on the expo floor…