The hoped for surge in attendance at this year's Laser World of Photonics didn't happen. Monday's less-than-expected attendance was not compensated for by a larger-than-normal Tuesday crowd. Show organizers have traditionally chosen to not post daily attendance figures, and even cajoling by American journalists can't shake the numbers loose. We are told with a smile that final numbers will be available at the end of the show on Thursday. So we are reduced to our own observations and those of exhibitors we interview.
It's not that aisles in the four halls weren't crowded; at times, at least in front of the ILS/PennWell booth, they were very congested. Even so we would judge the second day of this big show as good, not great, but in these difficult economic times good, maybe very good. We doubt that the final tally will reach the anticipated record attendance that was offered by show management.
Again in our not so scientific view, their were many buyers walking the halls, for related products on display. But the laser and laser system suppliers we talked with suggested that there were more tire kickers than buyers.
Another unscientific gauge of attendance is that as I sit here in the press center posting this I am all alone. In the past we journalists fought for a computer; not today. Maybe it's the spread of the Blackberry or the fact that the show offers WiFi, which enables all to send directly form the halls.
Attracting the most attention were the increased number of industrial fiber and ultrafast pulse lasers
The mood at the show is about what we reported in earlier dispatch. Good feelings about the end of the economic downturn and a slow recovery to pre-2008 levels.
Click here to view a video report from the opening day of Laser World of Photonics.