SuperComm 2002 attendance down 30% on 2001

6 June 2002 -- Compared to last year's SuperComm show still attracting 52,822 attendees despite the obvious growing storm clouds, total attendance this year was about 30% down on 2001.

6 June 2002 -- The SuperComm 2002 annual communications and information technology event at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from 2-6 June attracted 825 exhibiting companies (down slightly from 853 in 2001). This included nearly 200 new companies, said the organisers.

Exhibition space of nearly 500,000 feet squared was down less than 10% from last year, claimed SuperComm 2002's general manager Jack Chalden. However, its not clear if the organisers were including in this the vast swathes of carpeted areas allocated for exhibitors but not used, and the empty spaces left by withdrawn exhibitors as well as the many present but seemingly downsized booths.

Compared to the unrestrained investment of two years ago and last year's show still attracting 52,822 attendees despite the obvious growing storm clouds, total attendance this year was about 30% down on 2001, reckon the organisers. Independently audited figures will be released in July, Chalden said. "Exhibitors have told us that, while there may be less booth traffic than last year, there are as many - and sometimes more - decision-makers visiting the booths," he stressed. "Companies are saving money by sending only key executives."

The opinion voiced by several exhibitors was that the fall-off in attendance was "not as bad as Networld + Interop [2002 Las Vegas, 6-9 May]". However, one did add that "most booth visitors are component vendors wanting to sell to equipment manufacturers" while others commented on the amount of job-hunting going on.

Mark Telford, Deputy Editor, Lightwave Europe

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