Having had a week to catch up with my normal work after returning from DAC, it’s time to discuss a few impressions of the conference and show.

 

First – what has happened to the DAC attendees?  It was pretty obvious to me that there were a lot fewer people at this year’s conference than at DAC 2006.  Last year, with DAC in late July, a scarcity of European attendees was understandable (holiday time on the Continent).  However, the decrease in overall attendance this year included, again, fewer Europeans than traditionally show up.  The European press was, again, mostly absent this time around – maybe having DATE in Nice six weeks prior to DAC was not a good decision (although I understand the weather was beautiful).  I found show floor attendance sparse most of the time and other people mentioned to me that some of the technical sessions they attended also had a smaller audience than they expected.

 

The choice of venue for DAC – the San Diego Convention Center – is a very good one.  Many hotels are in reasonable walking distance, close enough that shuttle buses were not needed.  The downside of the SDCC is that several meeting rooms upstairs are a relatively long walk from the exhibit floor, meaning it took longer to corral attendees for events in those rooms.

 

If you think all exhibitors come to DAC to meet new customers, think again.  Several companies with whom I talked told me that they use DAC as a central, pre-arranged meeting place for customers and potential customers.  For several of these companies, their meeting rooms were booked solid prior to DAC’s start, and finding and meeting with new companies was a secondary goal.

Finally, there definitely was something missing from DAC this time around – the “buzz? that usually accompanies an important conference.  People walking around were mostly subdued and even the exhibitors didn’t seem to have the same fire that I am used to seeing at this show.  Maybe it’s time for the DAC powers to be to evaluate how they run the event and make some changes that may re-invigorate what seems to be a tired conference.

Posted by admin, filed under Uncategorized. Date: June 16, 2007, 1:27 pm | 1 Comment »