Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Newspaper Exposition NEXPO for the first time, and I thought I would post a few observations.

It was dead. I expected to kick tumbleweeds out of the way as I walked around, but it wasn’t quite that bad. In fact, there were several people who I wanted to meet with who were occupied every time I stopped by. I didn’t get to needle the guys at CC1 – notoriously hostile to competitors in my experience – because they had visitors. Even so the aisles were generally empty.

There didn’t seem to be any buzz. The most exciting thing I saw was a running press at the Printers House America stand. I haven’t seen a running web press at a show in a long, long time. It had QI’s controls on it which wasn’t surprising – I think they must be the most aggressive controls marketers on the planet – and I have to admit it took me a while to find their marks on the sample print. Al Taber Jr. said the press wasn’t even run by pressmen because they didn’t have any. It was being run by the installation crew, which is doubly impressive because they installed the press in less than four days. It took more than four days for my wife and I to arrange our living room.

Maybe I missed the important stuff, but the whole place had a certain calm about it. Like someone was hung over and had yelled at everyone to be quiet – perhaps it was the folks who had attended our customer-thank-you event at the John Hancock building the night before. I hear it was a roaring success 😉 We’ve learned that the money is better spent thanking our customers directly than on a flashy tradeshow booth. Now I’ve just got to figure out how to get invited to the next one!

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