For some suppliers, it may have seemed quiet in the aisles. And by most accounts the 2002 edition of IT&ME was, when compared to two years ago. Numbers were up substantially from the 2001 show, which occurred a few weeks after 9/11, but were still down from 2000 by 19 percent. The number of exhibitors was down by 8 percent from 2001.

"Clearly the economy and the post-9/11 travel world are still recovering," says Wayne Dunham, Dunham Communications, an IT&ME spokesperson. The show took place September 24 to 26 at McCormick Place in Chicago. "Overall, the show went very well. Most of the exhibitors were quite pleased with the quality of the floor traffic."

In an effort to attract non-traditional attendees, mainly those that may not realize they qualify to attend the show such as sales and marketing professionals, IT&ME blanketed the Chicago area with advertisements. Radio ads played on three stations, an all news, a sports, and a classic oldies station, and a special insert was placed in 40,000 Wednesday and Monday editions of the Chicago Tribune prior to the show.

There were 26,123 registered attendees, which includes 15,573 registered buyers. Taking up 163,000 square feet were 1,383 exhibitors. That doesn’t include the 863 exhibitors in 139,470 square feet that made up the concurrent NPIS show.

– Thomas Tennant