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RFID Journal LIVE! Wins Broad Industry Praise

RFID Journal's seventh annual conference and exhibition is being widely hailed as a huge success, despite taking place during the most difficult economic conditions in a generation.
May 11, 2009In the days following the conclusion of RFID Journal LIVE! 2009RFID Journal's seventh annual conference and exhibition, held last month in Orlando, Fla.—the event has received praise from across the industry, including from end users who attended, vendors who exhibited and journalists who covered the event. Industry observers say LIVE! 2009 proved the RFID industry is still healthy, because it showed there are many end users with budgets focused on specific RFID projects, and that technology providers continue to invest in making RFID products that are easier to use and more cost-effective.

"Supported by a diversity of case studies, end-user representatives, relevant lectures and panels that focused on experiences with RFID (as opposed to hopes for it), this show provided more value to the end user than ever before," wrote Drew Nathanson, director of research operations for VDC Research Group, a research company that closely follows the RFID market, in a report on the event, "and from what I was hearing from the exhibitors...much higher quality leads."

"In my book, this show continues to be the premier RFID event," Nathanson noted, "not only because it is the largest exhibition/gathering in the industry and an effective stage for showcasing new solutions and innovations, but also because it is able to stay aligned with the needs of this rapidly evolving and changing industry."

RFID Journal LIVE! 2009 drew 2,400 attendees and featured 175 companies exhibiting the latest RFID hardware, software and services. While attendance was down from last year's 3,000 visitors due to the tough economic conditions, many vendors reported having conversations with end users who are serious about deploying the technology. In a post-event survey, two-thirds of responding end users indicated plans to purchase products or services from exhibitors they met at the conference.

"Because of the recession, we prepared ourselves for low attendance," said Judson Vaughn, marketing manager of Ekahau, a leading RFID solutions provider exhibiting at the event. "But it turns out we got more leads at LIVE! than we did at HIMSS, two weeks earlier. HIMSS is a much larger show, with 800 exhibitors and 40,000 attendees. But at RFID Journal LIVE!, the traffic was heavy and visitors were doing some serious shopping."

End users remain interested in RFID technology because it can help them reduce costs, improve asset utilization, streamline processes and become more competitive. Despite the economic downturn, ABI Research has forecasted that the industry will grow by 10 percent this year (see RFID News Roundup: RFID Analysts Expect Healthy Market Growth).

"Even in the down-turned economy," wrote William I. Dollar of the Wisconsin Technology Network, "the conference exuded an upbeat attitude that RFID is an important technology for tracking and tracing inventory items of all sizes, shapes and forms through global supply chains, plus much more."

"We are extremely pleased that everyone who attended and exhibited at the event found it productive," says Mark Roberti, founder and editor of RFID Journal. "Our goal is to continue to educate companies about how they can use the technology to improve the way they do business, and to connect them to the solution and service providers that can help them deploy the technology successfully."
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