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RFID Journal Live 2007 Bodes Well for Industry
Last week one of the major RFID industry events of the year was held in Orlando, Florida. From Monday April 30th to Wednesday May 2nd, RFID end users, vendors, and analysts gathered at RFID Journal LIVE! 2007 for education, networking, and product demonstrations. By most accounts, the event was a successful one.
May 09, 2007—This article was originally published by RFID Update.
May 9, 2007—Last week one of the major annual RFID industry events was held in Orlando, Florida. From Monday April 30th to Wednesday May 2nd, RFID end users, vendors, and analysts gathered at RFID Journal LIVE! 2007 for education, networking, and product demonstrations.
By most accounts, the event was a successful one. While there was no major, single announcement that might accelerate adoption of RFID, other indicators were positive. RFID Update witnessed a lively show floor, and the presentations and seminars seemed well attended. There was considerable activity in the exhibitor booths, and many exhibiting vendors, both during the show and since, reported being pleased with the quality of end users asking questions, examining demos, and offering business cards. Finally, as a testament to the healthy state of adoption and maturity of the technology, end users appeared to be more educated and interested in purchasing solutions than the "tire kickers" of events past.
According to RFID Journal founder and editor Mark Roberti, the show saw roughly 2,500 attendees and 160 exhibiting RFID vendor companies. He noted that while those numbers represent only a slight increase over last year's event (especially when compared to the 56% jump between 2005 and 2006), the paid attendance was a bigger percentage of this year's total attendance than it had been last year. Paid registrations, Roberti explained, is a key metric in gauging the quality of attendees because conferences can distribute complimentary passes in an effort to bolster attendance. While the tactic does serve to pump the numbers, those attendees that enter free are not likely to be as serious about learning, examining, or buying the technology as those who pay for registration.
Roberti also indicated that end users as a percentage of attendees was improved over last year. "The mix was better this year, with fewer vendors and booth staff and more end users," he said.
Next year's event will be held in Las Vegas, and Roberti said that a large number of vendors had already signed up to exhibit again. Whereas this year's show sold about 200 booth units in total, more than 160 units have already been sold for RFID Journal LIVE! 2008. "We're starting the planning for next year's show with a base of sold booth units that's almost as big as we had at this year's show." As for attendees, Roberti predicted between 2,500 and 3,000. "My guess is that we'll see steady growth, but I'm not anticipating a doubling."
Roberti also discussed his company's deal with EPCglobal to run the standards body's annual event this fall at the Stevens Convention Center in Chicago. "The show was not extremely successful last year, and our goal is to revitalize it." He went on, "EPCglobal is a standards body; RFID Journal is a content company. We can create the show content, while EPCglobal can focus on hosting the standards meetings." RFID Journal and EPCglobal had worked together previously on the EPCglobal Canada event and found the partnership fruitful. For this year's fall show, RFID Journal aims to offer a full day of case studies. Unlike more general RFID events, the focus of EPC Connection 2007 is on EPC-based RFID technology and implementation. "It's going to be about end users leveraging EPC to get value for their businesses," commented Roberti.
The success of last week's show in Florida should be received by RFID stakeholders as positive news. Whenever a major technology conference makes a strong showing, it bodes well for end user interest and demand, continuing evolution and maturation of the technology, and market robustness overall.
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