Wednesday, February 11, 2009

High-Profile AIIM Absentees

For the first time in our memory, heavy document imaging hitters Kodak and Kofax will not be exhibiting at our industry's largest annual get together. Citing reasons like "the most expensive leads you get come at AIIM," and "we've been thinking about pulling out for several years and the down economy gave us the impetus to finally go through with it," the industry's leading production scanner vendor and the leading capture software player have pulled out of the AIIM Expo (scheduled for end of March-early April). Neither one has even committed to having a meeting room.

I must admit , I have been hearing complaints for several years, with last year's being the most serious, about the lack of quality floor traffic at the event. I also received feedback that exhibitors have been making suggestions that have gone largely ignored by Questex, which purchased the show from AIIM (the trade organization) eight or nine years ago. And, although Questex has been offering increased targeted marketing services to exhibitors, by our observation, the event itself has changed little since started going to it in the late 1990s - and some pundits were already proclaiming that the event was dead then.

Across the board marketing cuts due the down economy may be the last nail in the coffin. Prior to this year, despite the complaints, and slowly dwindling attendance, little actually changed, except for maybe smaller booth sizes. Sure, some companies would leave for a year, but they'd always come back. We'll see of they come back after this year.

I've got a call with Questex set up for Thursday. We'll see what they have to say...

Ralph

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

AIIM is asystolic.

DIReditor said...

For those who don't know the meaning of asystolic, it bascially means dead, flatlined. Just talked to the event organizers today, and they painted a bit of a brighter picture. They are claiming they have 175 exhibitors - don't know yet of that includes vendors just taking a meeting room - but that's only like an 8-10% drop from the previous year - plus 60 new visitors. So, at least the show sounds like it will be worthwhile (for me at least). I'll see when I get there I guess. As I mentioned, it will be interesting, to see if others follow Kodak and Kofax next year, or if others see this as a chance to use AIIM to attack those who are not exhibiting...

djshults said...

This is pretty interesting. Considering I'm relatively new to the industry, I would be curious to find out what the results were. Is there any chance you'll be writing a post mortem article about the show.

DIReditor said...

I'm covering the show in my paid-subscription newsletter, but haven't received any official attendance numbers yet. I can say that despite the missing vendors, the show was not nearly as down as many people expected and preliminary attendance numbers I've seen have been around 20,000, so there were probably 13,000 to 15,000 non-exhibitors there. Also, the exhibitors there seemed relatively happy with the attendees that did show up. So, I guess, to sum it up, the show's not dead yet.

Ralph

djshults said...

Thanks for the reply. I will look forward to reading your coverage in the newsletter but until we see hard numbers, I think the first readers comment, calling AIIM asystolic, is a little unfair. An ECM article published this morning gave AIIM a great review.
The ECM Article