I just got back from San Diego and the ISA Convention. For those not familiar, ISA is an association that consists of both manufacturers and distributors that sell into the industrial markets.
That market has had some tough times of recent years, but they seem to be bouncing back. But attendance didn’t reflect it. The manufacturers outnumbered the distributors 15 to 1. It’s a bad sign the first day of a show when you can throw a bowling ball down the aisle and not hit anyone.
What’s impressed me over the past several years is that they are not doing the same old same old. They try different things to get and keep the distributors and manufacturers engaged. But to have engagement, you need folks to engage. The manufacturers certainly showed up, but they can’t talk to themselves. What if we went back to having distributors in the booth?
With all the trade shows and meetings we all go to, it becomes difficult to sometimes justify the ROI on an event like this. Hats off to the ISA for at least trying. I don’t have the answer, but if this is a sign of what’s to come, the ISA won’t be around for long.