The numbers aren't all in yet for the ACS Rubber Division meeting and exhibition in Cleveland, but the reviews are.
Here's some, mostly from our reporters who covered the convention and searched out news stories on the Expo '01 floor.
Numbers. There is an estimate of attendance from the Rubber Division officeùmaybe 6,000-7,000. That sounds about right, and not all that bad in this time of recession, war and widespread fear of traveling.
A quiet affair. For the major rubber show of the year, it was a pretty quiet affair. The typical hustle-bustle of the trade show floor wasn't apparent, perhaps a sign of the somber times as much as fewer attendees.
The shrimp count. A term spawned years ago by Rubber Division Chairman Rudy School, the "shrimp count" is the best barometer of how well the rubber industry is doing. Business is good, lots of shrimp served at the hospitality suites; business bad, less shrimp. The Cleveland meeting? Virtually no shrimp.
Hard at work. Obviously, companies sent Joe instead of Joe and his 20 co-workers. A byproduct seemed to be that the people who did attend weren't there just for fun and games. It was very much a "serious business" convention, meaning companies that sent people got their money's worth.
Candy was dandy. Maybe the shrimp count was off, but the candy count—as in trade show giveaways—was very, very high, according to one reporter who is an expert in such things.
Tame booths. According to another reporter who has spent a lot of time covering European conventions, the booths at Expo '01 generally lacked pizazz, with the possible exception of Desma's.
Busy bodies. Traffic was heavy in some areas, particularly the machinery booths. Other areas "looked like ghost towns."
Missing presenters. There were a number of no-shows at the paper presentations, enough to move moderators to request before a session that the presenters stay put, so they could jump in in case a speaker failed to show.
Party on. ElastomerSolutions had the biggest reception of the show, and the most excitement. With maybe 1,000 people present, a fire alarm went off and everyone evacuated, in good order, too. A few minutes later they were back: False alarm. Very funny.
Noga is editor of Rubber & Plastics News.