This is my main post from the exhibition this year, as I did not have the opportunity to spend both days here so descided to spend my time networking rather than in conference sessions, although that is a regret in some ways as the list of speakers was impressive as usual.
From the exhibition floor
There certainly was a real buzz in the hall when I arrived, much more than last year. From a visitor point of view it seemed to be more popular than last year.
Many of the 'usual suspects' were n attendance exhibiting - which is good news in the current climate.
There were some noticable missing orgs including all book publishers, i'm sure that angloamerician and pocketbooks are former regulars.
Also missing were all psychometric publishers, there were two providers of 360 tools, but again it did not appear to be as many as before.
There were fourmembership based orgs in attendance including CIPD, BILD and TrainerBase, all who seemed to be busy most of the time, with both BILD & TrainerBase offering clinic support to trainers.
Having said that there were some elements missing, there seemed to be more stands than before, while some were smaller than in the past, size as they say isnt everything.
Exhibitors were sharing stories of the general downturn and change purchasing policies in recent months, with orders being verbally placed by existing customers, then the reluctant employee phoning just a few hours later canceling the order, saying the purchase had been declined by their line manager. Is this a trend in cost cutting? More than five providers shared this story with me.
While some are finding things very tough, those that have no business debt and can flex with the market demand will be the ones to survive the difficulties.
A valuable few hours, great people nd valuable connections made and reenforced.
Will be back next year - WOLCE 2010 see you here?