By Avi Learner
Attendance was fairly light on Friday for the "America's Internet Conference & Expo" at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, FL, Sept. 6,7 & 8th. Fairly well attended on Saturday, then sparsely again on Sunday. Full show details & conference schedule can be viewed online .
The widely publicized event " ...drew approximately 7,500 total attendees," according to Tom Ricketts VP of Sales. "All of our show sponsors have re-signed for our Spring show in April. I was very satisfied with the quality of the attendance," added Ricketts.
With around 75 or so internet related vendors ranging from AT&T BellSOUTH, Office Depot, Nations Online Banking, NetRunner, Expressnet, CyberGate, to Great Expectations (online dating service!). The floor space used by the show was only half of one of the smaller exhibition areas at the huge convention arena.
Our Marketing & PR firm "Creative Overload" declined a booth, but easily worked all the vendors, pitching our services to them, as an "internet savvy" team of creative talents.
There also were many PC vendors there selling things that could be used cross platform, such as Jazz drives for $ 359.00, 8X CD rom drives for $ 149.00, with a notable lack of Macintosh support or vendors. There was a presentation titled "Getting Return On Investment From The 'Net" by Todd L. Rowe, Group Marketing Manager Apple Latin America.
Although BellSouth and AT&T had the largest booth's (and and were show sponsors) there were no other major hardware or software vendors except "Solunet" which is major networking vendor for Shiva, Ascend & Cisco router products. Cybergate had a large display with the only overhead banner to be displayed. The NET.COM service provider, had a continuing show by performer "Mr. Silver -The Human Robot", which drew the most consistent audience.
The other venders were mostly 3rd party PC types who commented on how many Macintosh users there were attending the show and had made requests for Mac products from them. We told them that here were "many high level" Macintosh creators of internet content. Many users from our local MAC group, Gold Coast Macintosh Users Group, attended the show.
Several of the local internet service providers (ISP's) I spoke with prior to the show, also declined booth space siting the lack of attendance to an earlier show in Coconut Grove. The same ISP's also commented that another recent show at the Broward convention center which was better attended, lacked the "professional type" of market that they would've liked to reach.
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