Yet another reminder that this year was much bigger than previous years was Tuesday’s exhibit floor volume. It was possibly our most trafficked day with an incredible amount of people coming up looking for product information, scheduling follow up meetings and asking more questions. This was some what surprising since Tuesday has traditionally been a little slower as people draw down and start leaving the conference. I think everyone was ready to leave Las Vegas by now though, this is a town that you can only take about 3 days of before going crazy.
From our perspective, it is difficult to measure the conference value for a few months, and even then its not easy. We traditionally sign 1 client from this conference within 6 months and I do have confidence that this will be the case again. In fact, based on what I saw and heard, I believe we will have more traction than that even with a minimum of 5-10 meetings already planned.
One observation of vendors that I noticed was a fairly significant increase in technology companies that are offering low cost, light weight functionality for sourcing/auctions. Most of these are spinning technology as a supplement to a core services deliverable and probably as a loss leader on the software. As the market matures, it is natural for a lower tier, less costly solution to gain a beach head. Simultaneously, some of the much larger solutions continue to expand to take on ERP directly. I am very happy about all of this because some companies will really like eSourcing with a low cost lead-in and be looking to take the training wheels off after getting a feel for it. We have done a very solid job of positioning Iasta as one of the best solutions with the highest value proposition, right between very inexpensive and very expensive. That is a wide gap with a large population needing tools for eSourcing.
Tomorrow, I will give some feedback about the one workshop I was able to attend about sourcing optimization.