The area where exhibitors showcase bench supplies, software, Internet products, lighting, display cases, architectural services, and packaging has been located in a series of first-floor suites in the Sands Expo and Convention center since 2003, and exhibitors have been grumbling about the arrangement ever since. This year there was widespread support to move the pavilion to a single space.
The suites, located outside the main exhibit floor, are in three sections divided by hallways. Exhibitors in the first section get the most foot traffic, which decreases in the second set of suites and further tails off in the third.
Mike Adams, vice president of Model Master, a CAD/CAM company in Woodstock, Ga., lost his spot in the first set of suites and now is in the second section of suites. “They need to find another venue,” he said. “This was wrong from the beginning. Nobody knows that we’re here.”
Added Robert Persekian of Precisions Displays & Tools, San Jose, Calif., in the third set of suites: “The show is good. If they put the venue in a bigger hall without partitions then it would be ideal. But the walls are a problem.”
Mikey Minagorri, director of business development of Miami-based ARTCO Group had a different view. Although it was housed in the third section, the company, which does fixtures, custom millwork, planning, and design, was busy throughout the show. Minagorri credits the company’s aggressive marketing.
“It could be a lot better,” he said. “We’re busy because we advertise and promote. … The walls are like the Great Wall of China. Somehow this needs to be given the importance that it deserves, and we’re willing to spend the money to make the commitment.”
Herb Schottland, of Store Design and Fixturing, a Chapel Hill, N.C., firm located in the second section, said another problem is that cell phones don’t work in the technology area. “None of us can make calls,” he said. “They’ve got the signage right but, boy, the cell phone thing is a killer.”
CAD/CAM is the ‘hot button.’ Steve Adler of Automated 3d Modeler has no complaints. “The show is great,” he said. “CAD/CAM is still the hot button down here—still the focal point. There are a lot of tire kickers asking themselves ‘where should I start.'” Adler was presenting a new product called ClayTools system, a software program complementary to Rhino software that allows users to simulate clay sculpting techniques.
VisionNumeric developed a CAD product called 3DESIGN that allows users to easily modify, alter, and view changes, even finished designs, without designing them from scratch.
The Internet is always is always a hot topic, and this year was no different. A new company has created eDiamondselect, an Internet product that allows consumers in jewelry stores to view a manufacturer’s or wholesaler’s supply of diamonds online. Its creators say it can serve as a point-of-sale presentation tool for retailers and allow diamond manufacturers and suppliers another way to let consumers view their inventory.
Microsoft Corp. has entered the jewelry industry with a version of its Retail Management System software designed as a point-of-sale solution for independent jewelers. The company, based in Redmond, Wash., has partnered with MPI Systems Inc., a Wilton, Conn., company that creates software and systems for the jewelry industry. Together they designed an integrated product for jewelry retailers called MPI-Jeweler and Retail Management System.
Note: A feature on products from the ETS Pavilion will run in the September issue.