Here are the official numbers from SLA’s 2008 annual conference in Seattle: There were 5,011 total registrants, 845 first time attendees, 1,681 exhibitor registrants, 464 booths, 283 companies, and 50 new exhibitors. This compares with last year’s numbers of 5,047 total registrants, 801 first timers, 1,702 exhibitors, 445 booths, 275 companies, and 38 new exhibitors.
Next year in Washington DC, I’d expect the numbers to go higher in all categories, since it’s the Centennial of the association.
Thinking back on this year’s conference, I noted an upbeat tone. Attendees were enthusiastic, not just about the conference, but also about the profession and their jobs. The conference seemed less chaotic than in previous years. The timing of sessions worked well. I liked the hour and a half sessions, with some sprinkles of two hour sessions. A few odd glitches were build into the schedule. For example, on Monday, sessions ended at 10:30 but the exhibits didn’t open until 11, leaving a half hour with nothing planned. Then on Wednesday, the exhibit hall closed at noon, the afternoon sessions ended at 1:45, but the closing general session didn’t start until 2:30. Again, some unexplained dead time.
Overall, however, an extremely successful conference. Congratulations to all the conference planners.