Both exhibitors displaying their products and attendees walking the WasteExpo floor gave Tuesday's opening of the Exhibit Hall positive reviews. Foot traffic appeared to be heavy in the hall throughout the day.
"Given the economic circumstances, we were cautiously optimistic coming into the show," said Rita Ugianskis, the show director of WasteExpo. "I have been pleasantly surprised. I was out walking on the show floor, and everyone was saying it's a good show."
Ugianskis added that the Atlanta location has a strong appeal and has helped drive show activity. She said this year's show floor has 527 exhibitors, up from 486 exhibitors last year. (View the 2010 floor map.)
Mark Hampshire of Charlotte, N.C.-based Fontaine Modification said he was very pleased with the foot traffic at his booth. "The mood has been very upbeat, very positive," he said. "I see signs of a recovery."
Hampshire's comments were echoed by other exhibitors.
"It's been great," said John Curotto of The Curotto-Can of his booth traffic. Curotto attributed his booth traffic in part to the interactive quality of his product display, which allows visitors to operate the company's automated carry can for front loaders. The booth had a pink color theme in honor of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and The Curotto Can has donated a Komen-themed carry can to Wednesday's EREF equipment auction. The firm also made a $2,500 donation to the Atlanta chapter of the Komen Foundation.
Bill Debord of Caterpillar also reported a busy day at his firm's booth. "I'm quite pleased," he said, adding that he believed part of the foot traffic was due to the fact that the heavy equipment manufacturer was displaying more new products than in recent years.
Attendees walking the floor said they were impressed with the show. Mark Johns of Stiebel Drive Technology, a producer of gear boxes, said he was at WasteExpo to look at grinders and shredders and see if he could find some more customers among the manufacturers of those products. "Every year the show seems to grow," he said.
Pam Faust, the office manager of the Centre County (Pa.) Solid Waste Authority, said she was walking the Exhibit Hall in search of routing software and was going to attend as many human-resource-related conference sessions as she could. "I was in Vegas a few years ago," she said "This show is every bit as nice."