Editor's Note: Renewed Optimism

I have to admit I’m exhausted. It’s the first day back in the office after the conclusion of the ISA Sign Expo 2009 in Las Vegas and my Inbox is full of emails with press releases and my morning coffee has yet to really awaken the synapses after five days of travel.

As I was preparing for my trip for the show, I was a bit concerned about how well it would go. After hearing about multiple companies pulling out—big and small—while others were downsizing their booth space, I think everyone was a bit wary going in. And you could tell on the show floor during set up and during the hours just prior to the show opening. People were focused, concentrating on getting everything set up and ready to go, but there was rarely a smile among them.

We were all wondering the same thing: Would business owners spend the time and money to attend a show in such tough economic times? Would the investment really pay off?

But only a few hours after the start of the show and you could see a change. There were attendees—lots of them and more than anyone really had anticipated. And they weren’t just there to “kick the tires”. They were there looking to invest in products, trying to find solutions and new ideas for their businesses.

And once I got the chance to start talking with people, there was more and more good news. Equipment manufactures were releasing new products—and taking orders for them. The leads on prospective buyers were stronger than they’d anticipated. And what was even better was the news that consumables purchases were trending up in March—and by a good amount, too. That’s always a good indicator that things are changing, that there are new projects and jobs for print providers.

While it may not be the “end all to be all” sign we were all looking for in regards to a turn-around of the current economic situation, it was a positive sign of movement in the right direction—upward.

Even two hours before the show was scheduled to end on Saturday, there were still a good amount of people on the show floor, searching out new products and talking with exhibitors. Some of it was about the new products and their need to invest in new equipment, but some of it was also about how they could expand their businesses with the equipment they already had.

Right now it’s all about making smart business decisions so that you’re well-positioned when things really get moving. And hopefully that will be sooner than you think.

To get the scoop on all the new products and news that happened on the floor at the ISA Sign Expo, make sure you check out our special digital Post-Show Wrap-Up that will be released on May 15th. In addition to all the latest product news in one place, you’ll also have access to exclusive video content from the show floor at ISA.

I don’t know about anyone else, but after the show last week, I feel like there’s a sense of renewed optimism in the air. If it’s okay with everyone, let’s keep the momentum going.