The numbers are in for the 50th anniversary DAC in Austin. How did this year fare compared to previous years...
There was a lot of speculation leading up to DAC about the effectiveness of holding the conference in Austin. I think there were more nay-sayers than people who felt positive about it. Everyone expected numbers to be down, but I had been trying to point out that there would be advantages as well, in that many people would probably be attending DAC for the very first time. Now we have the official numbers and those nay-sayers will have to eat their words. DAC was a success by every measure you can think of. The only one it missed was a growth in total numbers compared to last year in San Francisco. Here are the preliminary numbers:
Full conference passes - 1589
Exhibits-only passes - 2364
Exhibitors booth staff - 1998
The number of full conference passes was up, showing that the technical part of the conference is immune to location. The opening keynote on Monday totaled 950 in attendance, and the combined keynote attendance for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday was 2,550, up 37% from 2012.
The average technical session attendance for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, including the Designer Track was 5,005, up 8% from 2012. In addition, the number of exhibits-only passes surpassed the San Diego numbers from 2011 by more than 15%.
Gone also was the free Monday, and this led to a much more uniform flow of traffic on the show floor, something enjoyed by many people I talked to. Many exhibitors also liked the lower costs and freedoms of doing things in Austin rather than San Francisco. I know I enjoyed cheaper hotels. My only complaint about Austin was the heat and humidity, and summer was only just getting going there. I am such a cool weather person!
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