SAN FRANCISCO General conference and exhibit attendance at the 2005 Design Automation Conference (DAC) was down a little more than 1 percent from 2004, according to final attendance figures released Thursday (June 30).
The DAC organization said there were 5,505 conference and exhibit attendees at the show, held June 13-17 in Anaheim, Calif. The 2004 DAC in San Diego drew 69 more 5,574 conference and exhibit attendees, according to the organization.
Preliminary attendance figures from the 2005 show originally indicated that attendance was slightly up in 2005.
However, DAC's preliminary attendance figures are the number of people who register for the conference, while the actual figures reflect the number of people who attend.
DAC expects a certain number of no-shows among those who register for "Free Monday," which allows complimentary access to the exhibit floor on the first day of the show, said Lee Wood, DAC exhibit manager and co-president of conference and exhibit management company MP Associates Inc. (Boulder, Colo.). Of the 599 people who registered but did not attend, 412 were Free Monday registrants.
"We were actually pretty happy [with the final attendance]," Wood said. He noted that Anaheim is traditionally a tougher draw for the show and that 2005 attendance was up about 10 percent from 2003, the last time it was held there.
Wood said 240 companies exhibited at the 2005 show, up from 225 in 2004 and 209 in 2003.
"Our indications from exhibitors this year are that they are continuing to see tremendous value," Wood said.
Wood said DAC is aware that some exhibiting companies have grown weary of the significant expenses generated by large tradeshows. Many in the industry have openly questioned the return on investment (ROI) offered by large tradeshows. Some EDA companies, including market leader Cadence Design Systems Inc., scaled back their DAC presence in 2005.
Wood said DAC has mechanisms in place, including an exhibitor liaison committee, to ensure that exhibitors feel they are deriving value from the show. He pointed to DAC's offer of combined booth/suite space for exhibiting companies as an example of the organization's commitment to providing ROI, eliminating the need for companies to secure separate space in which to meet with customers and potential customers.
In addition to the conference and exhibit attendees, another 4,689 event participants from the exhibiting companies, along with guest and visitors, also attended the 2005 show, DAC said.
DAC touted the popularity of specific events at the 2005 show, notably the June 14 keynote by Bernard Meyerson, which drew more than 2,000 people.