This past week I attending the annual DistribuTECH conference. It was held in sunny San Diego California where attendance was actually the best ever. I believe I heard the total figure to be near the 5,700 mark. Very impressive since we're in the middle of a recession and most companies are closely monitoring their travel expenditures.
The topic of the week was centered around Smart Grid and Intelligent Electrical Networks. Nearly every vendor in the massive exhibition floor had some reference to their smart grid offerings. In some cases this was just a marketing ploy, but others are really positioning themselves as a modern gird innovator. All the usual software vendors were in attendance, however some vendors appears to scale their booth and personnel back to minimize the impact this conference has on travel and non-billable hours. The traffic on the showfloor appeared to be less fruitful than in years past. I expect that most of the buying public is on hold and therefore do not have a serious interest in browsing the exhibit hall.
Noticeably more involvement in the conference hosted breakfast roundtables too. The breakfast roundtables were well attended and seem to provide a great format for exchanging ideas in a non-commercial atmosphere. I anticipate these to be more beneficial in years to come.
The conference sessions also appeared to be well attended. There was several presentations that were standing room only. These sessions were mostly centered around the Smart Grid topics.