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Exhibitors make most of slow traffic at Hotel show

Not unexpectedly, attendance at the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show at the Javits Center here last week was down.

But at the same time, exhibitors were pleased with results — both in terms of orders written and leads garnered.

The consensus was that attendance was down some 30 percent, but the major players were there. Exhibitors and visitors also experienced the aftermath of the American Airlines airplane crash on Nov. 12 as Javits once again was turned into a help site for families of the crash victims.

"Throughout the show, customers were more serious, the frills and fluff were no longer," said Shelly Delsack, senior vp, contract and customer service for Robert Allen.

One benefit of the lower attendance, he explained, "was that we had extra time to spend with the customers who were there. It was a tremendous advantage and definitely not typical of this type of show."

In addition, Delsack said, "We were able to define our leads a lot better."

For Fabricut, "We got a lot of leads and actually wrote orders, which we typically don't do at these shows," said Anna Logsdon, general manager of the contract division.

Overall, it was good for Fabricut, she said, but others didn't feel the same way.

"The quality level of the customers was equal to past shows," said Bruce Resch, contract manager for Richloom, "and we got some good leads. As with many of the other exhibitors, Richloom "came out with a lot of important new merchandise and three new sample books for this show," Resch said.

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