Thoughts From The Show Floor, Day 1 & 2

MACWORLD Tokyo is not like its US counterparts in many ways. For one thing, attendance to the show far outpaces the US shows. With 12 million people in Tokyo itself, it might not be surprising that the three day Tokyo Expo is expected to draw some 180,000 people, while the US events draw from 50,000 to 70,000 attendees. As of this writing, that number may well fall short this year, but the first day alone saw as many people through the doors as many past US Expos.

With those sorts of numbers, one might logically leap to the conclusion that the floor itself would also be packed to the gills with vendors. The interesting truth is that this is not the way it is. MACWORLD Tokyo is approximately 1/3 to 1/4 the physical size of either MACWORLD San Francisco or MACWORLD New York, with the event taking place in a single hall. Note that our percentage is merely a rough estimate on our part. In any event, we were able to see all of the booths in only two and half hours of walking around. Try that at a US venue.

Be that as it may, the Tokyo event has been packed with people. Day One in particularly left little room for attendees to maneuver around. We found the foot traffic on Friday, the second day of the event, to be much lower, but Thursday was a holiday. The vendors and attendees we have talked to expect the Saturday numbers to be much higher. Weill let you know if that is the case.

We have also found the energy level of this show to be higher than what we are normally used to. The Campaign Ladies (often referred to as "Booth Babes" in the States) are more friendly, the vendors are more anxious to talk to you, and the crowds are a bit more boisterous. This largely reflects differences in the Japanese culture from that of the West, of course, but we have found it very refreshing. People genuinely appear to be happy we are there, and that works for us.

One thing that is just the same is that there are some die-hard Mac fans in Japan that take their Maccing very seriously. Language and cultural barriers may be in place, but we have felt like we were among friends just as much as, if not more than, we do in the States. That is truly an outstanding feeling.