While it may have seemed like the thin gathering that this year left vendors at SHRM’s 61st Annual Conference & Exposition in New Orleans with little to do, one attendee wished the folks in the booths would have done a little more than stand around with their hands in their pockets.
“I wish they’d be more aggressive and come out to talk to me,” said Tameka Flowers, operations recruiting manager for the University of Phoenix. “I want them to reach out and engage me.”
According to numbers released Monday, June 29, there were 6,853 attendees at the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2009 conference as of Sunday night.
That’s less than half the final tallies from the organization’s two previous gatherings, according to figures provided by SHRM officials that were included in stories published by Workforce Management. In 2008, 13,435 people attended the 2007 show in Las Vegas.
Despite the sparse crowds, traffic was good for the Employment Guide, said creative director Michael Godina.
The Norfolk, Virginia-based firm has 20 employees working the 30-by-30 booth, Godina said.
“Sure, the smaller crowds are a function of the economy,” said Godina, who is attending his fourth SHRM conference. “The networking with other companies has been extremely beneficial. But we got over 200 leads in just three hours Sunday night. Traffic has been great for us.”