Articles Tagged with Orlando

Free RocksThe International Reading Association’s annual conference has been steadily declining in attendance (and thus importance to vendors) for several years now. From a draw of 20,000 attendees the show now attracts less than 8,000. From a content standpoint it remains a top drawer event. That isn’t the focus of this piece. I’m making a more mercenary assessment of the event from a marketing perspective.

Reading Language Arts remains the single biggest segment of instructional materials spending (over 60%). Exploring why the show at the heart of the education market is getting smaller should reveal some telling lessons for vendors evaluating how they go to market these days.

This year’s exhibit traffic was considerably better than last year’s, but the show floor was still a shadow of its former glory. Vendor booths barely filled 70% of the exhibit hall and other than a couple of the major publishers (notably Scholastic) most companies were taking less space than they did even 2-3 years ago.


FETC 2008 starts tomorrow and I’m looking forward to catching up with friends and colleagues from across the Education Technology industry.

I’m participating in a panel discussion on Thursday afternoon about games and education that will balance practitioners with vendors in a discussion about the state of games and learning. From the practitioner side John Rice of the Education Games Research Blog will be there along with Gary Weidenhamer, Education Technology Manager at Palm Beach County District. Dave Martz from Muzzy Lane Software and I will be speaking from the business perspective and Karen Billings from SIIA’s Education Division will be moderating.

The panel runs from 1:50-2:45 PM Thursday in room CS4. Hope to see you there!