AUSA Army attendance downNews
October 23, 2012
WASHINGTON. Last year the AUSA Annual Meetings expanded to both floors of the Washington, DC convention center, making it one of the biggest military trade shows in the country. This year it shrunk back a little bit due to the budget cuts and threat of sequestration.
There are empty booths due to cancellations and the traffic is moticeably thinner than in years past. Most notably is the reduced presence of the Army. Decison makers only seems to be mantra this year for service personnel attending the annual meeting as the different programs are being cost conscious by having minimum staffing at the event. Army combatant commanders may be the most conspicuous absence this year, one exhibitor told me. In the past many of them woud get home from overseas and immediately head to the show.
Despite the lower attendance, military electronics exhibitors still find it one of the most productive shows for doing business. Embedded suppliers have all their Army customers in oen place for three days. Everyone I spoke to said they will be back next year.
However, the downisizing will most likely continue in 2013. Reportedly, the Army will reduce its footprint by at least 50,000 square feet next year at the show. The top primes will likely be reducing their footprint as well.