This is quite a show. There are some 400 suppliers with booths and they are talking about some 20 – 25000 attendees. Final numbers will take some time to tabulate. My guts tell me that it could grow to be bigger than Interlift. It is a lot easier to get here, it’s a less expensive destination, there is plenty of expansion room and the booth space costs less, the city is larger and more cosmopolitan. I think that Asansor has a lot going for it.
Our Turkish partners are experimenting with a lot of methods of getting attention to the Ropegripper. They run monthly ads in the industrial magazines, do trade shows like this, have an ongoing conversation with the government types in Turkey and on this trip they arranged for a television crew to do an interview – so along with some of the others, I am going to be on TV in Istanbul on a Sunday morning show that features small local businesses.
Still it’s frustrating. There are still a ton of geared traction machines installed in this area of the world and the code here (EN81) requires protection against unintentional movement of the elevator – but there are a couple of stumbling blocks that are keeping us from having a blockbuster product. First, the code is just not being enforced in most places. This is especially true here and in the Middle East. We also have a major challenge with cost / price. We looked at geared machines at the show that sell for the equivalent of $1500 US. When someone is paying $1500 for their machine a $1000 Ropegripp is a tough add-on.
Neither of these problems true across the board and neither is insurmountable. We will keep taking our at-bats and sooner or later, we’ll start hitting the home runs. The competing products we saw here are not equivalent quality.
Got a chance to catch up with a group of elevator friends this week. Rudolph and Tristan from Switzerland, John and Pat from the UK, Eduard from Spain, Norman and Monica from Germany. There were very few Americans – T Bruce from Elevator World and Greg Maroukian from Precision Escalator, and the three of us – but I’m betting this will change once word gets around about how large and successful this show is.
The upshot: Istanbul is a great destination, the Turkish people are incredible hosts, and Asansor is a good show. I look forward to being back here in two years.