MacExpo exceeded the expectations of resellers, many of whom were so impressed they have already signed up for next year’s show.

Mark Newsom of AT Computers said on Friday: "We're really impressed. Yesterday was really good and today has been even better. We've already booked for next year."

Friday saw attendance up 40 per cent on the previous year, according to Matt Denton, MacExpo PR – and resellers present at the show found themselves rushed of their feet on this, the most popular day of the Expo.

Rapid Group director Paul Hopkins said: "Yesterday we took £25,000 on our software stand and today has been even busier. We are also seeing good long-term leads."

AM Micro's Steve Hawkins said: "We've been very busy today. There has been lots of interest in new products and we've seen a lot of design professionals coming through the door."

Jonathan Cole of Computer Warehouse said: "This year has been much better than last year – we've made thousands of sales and there has been more consistent interest in Apple."

There was a marked difference in the type of customers coming through the door on Thursday and Friday. June Cadege of Gasteiner noted: "There have been lots of enquiries for memory and hardware today, where on Thursday there was a more consumer audience, with a lot of interest in the iPod."

A number of resellers told Macworld how impressed they were by the quality of customers attending the show. Rapid Group sales director, Garrett Doyle, said: "We have found that people are at the show to buy things – not just to evaluate products with a view to buying later."

The Colour Collective sales director, Tony Kirk, said: "I've been very surprised by the quality of people coming through the doors and the amount of leads generated at the show."

MacSupport's George King said: "We have seen high-quality people coming though the door and have got some great leads out of being here."

Solutions focused

This year's show saw a marked interest in video, audio and photography. Dreamtek managing director Tristan Blackley said: "We've seen a lot of interest in audio - everything from low-end to high-end sales."

Rapid Group sales director Garrett Doyle said: "This has been the first expo to focus on digital photography solutions and people have shown a lot of interest. It proves that there are a lot of people in the Mac community that are interested in photography."

Jeanne Razzell, managing director of Velocity, a new company focusing on the expanding digital-video and -audio market said: "We have seen very good lead generation here at the Expo. That proves that this is the right time to launch our new venture."

The show also saw successful product launches from Computer Warehouse and Compu b. Jonathan Cole of Computer Warehouse said: "We've seen a lot of interest in our eCamSpy software, which will be available in December."

Dennis O'Connell of Compu b said: "We've had an incredible response to MacEstimator, the trade-in trade-up service we’ve just launched. We have also found that because we have a different distributor to all the other companies here, we have bought a whole new dimension of products to the show."

Beyond the box

Other resellers were focussing on after sales support rather than box shifting.

MacWarehouse marketing manager Mark Hotter said: "We are taking more of a solutions-focused rather than box-shifting mentality as we are working towards more of a business-to-business approach. This has been well received at the show."

Phil Sharp, marketing manager at Cancom, said: "The show has gone very well. We've had a good turn-out and people have been very receptive. There has been a lot of interest in our maintenance offer – I think people find it refreshing that someone is here to talk about something other than selling."

Echoing the thoughts of many resellers, Mark Newsom of AT Computers said: "We've taken lots of orders at the show, we aren't selling hardware here though because stocks are so low."

Only one reseller had a criticism about the show: "Names should be displayed on badges, like they were last year," said MacWarehouse marketing manager Mark Hotter.

But other resellers are not keen on change. "We will definitely continue to do the show – as long as it doesn't move to Olympia. That hall is too big and the show would either have to expand to fit or it would be swallowed up by other exhibitions," said AM Micro's Steve Hawkins.