NEWEST & BRIGHTEST: ACE overcomes adversity

Event director Paul Mathers said a global economic crisis, falling equipment sales and a drop in the Australian dollar had all worked against the ACE, which concluded on Saturday. “It’s possibly the most difficult circumstances we could have asked for,” he said. “In Victoria we have had the bushfires,” Mathers said. “And of course many equipment buyers would also be volunteer firemen.” “Having said all that, the reports I’ve had back from a lot of exhibitors is that the people they saw at the show were genuine buyers.” Mathers said a number of exhibitors had reported selling machines off the stand. “That doesn’t happen often at any show, particularly big equipment expos,” he said. “As organisers of an exhibition, what we can’t do is dictate the size of the market, and it’s fair to say the market has shrunk over the past 12 months. “All we can hope to do is to draw out the buyers that are there, and I think that the show was reasonably successful in doing that.” Mathers said Friday was traditionally the expo’s biggest day but this year the threat of bushfires had adversely affected the Friday attendance figures. “We had high winds, fire warnings, we had schools being closed, so that slowed Friday down, but Saturday was huge,” he said. “Saturday is normally referred to as family day, but this year there were a lot of decision-makers in those families too.”

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