It’s an interesting, unsolicited view from a software vendor in the heartland of SME manufacturing. And it proves that not only are exhibitions, and the CIM Show in particular, still places where business is done – despite the power of the usurper the Internet – but that visitors do gain useful insights from the face-to-face experience of all those vendors under one accessible roof. In fact Joseph says for him there’s more: “That’s just the figure to date,” he says. He claims the 1999 Show brought orders well into late 2000, “so we’re expecting more to follow,” he says. CIM 2001 runs from 30 October to 1 November in Halls 6 and 7 at the NEC, Birmingham. Hotline number for free tickets is 0870 429 4582, or visit