The show was a good one for us. We made a lot of good new contacts, reconnected with some folks we've known for years, and got a little press exposure in Entrepreneur Magazine and Raleigh's News and Observer.
Trade shows are an efficient way of making a lot of contacts in a short amount of time, and especially important for startups: without spending a lot of money on travel. Many people are surprised that tradeshows can cost thousands of dollars to present at, and some even cost $1,000+ just to attend, but from an efficiency and overall cost standpoint, they're worth it.
I regularly advise aspiring entrepreneurs to find the trade show for their target market. There is a trade show for EVERYTHING. Really. I've been to some bizarre ones, big ones, tiny ones, and have traded stories about wacky things seen at trade shows, but they all exist because of the efficiency of having so many of your customers, potential customers, potential investors, competitors, industry analysts, and the press all in one place at one time.