First, I should have planned better. There were people and wineries that I was planning on seeing who were not there, and that was disappointing. There were also people there that I didn't know were going to be there, and I missed them too! So next time, I will plan better for sure.
I am definitely outside of the official wine world - or wine business world - so I am not afraid to say what I saw - and that is that this VinItaly seemed to be much more poorly attended than the last one I was at. I don't see the need to hide that fact in the face of the global economic situation. It is what it is. I heard a lot of talk two years ago about planting more grapes and making more wine - I didn't hear any suck talk this year. Couple of specific cases from some producers I talked with: one doesn't currently have US distribution and has a cellar full of excellent wine. Another is managing to sell all their wine, most of it outside of Italy, but their foreign reps didn't show up this year.
These are signs of the times. Some people may not make it - but it certainly isn't just in the wine industry. One thing I think it is going to lead to is some excellent bargains for consumers. I think price cutting will be coming soon to your favorite bottle shop.