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Chicago: Backer’s Total Pet Expo

Backer’s Total Pet Expo is billed as “the trade show for everyone in the pet industry”.  The show featured exhibitors from around the world displaying dog, cat, bird, aquatic, reptile and small animal products and services for a multi-disciplinarian buying audience that included pet stores, groomers, kennel operators, boutique and specialty gift stores, even hardware stores.  The show drew over four hundred exhibitors in nearly 700 booths, talking turkey (well, parrots and canaries, anyway) with over 6,500 retail buyers from around the world.  There were show features aplenty, including the Product Innovation Area, the Pet Store on the Floor, Smart Zone Education Stations, the New Exhibitor Area, the All-Natural Area, the Idea Wall, and the Celebration of Style Grooming Competition. Also for the competitive-minded was the Backer Buyer Rewards Program.  Now, where am I going to find a grooming kit for my pet wombat…?  #totalpetexpo

Rosemont: Chicago Travel & Adventure Show

The Chicago Travel & Adventure Show is billed as the Mid-West’s largest travel show, with “thousands of vacation options under one roof”.  If you were the type to “explore your cultural side” and enjoy “top chef demos and dance performances that transport you to distant lands”, this was the show for you.  Keynoter Rick Steves gave a glimpse into “Europe Through The Back Door”, showing delegates all the latest on stretching the travel dollar, avoiding crowds, packing smart, and eating and sleeping well.  Pauline Frommer, editorial director of the Frommer Guides, was another keynoter offering “money-saving methods of travel, less usual destinations and ways to tailor your vacation so that it fits your personality”.  Tahiti Tourism North America was there to tell us about “an island paradise just eight hour from Los Angeles but seemingly a world away — closer than you think and easier to travel to then you might imagine”.  Hey, does my butt look big in this grass skirt…?

Las Vegas: Top 250 Trade Shows for 2011

Ariel View of ConExpo #1 Trade Show in 2011

Trade Show Network News (TSNN), the trade publication for the Trade Show industry has just published its Top 250 trade shows for 2011 and Las Vegas again leads the pack with 7 of the top 10.

While we haven’t fully explored the entire list, it does include several that have pulled out of Vegas because of the expense in exhibiting here. NAPTE comes to mind as they were one of the 1st to go back in 2008. It’s not so much the cost of rooms & meals because we all know that Vegas is king when it comes to cheap room & board. It is the cost of actually putting on the show for both the trade show companies and the exhibitors themselves.

Frequently we hear from vendors that one of the reasons they hate to exhibit in Las Vegas is the uncompromising stance of the unions. For example ASD which is 2 yearly now completely moved into the LVCC when it once was so crowded that it completely filled the Sands Expo, the South Hall at LVCC & the Mirage. Many vendors have pulled out because even if they had no trash or their booth wasn’t messy, they were charge daily for service, often when they came in the next day only to find their trash still full or their booth still with signs of the previous day’s floor flotsam.

The city of Chicago, in 2008, negotiated a deal with the unions that in order for them to grow their trade show opportunities, the unions would give up some concessions while the city agreed to promote their venues as a better bang for the buck. Certainly not in January but April – October, they have increased their trade show purchased footage by several 1000 sq. ft.

2008– In June, major trade show contractors and the union representing the largest single group of workers on the trade show floor announced a new collective bargaining agreement designed to further reduce costs for McCormick Place exhibitors and provide them with greater operational flexibility

Miami and Dallas have followed the lead of Chicago and have been able to attract many more trade shows, not just from Las Vegas but globally since revamping their trade show efforts.

Recently both CES and the Shot Show have renewed their contracts with Las Vegas, but as the old Wall Street adage goes “buy low, sell high, make a profit” it is the opinion of B-T-B that LVCVA needs to think about where it wants to be in the next 5-10 years with the trade show industry that has become the bread and butter of the casinos or do they want to continue to lose market share while focusing on weekend events like the Electric Daisy Carnival that brings crowds with limited money for gambling or trade shows, the bigger of the high dollar revenue drivers? Who has more disposable income; 6 20somethings stuffed in a hotel room with 20.00 each for the weekend or the business person coming for 3 days finding him/herself at 2am jet lagged and in the casino to chill out.

Rossi Ralenkotter & his staff have done an amazing job with turning Las Vegas into a business destination for companies and executives alike but we need to keep growing as THE place to not only have fun but to bring products to market in a business friendly environment.

Where’s Oscar?

Trade Show Season part II: And so it begins.

Thanks to Jet Blue and their month long travel anywhere passes, we are going to have a busy fall season. We have confirmed 31 trade shows for the month of September and aren’t quite finished with the calendar.
The following is a list of what is confirmed and will be updated as we get our schedule worked out:

Oil & Sand TS
CEDIA
ISS
Philly Gourmet Show
Action Expo
IFA
IMTS
Healthcare Facilities
BusCon
CHI 2010
EMS-Firehouse
Shop.org
IBEX
Hd Boutique
World Dairy
Surf Expo
Florida Food & Beverage Show
The Trade show
FTTH
BICSI
F & I Conf
SuperZoo
SSA
Photoshop world
ERA
Interbike
IBIE
ACEP 2010
CAALA
NAB Radio
HSMAI Affordable Meetings