Tips When Attending Trade Shows

Trade shows can be an excellent opportunity for you and your business, whether you are an entrepreneur or you’re representing the company you work for. Thousands of people set up trade show booths and trade show displays across the country at a huge variety of industry events. However, many people don’t know how to take advantage of the opportunities a trade show offers. Some plan on simply attending, setting up their trade show booth, and then staying there all day hoping to attract new business.

Manning a trade show display is only part of the reason you should be attending a trade show. The other vendors at a trade show can provide you with a wealth of new information and contacts in your industry; all accessible in the same room on the same day—this is the unparalleled attraction of a trade show for your business.

If you plan to attend a trade show, make sure you are not the only person there representing your company, even if you are a small business owner with few employees or a sole proprietorship. You will need at least one person to staff your trade show booth, and another to walk the floor taking in the other trade show displays.

If necessary, get your spouse or a good friend to come with you and give them a crash course on how to handle your trade show booth while you check out the other vendors – and only do so when it is slow so you don’t miss important business opportunities. When you make reservations for the hotel you will stay at during the show, try to find a room as close as possible to the actual location—preferably within walking distance. That way, you won’t have to bring anything with you to the venue other than the materials for your trade show display.

Before you attend a trade show, go over the list of vendors who plan to put up trade show booths. Make lists of the vendors you must see, the vendors you would like to see, and those you can live without seeing. You may even be able to schedule appointments with your top priority vendors.

Research the companies and determine ahead of time what you would like to find out from each trade show display and what your goals are regarding each vendor: are they competition, or a potential contact? If they are a potential contact, how would they specifically benefit your company? Have questions ready to ask vendors to save yourself time walking the floor.

Another good time saving strategy is to obtain a map and a directory of the trade show when you arrive on location, before the show begins. Use the map to plan your route, and check your prioritized list of vendors against the directory to find out whether any vendors have been added or dropped out.

During the trade show, be active in your quest for information. Don’t feel bad about passing by trade show booths that don’t interest you. Like you, they are attending the trade show to generate new business, and they don’t want to waste time talking to someone who isn’t a potential customer.

Visit your targeted trade show displays, engage in a dialogue with the vendors, and ask questions. If the trade show booth offers handouts, samples or other materials, take only those you actually want to find out more about. It can be difficult to tote a loose stack of glossy brochures, catalogs, and bulky product samples around a busy trade show floor.

If possible, arm yourself with an empty briefcase or duffel bag to stow materials. Use your time wisely to gather intelligence on your competition and make new industry contacts that will benefit your company.

When the trade show ends, especially if it is a multiple-day event, take the time to make notes and organize the materials you gathered before you leave the event. If you need to mail reports, brochures or other materials to your colleagues, prepare the mailings right away while “who gets what” is still fresh in your mind.

Make sure to store your trade show display safely so nothing is damaged and you can find everything you need the following day. When you return from the trade show, remember to follow up with the contacts you have made—and start preparing for next year’s trade show!

Introduction to Trade Show Exhibits

When you are planning for your next trade show exhibit you should look back to when you were only browsing the many different booths, exhibits, and displays. Remember what type of exhibits got your attention. Your presentation should also draw the crowd.

Before you just rush out and purchase displays for your trade show exhibition you must take into consideration many different aspects of how you desire your presentation to look and feel. You know you want it to speak to the potential customers that are passing by and hopefully bring them over so you can speak with them. Your exhibit must get their attention so will they walk over, and then you can get their undivided attention.

You must first decide which type of exhibit will be the best to present your products, services and your company image. You should also consider your budget. No matter what your budget you can find the perfect trade show exhibits that will convey your message with the image that you want others to see.

The size of your trade show exhibit can either make or break you. If you have one to large, the exhibit will be overwhelming and if you choose one to small it will look overcrowded and cluttered. The most common sizes for trade show exhibits are 10 feet by 10 feet, 20 feet by 20 feet, and 10 feet by 20 feet. Within this size limitation, you must also choose from pop-up designs, panels or complete Truss trade show display booths.

In the 10 feet by 10 feet size, you can find some great displays in various styles and designs. With the Clever 10 foot panel, you can choose from Backlit Header, lights, the color that you prefer for the lower panel and a different one for the upper panel. The benefits of using these panels are that they are sturdy and durable but very lightweight and easy to transport. The average weight of these panels is around 130 pounds.  The Genius I 10 foot panel you can also choose whether you want lights, the counter base color, Counter Laminate Color, the color of the lower panel and the upper panel. The features of this type of panel is that it is a folding panel display system, has 6 upper hinged panels, 6 lower hinged panels, 1 backlit header and lights, 1 alcove counter top and 1 alcove counter base. This wonderful panel is very impressive for all types of displays and normally weighs around 200 pounds.

If you prefer a larger size like the 20 feet by 20 feet, you should like at the features that are included with pop-up displays and Truss display booths. The best pop-up display of this size is the Trilogy 20′ x 20′ Island Pop up Trade Show Display. The features of this unique display are that it is in actuality three trade show booths in one. It has the 10-foot wide back-to-back exhibiting area that creates a triangular or star shape. If gives you the ability to present your products or different aspects of your company all the way around the display. You will also be able to choose the color and fabric that you desire along with a case to counter conversion kit and the colors and fabrics of this kit, lights, shelf package, Backlit Header Package and Reconfiguration Panels. 20 feet by 20 feet Truss booths come in a few unique styles such as the Cassiopeia, which features a steel construction; high shine silver color, 4 tabletops, and the ability to assemble with just four screwdrivers that are included. The Centaurus features the same quality steel construction, the high shine silver color, 24 silver spotlights, and the ability to add tabletops in either light wood or silver in color. The Neptune is sure to grab attention with features like a modular system that is quick and easy to assemble. The Jupiter is another modern and innovative display which gives you great features such as high shine silver color, quality steel construction, 6 tabletops in either light wood or silver, 8 silver spot lights, and easy to assemble with screw drivers that are included. The Vega is similar to other Truss booths but is an eye catching and appealing booth with options for tabletops, colors, and design.

The 10 feet by 20 feet size of displays gives you styles and designs to choose from such as pop-display’s, panels, and Truss booths. All of these also have many unique styles and designs that are sure to aid you in presenting your products, your company, or your services in a manner that is not only unique, stylish and original, but with prices within your budget.

Tips When Displaying at Trade Shows

Almost all products being sold in the market today have already been sold before by their competitors but what makes other products a hit despite their being new in the market? Most entrepreneurs say it is a matter of marketing your products to your target market.

Marketing can be done in various ways depending on the expertise of the marketer. However, one common way to market a new product is through participation in trade shows. Trade shows are held at any time of the year and they do attract buyers and prospective customers.

There are general trade shows but you can choose from niche trade shows depending on your area of business. Companies join trade shows not so much for actual selling but most importantly for showing off their products and for the possibility of getting bulk orders during the trade show.

A company or a sole proprietor planning to join a trade show should take note of the following:

1. Able personnel to man the trade show booth. A trade show is not just an ordinary selling venue but it is a venue where prospective clients abound so make sure that you send your best personnel to man the booth. Some companies take trade shows for granted and allow inept personnel to watch the booth. The people who are put in charge of your trade show booth can make or break your product. A good staff with public relations skill can attract more clients to your products. It is also important to instruct your booth personnel to dress properly depending on the venue of the trade show. Business attire will always be safe.

2. Invite visitors to your booth. The booth personnel must be trained and instructed to invite visitors to the booth. Most visitors walk away from trade show booth when they see the staff busy with their own thing. Tell your staff the main reason why they were assigned to the trade show and that is to get as many visitors to see your products. Booth personnel should be able to answer questions from the visitors because the visitors may already be potential customers. A booth demo will catch the attention of visitors especially if the demo is useful to them.

3. Prepare your brochures, leaflets and business cards and make sure you do not run out of them.  Always expect plenty of people to visit trade shows so never be caught without your marketing tools. Imagine if a potential client asks for your brochure or your card and then you cannot give him anything just because you did not prepare for an influx of people. It is better to have plenty of left over marketing materials after the show rather than miss the opportunity of showing off what you have to offer.

4. Keep a visitors’ book. Most companies who join trade shows require visitors who get their free marketing materials to sign up in a guestbook. However, only a few of these companies will communicate with the people who signed in their guestbook. Be creative and use the guestbook as a sourcebook for potential clients. The people who visited your booth and who got your materials are definitely interested in your products or else they will not even glance at your booth. Why not take advantage of their contact information?  Mail them a thank you letter along with more information about the product and where they can buy the products.

5. Promote your products but do not be too pushy. Visitors are often turned off by very eager booth personnel who call out to the visitors using their loudest voice. No one would want to visit your booth if your personnel are boisterous. Allow the visitors to go inside your booth and look at the items you have on display but always keep a welcoming smile. Entertain their questions and try to respond to them accordingly. Never shout your words of welcome to the visitors since they might feel defensive all of a sudden and decide against looking at your products.

Anatomy Of A Successful Trade Show Exhibit

A trade show, also known as a merchandise show or market week, is an exhibition or a business gathering organized by companies that showcase and demonstrate their new products and services and also their latest offerings. Trade shows also provide opportunities for companies to meet their customers, to learn new trends and to identify new prospects.

Trade shows are not open to the public and can only be attended by company representatives, members of the trade and members of the press. One advantage of holding a trade show is that it shortens the time it takes for companies to look for prospective customers. But the major disadvantage is that customers and prospects pay little attention to the many exhibitors and their products due to the many distractions and the busy atmosphere inherent in trade shows.

Exhibitors can make effective use of trade show displays in trade shows to direct visitors to their main display area. Trade show displays are used to give visitors a better understanding or appreciation of the products or services being marketed. Although exhibitors are only supposed to put their trade show displays within the confines of their designated trade show exhibit area, exhibitors also display items in strategic areas of the fair grounds. Trade show displays often used include banner stands, counters and cabinets, panel display etc. that clearly display the company logo, basic company information and company slogan.

The trade show booth is an important component of the trade show display as it aims to enhance the brand and marketing experience for the visitor. It facilitates valuable direct face-to-face contact between the companies and their prospective customers. The whole booth set-up includes counters kiosks, lighting, flooring, literature racks, banner stands and high impact graphics, with the booth design, the staffing and the handouts the main factors to a successful trade show booth.

Many companies prefer to rent pre-owned trade show exhibits and displays rather than to buy or to create them from scratch to save on the trade show booth construction costs and also on the expense of warehousing the displays after the trade show is over.

Trade shows demand a lot of work and effort, and exhibitors have to plan well in advance so as to make the trade show a success. It is because any successful trade show offers exhibitors with a very valuable opportunity to build relationships face-to-face with their clients and to close lucrative business deals.

For trade show professional interested on having a real impact on the industry, registration is open for the annual legislative fly-in, Exhibitions Day, which will take place June 7-8 in Washington, D.C.

Industry professionals from across the U.S. will descend on D.C. to hold dialogue with members of Congress around key issues impacting the exhibitions industry and the positive impact it has on the U.S. economy.

“House and Senate representatives are central to the review of policies that have a direct and indirect effect on our local economies,” said IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA.

He added, “As they make critical decisions that impact business travel and international business activities, it is important we give them all the facts and potential implications so federal lawmakers can make the most informed decisions that are in the best interest of our economy.”

Here is a look at last year’s event: ]]>]]>

Exhibitions Day was established to serve as a platform to engage in uninterrupted, one-on-one dialogue with members of Congress. During the years, hundreds of industry members have joined the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign on Capitol Hill to hold these informational and educational conversations.

For 2016, Exhibitions Day has industry-wide support from 20 organizations committed to promoting the value of exhibitions and events to legislators and key policy influencers.

Building on Exhibitions Day’s positive inspiration, 2016 will feature an inaugural Global Exhibitions Day movement as well.

As part of this global initiative, exhibitions and events professionals worldwide will participate in activities, such as hashtagged social shares or hosting local events, to share their support for the industry in conjunctions with Exhibitions Day activities on Capitol Hill.

Driven by Dallas-based International Association of Exhibitions and Events and Paris-based UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, a growing list of associations and industry players have pledged to join forces to promote the industry and to highlight its achievements.

“There are many great national and regional initiatives, addressing exhibitors, visitors, policymakers, and other stakeholders,” said UFI President Sergey Alexeev and 2016 IAEE Chairperson Julie Smith, CEM, CTA. “Uniting these achievements under one common umbrella will strengthen the messages and multiply the reach.”

The campaign will focus on messages that promote the value of exhibiting for companies, the key support role of exhibitions for the development of trade and internationalization, and the stimulating role exhibitions play in driving innovation and competitiveness of companies.

At the same time, Global Exhibitions Day is also meant to be a celebration of the people working in the exhibitions industry,worldwide, showing the excitement and career opportunities that the industry has to offer.

The following international associations are currently members of the task force: AAXO and EXSA (South Africa), AEFI and CFI (Italy), AEO (UK), AFE (Spain), AUMA and FAMAB (Germany), CEFA and CENTREX (Central Europe), EEIA (EU), IAEE and SISO (USA), IECA (Indonesia), IEIA (India), LECA (Lebanon), PCEI (Poland), RUEF (Russia) and UNIMEV (France). 

Topics that were discussed during Exhibitions Day 2015 included advocating for the Travel Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act, which would promote business travel and trade in the U.S.

Additionally, attendees discussed concerning efforts by airlines to nullify Open Skies agreements and freeze travel routes used by many business travelers in/out of the country.

Event participants also promoted the importance of government employee participation at events, as these events are often where local contractors and other business owners are sourced to carry out major government projects.

Details surrounding Exhibitions Day 2016, including key topics the industry will take to Capitol Hill along with a robust digital toolkit are available on the ]]>Exhibitions Day web site]]>.

More information about Exhibitions Day and Global Exhibitions Day can also be found at: ]]>]]> or by following the EMB campaign on Twitter (]]>@ExhibitsMeanBiz]]>) or Facebook (]]>]]>).

For more information about participating in “Global Exhibitions Day,” contact Christian Druart at Also follow #GED16 and Global Exhibitions Day on Facebook. 

Exposition Development Company, E.J. Krause Team Up on ExpoProducción Mexico

April 27, 2016

Exposition Development Company (ExpoDevCo) and E.J. Krause & Associates (EJK) have teamed up to produce the 4th edition of ExpoProducción Mexico, on tap March 29–31, 2017, at the World Trade Center in Mexico City, Mexico. 

The event is for the Apparel, Home, and Technical Textiles industries in Mexico and Central America. 

“At E.J. Krause & Associates, we are very excited to be co-organizer of ExpoProducción in Mexico. The textile industry has always been vitally important to the industrial base in Mexico,” said Paul St. Amour, vice president Latin America, EJK.

He added, “We are certain that by continuing to work closely with our exhibitors, our industry partners, and media, ExpoProducción 2017 will be a resounding success.”

EJK is one of the largest privately held exhibition management companies in the world. With offices on three continents, EJK produces more than 40 events in 14 different industries, 11 of which are run by E. J. Krause, Mexico. 

“We feel confident that our partnership with E.J. Krause will enable the show to grow far beyond what it has already achieved in its first three editions,” said David Audrain, CEO and partner of Exposition Development Company.

He added, “The 2017 edition will be a very strong year for ExpoProducción, and for the market in Mexico and Central America!”

ExpoDevCo produces expositions and events in many different industries, the consistent focus is on delivering leading events in the markets served through compelling content, outstanding marketing outreach, and the most effective partnerships, according to Audrain.

Attendees will experience a larger international exhibitor presence, more country pavilions, and a redeveloped conference program that will touch on every segment of the textile industry and be presented by industry leaders from around the world. 

With the new partnership, exhibitors will see attendee numbers continue to grow in all market segments, new business matchmaking offered, customized marketing programs to help exhibitors reach their targeted markets and a continued level of customer service.

Women in the Workplace – Bridging the Wage Gap

April 23, 2016
Julia Smith

Julia Smith, CEM, is senior vice president, national sales at GES (]]>]]>), where she has been collaborating with exhibition clients for more than 23 years.

The ]]>IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF)]]> is just a few days away, and its approach has me looking at some of the lessons I learned (some the hard way) and issues like the wage gap that many woman are still facing today.

Bridging the Gap

I grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and had a promising foundation for future career success. In June of 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the ]]>Equal Pay Act]]> into law, which should have signaled the end to gender discrimination in our country.  ]]>Title IX]]> gave me access to sports and an understanding of fair competition. 

I had grandparents who were college graduates,and parents who never limited my dreams because I was a girl. I worked from a young age, learning responsibility and gaining independence. The feminist movement created new opportunities for women who were breaking through proverbial glass ceilings.

Yet, here we are more than 50 years later, and women are still making approximately $.79 to every dollar made by a man in the U.S. (often far less if you are a minority woman). In conjunction with ]]>International Women’s Day]]> this year, the U.N. recommitted to a deadline of ]]>2030 for gender equality]]>. In 2015, the World Economic Forum projected that gender equality will take another ]]>118 years]]>! To quote a favorite comic character, “Aaaggh!”

I was fortunate to make (or stumble into) some good career choices, and to commit to a company that supports and rewards me. I also married a man who gets me,and my drive and need to achieve. However, it was still a long path to where I am today, and I want to pass along the valuable lessons I learned to younger women:

1.       Know your unique value, and your economic value. Studies show that women are not as effective as men in ]]>negotiating]]> on their own behalf. It’s often the “good girl” syndrome; the assumption that if you work hard, you will be paid what you are worth.  Keep a file of all of your accomplishments.  Put time into your annual self-appraisal – give your boss everything she needs to justify the maximum increase possible and collect salary survey data for your field.  Focus on making yourself invaluable.

2.       You don’t have to be a man to MANage. We’ve all met them…the women who think they need to be tougher, meaner, louder than any man to show they are in charge. It’s okay (in fact desirable) to be compassionate, encouraging, a good listener, whether you are a woman or a man. It doesn’t make you any less in charge. Find good role models of either gender, and take note of what makes them good leaders. By the way, many of my best role models, mentors and examples have been men.

3.       Polish your communication skills. I have a liberal arts degree. Not a business degree or an MBA–but the ability to speak and write clearly have fast-tracked me in every position since graduation. There are myriad of ways you can hone your communications skills including: rehearsing in a mirror; having someone videotape you; joining Toastmasters; anything to strengthen your presence. Also, be diligent in practicing written communication that is clear, persuasive, and emoji-free.

4.       Don’t forget to keep yourself, and your career, in perspective. Years ago, I was melting down about something relatively small at show site.  One of our workers, a Vietnam vet, reminded me that “no one is shooting at us.”  We do important work, but it is work, after all, not your whole life. If it is your whole life, you need to get a hobby!

There are so many women who do not have the same support systems that I had, which is why meetings geared towards women are so vital. Events like the WLF provide an opportunity for women in our industry to lift each other up, network, develop new skills, contemplate next steps and make big plans. We get to hear from trailblazers and trendsetters; women who have approached the world undaunted by studies or barriers. The IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum gives me hope that our granddaughters’ granddaughters won’t need to talk about the gender gap.

If you want to join a company that supports the vital role that women play in the workplace, take a look at GES’ careers page ]]>here.]]> Originally published on the ]]>GES Blog.]]>

Attendee Movement Data: What Should You Track?

April 23, 2016
Lisa Apolinski

Lisa Apolinski is a professional speaker, blogger, and digital strategist. With her company,]]>]]>, she works with event managers to get their message to attendees, particularly through digital channels, on and off the show floor.

There are great technology advances to monitor where your attendees go on the show floor and in your booth. But, what data pieces are key to track and apply to your trade show marketing strategy?

Where does your attendee go, and linger?  One key element to track with your booth, or conference, to determine how your traffic is faring is actual traffic patterns.  Where do your attendees go, and how do they get there?  Where do they congregate, and what areas are they skipping entirely? 

How they move within your booth can show you dead space, or space where you could add seating, and even some marketing info and booth staff to engage your attendees.

How are your attendees engaging with your demonstrations?  This includes what demonstrations they engage with, how long they stay there, and how they go from one demonstration to the next.

You can also review when you have peak times at your demonstrations, which will affect your booth schedule.  More engagement should equate to more booth staff to chat with those attendees.  Are your assumptions for length of your demo match up with your data? 

If the length of time is too long, you may want to consider breaking up the demo into two parts to keep traffic moving while keeping your attendees interacting.

Who attends your lecture?  It is great to count the number of people who attend your lecture, if you end up being a speaker. 

What is more helpful is to get a list of who attended, including their title and company, so you can follow up with your attendees for any questions or further discussions.  You can also then invite these attendees into your booth to continue the conversation.

Use key attendee movement data points to continue to optimize your booth strategy and your attendee experience.

North American International Auto Show Set to Launch AutoMobili-D

April 23, 2016

The North American International Auto Show will be launch AutoMobili-D, a dedicated exposition focused on the rapidly evolving global automotive and mobility landscape.

Spearheaded by NAIAS, AutoMobili-D will run in conjunction with the 2017 auto show this coming January in Detroit and will feature more than 100 companies, including automakers, tier one suppliers and tech startups.

“AutoMobili-D will provide an international look at the ever-changing world of consumer mobility and the ecosystem of companies and innovations that are driving this exciting transformation,” said Sam Slaughter, 2017 NAIAS chairman.

He added, “Being in the Motor City, NAIAS garners the largest industry concentration of any show in the world, bringing in nearly 40,000 executives, engineers, designers and thought leaders. AutoMobili-D will provide the ideal platform for business to business networking and thought provoking demonstrations.”

AutoMobili-D will feature 120,000 square feet and attending executives, industry professionals and journalists will have the opportunity to experience firsthand advanced driver assist and autonomous vehicle functionality on a dedicated test track all in one building.

Unique communities of participating companies and tech start-ups will cover the following five key mobility areas: Autonomous Driving, Connected Car Technologies, E-Mobility, Mobility Services and Urban Mobility

“For the past year we’ve been working on this initiative and traveling the world meeting with automakers, suppliers and partners on this project and the feedback and interest has been phenomenal,” said Rod Alberts, NAIAS executive director.

He added, “With strong support from leading automakers, to the world’s largest suppliers and innovators like ZF, IBM and Schaeffler, all are eager to participate in AutoMobili-D and showcase their advanced technologies and mobility plans. We also have support from the world renowned American Center for Mobility to highlight all of the mobility developments happening here in Michigan.”

Content curation for AutoMobili-D is being led by ]]>The House of New Mobility]]>, an internationally recognized thought leader in the mobility and innovation space.

“We’re experiencing a tremendous technology shift in our industry and the American Center for Mobility (ACM) has been established to be the leader in automated and connected car testing, development, and standards-setting at a scale unmatched in the world,” said John Maddox, CEO, American Center for Mobility. “We’re excited about the North American International Auto Show’s AutoMobili-D, as it will provide ACM a global platform to connect and share best practices with leading automakers and suppliers that are breaking ground in the mobility space.”

AutoMobili-D will showcase a special innovation community within the exposition that will feature more than 50 startups. NAIAS partnered with ]]>Techstars Mobility]]>, based in Detroit, to curate the roster of participating startups and provide its expertise on innovators looking to disrupt the transportation industry.

Home to an extraordinary array of automotive research and development and advanced manufacturing assets, Detroit and Michigan has quickly established themselves as the global epicenter for connected and autonomous vehicle research and technology. With more than 89,000 engineers, Michigan ranks first in the nation for its concentration of engineering talent and number of automotive related businesses (462). In 2014, Michigan led the United States in connected vehicle projects (45), a growth of 50 percent from the previous year.

“The way the world views mobility is being reshaped and redefined right here in Michigan,” Alberts said.

He added, “There’s unparalleled research, design, testing and infrastructure development happening right in our backyard. When coupled with the global stage NAIAS provides, this creates the ideal venue for both established companies and tech startups alike to showcase their technologies and future products to an unrivaled concentration of industry peers and international media.”

UBM Acquires Business Journals Inc. for $69 Million

April 22, 2016
Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is president and editor-in-chief of Trade Show News Network. Follow her on Twitter – TSNN_Rachel.

UBM added more than a few dozen shows to its fashion portfolio in the United States with the acquisition of Business Journals Inc. for $69 million in cash.

“We are delighted to have acquired BJI. This transaction is very much in line with our ‘Events First’, strategy,” said Tim Cobbold, CEO of UBM.

He added, “It adds to our presence in North America and also in the fashion sector, both of which were already strong following UBM’s acquisition of Advanstar at the end of 2014. We see excellent opportunities to deliver an improved experience for customers and to realize the operational benefits which scale will bring.”

BJI serves the men’s and women’s apparel and accessories markets with several brands that include AccessoriesTheShow, EDIT, FAME, Moda, MRket and Stitch. 

“UBM Americas is the perfect home for BJI’s hallmark brands. The complementary nature of our portfolios and teams will undoubtedly create opportunities for growth and a better overall experience for our brands and retailers,” said Britton Jones, president and CEO of BJI.

He added, “I am excited by this union and confident that together we will  craft the future of events for the fashion industry. This is a great day for our customers, our industry and for BJI.”

In total, the BJI Fashion Group runs 21 shows annually at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York and six shows per year at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas. 

BJI also publishes three trade magazines including MR (Menswear Retailing), the world’s largest menswear business-to-business magazine and Accessories, which has been the leading publication of the women’s fashion accessories market for over 100 years.

In addition, BJI has a 54 magazine custom publishing division, seven web sites, and maintains one of the industry’s largest databases of fashion retailers.

In 2015, BJI’s revenues were approximately $33 million-$40 million from events and $7 million from other marketing services.

BJI fits neatly into to UBM’s existing fashion tradeshow portfolio, which includes the massive biannual MAGIC Market Week collection of shows in Las Vegas.

The combination of BJI and UBM will provide an improved experience for both attendees and exhibitors and generate material synergies in areas such as event operations, property and cross-marketing opportunities, according to UBM officials.

UBM Americas has 12 of the 2015 TSNN Top 250 trade shows on the list, including MAGIC Market Week and Medical Design & Manufacturing West.

BJI is expected to make a modest post tax contribution this year.  In 2017, with a full year of contribution and strong operational and financial synergies, the acquisition will achieve a return on investment in excess of UBM’s weighted average cost of capital.

JEGI, a New York City-based investment bank for the global media, information, marketing, software and tech-enabled services sectors, represented BJI in this transaction.

UFI’s Next Generation Leadership Grant Program Deadline is April 30

April 18, 2016

UFI launched its Next Generation Leadership Grant (NGL Grant), which has a deadline of April 30 for applications.

The program promotes next-generation leadership in the exhibition industry, rewarding professionals who show clear initiative in driving change and innovation in their area of activity.

Supported by funding from Reed Exhibitions, this new grant reflects UFI’s commitment to recognizing the best talents of the exhibition industry by involving them in the planning and realization of the largest annual events for the global exhibition industry.

UFI is looking for up to five outstanding professionals who are ready to plan and conduct a 60-minute session at the UFI global Congress in Shanghai this year. It is a chance to analyze the changes the trade show industry faces and investigate new opportunities opened up by factors, such as globalization and digitalization.

Here are some of the program benefits:

Global recognition among exhibition professionals before and during the UFI Congress;

Share ideas, explore the latest trends, and be part of an exciting initiative valued by exhibition colleagues worldwide;

Chance to enhance your network with peers and industry leaders;

Expert guidance throughout the project.

Here are application requirements:

Must be actively employed full-time in the exhibition industry;

Must not have more than 10 years of work experience in the exhibition industry; (please send CV with your application)

Must provide a written document (maximum two pages) and a video (maximum one-minute), both in English, describing:

Concrete ideas and initiatives to drive change and innovation in the exhibition industry;

Their reasons for choosing to work in the exhibition industry;

Their motivation for making the grant application;

Must be able to drive the project in addition to their daily responsibilities at work;

Must be available for both: a two-day working group meeting June 13-14 in Paris (France); and the 83rd UFI Congress from Nov. 9-12 in Shanghai (China);

Must complete the electronic application on or before April 30.

Click ]]>HERE]]> for the application entry information.

Travel Costs and Expertise

If chosen, the grant will cover your travel and accommodation expenses for trips to Paris and Shanghai. A dedicated mentor at UFI Headquarters will be available to support the NGL Grant winners’ working group.

Selection Procedure

The grant will be awarded to a maximum of five selected applicants. All applications will be judged by the NGL Grant Committee. This decision will be final. All entries submitted will be treated as confidential and will only be used for the selection process.

Feel free to contact UFI for more information or send your application to

MPI Unveils Unique Networking Opportunities for World Education Congress in Atlantic City

April 18, 2016

Meeting Professionals International and host city partners Meet AC and Caesars Entertainment have unveiled several unique and exciting networking opportunities at this year’s World Education Congress (WEC) in Atlantic City.

MPI is offering a new registration option – the WEC Networking Package – that grants exclusive entry to all four evening events, including the MPI Foundation’s Rendezvous, which will be headlined by the Grammy® Award-winning band Train.

“Year after year, attendees tell us how valuable WEC is for growing their professional networks,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. 

He added, “We understand how critical networking is to the business of meeting and event planning, so we offer an array of opportunities for our attendees to connect. This year, we believe the new networking package will be especially popular with the supplier community.”

In addition, the association has created the Meeting Ambassador Program (MAP) to help attendees make the most of their WEC 2016 experience.

MPI will pair up any interested attendee (mentee/explorer) who would like tips and advice for navigating the conference with a past WEC attendee (ambassador/navigator).

The program includes the MAP Meet and Greet Reception, MAP Lounge and WEC For Me session. Attendees are encouraged to sign up early for the program during online registration.

“As your WEC host, Meet AC has worked very hard to enhance your social netwo king opportunities, while also experiencing Atlantic City to its fullest,” said Jim Wood, president and CEO of Meet AC. “As the industry continues to grow, the networking events are crucial to attend and connect with professionals on a personal level.”

Here are more details on WEC 2016 evening networking events:

Opening Night Celebration – Attendees will sample exceptional cuisine from more than 20 local restaurants at the Bally’s Atlantic City Beach Bar, located near the Atlantic Ocean. Hosted by Caesars Entertainment, this beach party is scheduled for 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 11th. Afterwards, WEC attendees may continue socializing from 10 p.m. to midnight at the iconic Steel Pier amusement park.

The Big Deal – Presented by the MPI Foundation, this official World Series of Poker satellite tournament will take place June 12 in the Palladium Ballroom at Caesars Atlantic City. WEC attendees not playing in the tournament will enjoy networking, music, dancing, raffles, games and more thanks to presenting sponsors Caesars Entertainment and Encore Event Technologies.

Rendezvous – This MPI Foundation signature networking and fundraising event is slated June 13 at WAV, a new nightclub on Atlantic City’s waterfront opening this spring at The Playground Pier at Caesars Atlantic City. The event will feature a performance by Train, the band best known for its popular singles, “Hey, Soul Sister,” “Marry Me,” and “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me).” The presenting sponsors for Rendezvous are Meet AC and Team San Jose.

Closing Night Celebration – Hosted by Meet AC and Caesars Entertainment, this closing party will be held June 14 at The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. It will be deejayed by dance/pop music creator Redfoo of LMFAO.

“Caesars Entertainment is thrilled to be hosting the Opening Night Celebration at Bally’s Beach Bar, The Big Deal at Caesars Atlantic City and the Closing Night Celebration at The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s. We’re all in the business of face-to-face meetings, and we understand that networking with our peers is a valuable and inspiring experience, said Michael Massari, senior vice president of national meetings and events at Caesars Entertainment. “Wehad the pleasure of being able to work with the city and MEET AC, to coordinate these exciting opportunities for the attendees of WEC 2016 to network and connect.”

Additional opportunities for networking included in WEC 2016 full registration are an all-attendee lunch on Sunday, the RISE Awards Lunch on Monday, the WEC 2017 Preview Lunch on Tuesday, and MarketSquare and volunteer/corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities available throughout WEC.

Funds raised from MPI Foundation events and the MPI Foundation Not-So-Silent Auction, which is open May 16–June 14, will be invested in scholarships, grants and pan-industry research. Last year, the foundation provided 230 scholarships, including 60 that helped MPI members attend WEC 2015. 

WEC 2016 is scheduled for June 11–14, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. To learn more and register, visit ]]>]]>.

Industry Veteran Larry Luteran Named Chief Sales Officer of Freeman Audio Visual

April 18, 2016

Industry Veteran Larry Luteran has been brought on my parent company Freeman to Freeman Audio Visual, as the company continues to grow its global presence.

Named chief sales officer, Luteran will be responsible for the revenue performance of Freeman Audio Visual, Freeman Audio Visual Canada and Encore Event Technologies.

During the past six years, Freeman has broadened its Audio Visual presence by expanding its AV technology division through organic growth and acquisitions around the world.

“We’re building a strong leadership team with a focus on extending the company’s reach, with expanded programs that drive continued growth,” said Ken Sanders, president of Freeman Audio Visual.

He added, “To do this, we are investing in exceptional talent and bringing the right people on board, like Larry, who can authentically integrate the voice of our customers into our comprehensive global strategy.” Sanders adds, “I consider Larry a ‘triple threat’ talent with significant experience in not only hospitality, but corporate and association sales.”

Luteran, the former senior vice president of group sales and industry relations at Hilton Worldwide, brings a unique, client-minded perspective to Freeman.

With three decades of leadership in the meeting and events industry, he will be invaluable in aligning the strategies and objectives of Freeman’s sales teams, with a strong emphasis on personalized customer service, according to Freeman officials.

Luteran will report to Ken Sanders, president of Freeman Audio Visual. 

“The opportunity to be part of the team at Freeman is very exciting given its rich culture and commitment to connecting people in meaningful ways. I’m thrilled to join the Freeman family, where I look forward to extending our client relationships and contributing to Freeman’s growth as a leader in the meetings and event industry,” Luteran said.

He added, “I look forward to providing meaningful experiences to our audio visual customers. I’ve spent a big part of my career advocating for the power of face-to-face meetings and Freeman is the company that brings it all to life and that for me is very exciting.”

Richmond – Small Town Warmth, Big City Amenities

April 18, 2016
Traci Browne

Owner, Red Cedar Marketing, auhor of “The Social Trade Show: Leveraging Social Media and Virtual Events”

Richmond, Va., is rich in history, but the city’s appeal is not limited to being transported through time. Quite the opposite. Richmond is a 300-year-old town with 21st Century appeal.

Just a block away from the historic Jefferson Hotel, established in 1895, is the brand new Quirk Hotel. A small boutique hotel, aptly named for its amalgam of lodging, creative meeting space, fine dining, and art exhibit space.

For history buffs, Quirk is built in a beautifully renovated 1916 department store, J.B. Mosby and Co, of Italian Renaissance design. It features classic architecture such as sweeping limestone arches and groin vault ceilings. For those with an eye for the modern, on display throughout the public space, rooms floors and meeting space is fun and whimsical artwork.

Quirk is the perfect location for 50 to 60 person meetings looking for creative break opportunities and the intimate environment the hotel provides. Their specialty is the way they collaborate with the meeting planner to come up with creative special events and meetings your attendees will remember for years to come.

 With a meeting sales staff connected to the creative scene in Richmond, they are able to design interactive break activities such as mural painting lead by a local artist, and coffee tastings conducted by Richmond’s own coffee roaster Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Company.

Local soap purveyor, Bon Air Naturals will have your group making natural lip balms, perfumes, and facial scrubs. Even the Quirk’s own staff will lead your group through infusion classes to create a signature cocktail.

Quirk may be a small-scale, boutique hotel with just 73 rooms, but it’s luxurious enough to host board meetings or VIP attendees for a trade show, as it is conveniently located just a few blocks from the Richmond Convention Center.

Kate McDonald Brown, area director of sales and marketing for Quirk Hotel said, “Richmond is ideal for conventions because we have a very large conference center with plenty of space for groups of up to 5000.”

As the largest convention center in the state of Virginia, the Greater Richmond Convention Center (GRCC) meets the needs of show organizers who are looking for 175,000 of contiguous exhibit space in a 700,000 square foot facility.

Many show organizers will find this easy-to-get-to mid-Atlantic location a huge selling point for their attendees, speakers, and exhibitors. 

The Richmond Region is very easily accessible located just off Interstate 95 – only 100 miles south of Washington, DC. Richmond International Airport is just 10 miles from downtown Richmond and GRCC. 

Aside from the logistics, the size of the building, quality of the hotel package, convenience of location, there is also the overall aura of Richmond that draws people to the city.

Kristin McGrath, vice president of sales and services for Richmond Region Tourism, said, “Show organizers understand that attendees will find the destination appealing on a personal level. We are a historic destination with a modern vibe. We have a notable food scene the has been the recipient of some great national press recently. Travel & Leisure named Richmond a ‘Best Place to Travel”’destination for 2016 and National Geographic recently highlighted Richmond in its ‘Where to Travel for Food’ feature.”

That famous southern hospitality comes into play when working with the Richmond Convention center staff. McGrath says their team takes the time to understand in great depth the planner’s strategy for marketing their event and serves as a marketing partner offering up images, video, and text to help boost attendance.

Richmond Region Tourism works a bit differently from many Convention and Visitor Bureaus in that their organization does not require local businesses to become members or order to have their services offered as a resource to incoming meetings.

“We work very hard to gain a full understanding of the client’s needs and business objectives. Once we have that understanding, we can connect the client to all the options in the region. We don’t have to limit our options or resources to only those who “pay to play.”  Clients appreciate that our suggestions are not limited by a membership. We’re able to provide them with a comprehensive overview of the area,” McGrath said. 

If you are looking for a second-tier location with all the amenities of a first-tier convention city, be sure to include a stop in Richmond, Virginia when planning your site visits.