This Week in Exhibit Industry News

The top story this week is the trade show industry itself. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced that the CEIR Index indicated a 2.7 percent increase in the first quarter of 2012 over the same quarter last year. This also marks the seventh straight quarter of growth, and all four metrics of the index are trending upward: attendance (up 4.6 percent), net square feet, number of exhibitors, and real revenues. One major factor in the quarterly growth was the inclusion of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which was its largest ever.

The association formerly known as EACA-TSEA (after the merger of those two associations), has now selected a name: the Exhibit & Event Marketers Association, or E2MA. The new association is made up of both exhibitors and contractors. More announcements – including the revealing of the new logo – will come at the Red Diamond Congress in Chicago next month. (Editor’s Note: I will be leading a workshop at RDC, so please look for me if you’re attending.) To learn more about the association or the RDC, visit the EACA website (new site coming soon).

In other news, it appears that after 18 years, the E3 Expo may be headed out of Los Angeles. The show, which attracts 200 exhibitors and 45,000 attendees, is concerned about the effects of a major construction project at the Los Angeles Convention Center. No word yet on what other cities the gaming and entertainment expo is considering, and negotiations with the city of LA are still in process.

And from the “think it through before you plan an offsite excursion” category … at last week’s Book Expo America, author Robert Sullivan decided to promote his upcoming book, My American Revolution, by re-enacting George Washington’s retreat across the East River after losing the Battle of Brooklyn. But instead of participants diving into a history lesson, three BEA attendees were dumped into the river after one of the rowboats hit a pier. There was only one minor injury and all attendees were back on the show floor the next day, but as a New York Times blogger put it, “Fortunately George Washington had a better crew.”

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Marlys Arnold

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community. To request an “Extra Shot of Exhibit Success” go to www.ExhibitMarketersCafe.com.