For those of us working in the trade show world, travel is a fact of life. We spend a good portion of our lives in airports and hotels. So whenever there’s travel news, it likely affects all of us.
That’s why the recent announcement by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to begin allowing pocketknives onboard airplanes should matter to trade show professionals. The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has issued a statement urging the this move be delayed because of safety concerns. As a frequent flyer, I wholeheartedly agree — it’s not about the fact that YOU don’t plan to do anything wrong with the knives, but the potential of all kinds of crazy fliers to use them as weapons of their air rage. For exhibitors, this means it’s not a very good idea to hand out knives in your booth as giveaways. You don’t want to contribute to a mid-air incident.
It seems that no matter what fabulous technology to foil identity theft that appears on the horizon, the bad guys are always one step ahead. Now they’re targeting hotel guests in a myriad of ways, sometimes low-tech: calling your room pretending to be the front desk needing information, creating fake WiFi networks, or slipping a fake pizza ad under your door. Best advice here is to remain skeptical and always verify any request for information. This article shares more details on how to manage the threats lurking at your next hotel.
Other trade show industry news:
- The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has released their CEIR Index, which indicates a slowdown in industry growth in the final quarter of 2012, but an overall 1.5 percent growth for the entire year.
- The lack of growth industry-wide continues to be countered by shows that are breaking records. The latest is the Global Pet Expo, which posted a 5 percent growth in attendance (with more than 13,000) at their February show in Orlando. They also scored a record high of 3,000 product launches at the Expo.
- Debate continues over exactly what the proposed sale of Nielsen Expositions means to the trade show landscape. According to a recent post by EXPO Magazine, it’s a good sign for the industry.
- It’s rare to have good news for the meetings industry come out of Congress, but last week it did happen when the Senate dropped the Coburn Amendment which would have prohibited any federal agency from sending more than 25 employees to any meeting or conference in the U.S. This was seen as a knee-jerk response to last year’s General Services Administration (GSA) overspending at one particular event.
- And speaking of the GSA … it looks like they may be implementing a new Meetings Management Program to oversee all aspects of conferences and events, which is once again causing controversy. The debate is not about whether or not this is a good idea (because it would provide greater spending accountability and efficiency), but rather who should be running the program — internal meeting professionals or outside contractors. Check out the debate on the MPI blog.