If you’re a child of the 80s, you no doubt remember the famous movie Back to the Future, where Marty McFly travels back and forth in time via a souped-up 1981 DeLorean. Well the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce in California decided to take that theme for their expo … complete with the actual DeLorean from the movie! (Two of the actors also made appearances.) Exhibitors were allowed to choose what time period to focus on in their own booth. What a fun and creative idea to get everyone on board with a theme! To read about how various exhibitors interpreted the theme — as well as see some photos — visit this Santa Maria Times article.
So what will the trade show of the future look like? The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has released a new report outlining five different scenarios of what shows might look like in the not-so-distant future of 2016. The scenarios range from one that hasn’t changed much from today to one that’s been completely rebuilt from the ground up. One even addresses the possibility that trade shows have become irrelevant. To learn more, visit the Associations Now site.
The future is now at the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. Longtime president and CEO Doug Ducate will be stepping down at the end of this year, to allow for “younger and stronger legs to carry some of the new initiatives to success,” as he puts it. The 45-year trade show veteran has spent the past 15 years as head of CEIR, guiding important research projects and publications, including the CEIR Index, a quarterly report on the health of the trade show industry. No replacement has been named at this point.