Weekly News & Insights: Expanding Horizons

Photo: FreeImages.com/kovik

Photo: FreeImages.com/kovik

This week, history was made in Washington, D.C. with the first-ever “Exhibitions Day,” where more than 100 trade show professionals gathered to advance the exhibit industry. Led by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and six other industry organizations, participants held more than 100 meetings with various members of Congress to discuss topics ranging from visas and travel to allowing government employees to attend events. To hear reactions from some of those who attended, check out this article by TSNN.

If you asked most any show manager about their favorite place to hold a trade show, it would probably come as no great surprise that many would say “Vegas.” And that’s the outcome of Expo‘s Top Cities Survey, conducted earlier this year. But what might surprise you are some of the other cities that made the list, including Phoenix (#2) and Anaheim (tied for #6). Criteria included ease of access, venue size and the “coolness” factor. (For more complete survey results, see the Expo article.)

Perhaps that elusive “coolness” factor is the driving force behind a proposed expansion of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Instead of building more exhibit space, the plan includes hotel and entertainment district on a 47-acre vacant space. The center would invest $150 million, with a much larger percentage coming from private developers. It seems the key to cities landing conventions and trade shows is no longer about the space itself (there are a lot of adequately-sized convention centers out there), but more about the unique brand of the city and what it offers.

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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. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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