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This year has been quite the rollercoaster. From the upswing in business, the growth of shows all over the world and the introduction of several new trends, the industry was packed with news in 2012.


2012 CES is largest ever
The 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) broke records as it opened its doors January 10-13 in Las Vegas. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced that this year’s edition of the annual tradeshow was the largest in its 44-year history, with over 1.851 million net square feet.

At CES Unveiled, the tradeshow’s official press event, over 100 products were introduced. However, this pre-show conference was just the beginning of new technologies making their debut.

“Every major technology company across the globe is participating in force at this year’s CES,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA.

Exhibition Industry Summit announced next meeting
Following the significant progress of the first Exhibition Industry Summit, held October 6, 2011, in Irving, Texas, the participating organizations have agreed to meet at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. on February 24, 2012, for Exhibition Industry Summit II. The objective of this meeting is to advance discussion about key industry issues identified at the first meeting and establish the framework for ongoing engagement by the organizations.

“Further defining the key industry issues identified at the first meeting will be an important step for the industry,” said Rob Cohen, EDPA president emeritus. “There are many differing viewpoints as was evidenced in the October summit, but if the collaborative spirit remains strong, I feel confident that progress will happen.”

Participating organizations included but were not limited to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America; CEIR; the EDPA; ESCA; the EACA; the HCEA; IAEE; the PCMA; SISO and the TSEA.


Labor brings together contractors and carpenters
carpentersOn February 6-8, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) hosted the 2012 National Labor Management Conference at its International Training Center in Las Vegas. The conference, held every four years, was sponsored by the Exhibition Services Contractors Association (ESCA), the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association (EACA) and the UBC.

The meeting brought together UBC leaders and business agents working in the tradeshow industry with executive level management from general contractors and exhibitor appointed contractors who employ carpenters to perform tradeshow labor.

“The Carpenters do a great job of training, and it is nice to have such a fantastic partner that invests so much in the tradeshow industry,” said Jim Wurm, executive director of the EACA.

TSEA and EACA announce plans to merge
By a vote of its Board, the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) has chartered a new course in management and membership structure. The association will transfer its members, intellectual assets and administrative management, to the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association (EACA).

Pending final approval of this agreement by TSEA’s members, the association was dissolved and a newly named umbrella industry association, under the management of Jim Wurm, EACA’s executive director, will be formed to serve the needs of both the EACA and TSEA’s members.

Over the last few years, the TSEA has steadily been incurring debts and losing income. The association has also seen a decrease in active membership.


Industry takes pie in the face for charity
This year at EXHIBITOR2012, Elements once again held a fundraiser to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of the late Tim Provo, former president of the company.

Similar to last year’s Drinks-N-Dunks event, Elements gathered a few well-known industry professionals to participate in Spirits-N-Splats, a carnival-style, pie-throwing, extravaganza. Pie-in-the-face volunteers included Don Svehla, publisher of Exhibit City News; Mike Boone; director of international business for Coastal international; Rebecca Thompson, account executive at MC2; and Stacy Barnes, national sales manager for Brumark.

Bernie Massett, director of national I&D services at MC2, hosted the event.

“It is more than a pleasure to support this very important effort. It is truly an honor,” said Massett. “We have but one life to live and if we can give some of our life to help others live, then I am all in!”

Moscone Center renovation nears completion
As San Francisco’s Moscone Center enters the final phase of its renovation, a “new” convention center is emerging in the North and South buildings.

“Our very first step was to ask our customers what changes they’d like to see,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO, San Francisco Travel Association (SF Travel). “The point of this whole project was to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.”

SF Travel, the City and County of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District (SFTID) are spending a total of $56 million and two years on re-creating the two buildings, with a combined 1.2 million square feet of function space.


npeNPE moves to Orlando
The NPE2012 international plastics exposition opened on April 1 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., with a 920,000-square-foot show floor. This represented a 20 percent increase from the last time the show was held in 2009.

“Moving from Chicago to Orlando was the first initiative in (show management’s) strategy of ‘breaking the mold’ by creating a broader-based and more exciting NPE with new benefits for exhibitors and visitors,” said William Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, which produces the triennial event.

The show also attracted more than 1,900 exhibitors, which is greater than the numbers in 2006 and 2009.

GSA conference deemed wasteful
In October 2010, the General Services Administration (GSA) held its biennial Western Regions Conference (WRC), which had approximately 300 attendees, at the M Resort Spa and Casino located in Las Vegas, Nev.

On Monday, April 2, the Office of the Inspector General released a Management Deficiency Report that found many of the expenditures for this conference were excessive and wasteful and that in many instances.

The total cost of the conference reached more than $820,000, with more than $136,000 spent on pre-conference planning.
In the wake of the report, GSA Administrator Martha Johnson resigned from the agency, but not before she dismissed two senior leaders from within the Agency.


Las Vegas remains #1
Las Vegas maintained its title
as the top tradeshow destination in the country. It was the 18th consecutive year Las Vegas held the honor.

The ranking comes from the Trade Show News Network (TSNN), which released its list of the top 250 tradeshows in the U.S. Las Vegas hosted 55 of the largest shows, more than the next two competitors combined.

“We share this success with our resort partners along witrath every meeting, convention and trade show that comes to Las Vegas,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “

Gary Sain of Visit Orlando passes
Gary Sain, president and CEO of Visit Orlando, passed away on Friday, May 7, 2012, while attending a Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s fundraiser. Sain delivered the opening remarks at the fundraiser before he collapsed and was rushed to Florida Hospital Celebration Health. Sain was 61 years old.

Sain was survived by his wife, Pam, their two daughters and his mother, Elizabeth.


Union agreement announced at McCormick Place
mccormick-placeMayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new union agreement that made Chicago a much more attractive destination for tradeshows and conventions.

“This is exactly the sort of common sense, practical labor agreement that we are seeking throughout the city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This agreement will create jobs and make Chicago more competitive for tradeshows; it will help union employees get work and will increase the number of tradeshows and conventions we attract.”

The agreement was between McCormick Place, Navy Pier, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 134, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 2. The agreement allowed IATSE stagehands to install, operate and remove the audio/visual, sound and lighting equipment in certain areas used for presentations and performances, and to plug in the equipment to permanent outlets or temporary electrical services provided by electricians.

EWI Worldwide acquires the TERM Group
EWI Worldwide, a global live communications company, announced it has signed an agreement to acquire The Trade Event Resource Management (TERM) Group, which specializes in the installation and dismantling of displays for tradeshows and events.

The TERM Group, a labor management team in the industry, is best known for executing some of the largest and most detailed labor management calls in the nation.

“The TERM Group’s national presence, strong reputation and culture of integrity have made them a key partner to EWI Worldwide for nearly a decade,” said Dominic Silvio, CEO and chairman of EWI Worldwide.

Exhibit City News Year in Review (July – Dec.)

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