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Expectations for a new year

Now that the New Year has passed, we can look forward and formulate our expectations for the upcoming 12 months. The number one factor which will determine how our future plays out, is the state of the economy … nothing else even comes close.

I’ll leave the economic prognostications to the “experts,” because that’s what they get paid to do. Although, it seems my opinion is as valid as their theories; after all, what is a theory? Nothing but a calculated guess. Economists sound impressive with their charts and graphs, but economics is nothing more than cult-like religion masquerading as empirical fact. Some even suggest it’s an out right fraud.

In any case, recent history has clearly demonstrated the so called experts are wrong as often as they are right. So this has to be taken into account before bestowing oracle like status on these people.

On the national level, a few things are certain; the economy will continue to sputter as long as we have two wars draining our treasury. Until we find a way to declare victory and flee with our tail between our legs, we will continue to deplete resources better used rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure of this country

In addition, we have serious problems with our economy which go back over 30 years. For example, the fact that we have been hemorrhaging middle class jobs overseas for decades due to massive trade imbalances. Everyone talks about the need to get people back to work, but lack a tangible plan to create good paying jobs for the unemployed.

The one tired scheme they keep recycling, is reduced taxes on rich folks. We tried that during the Bush administration and ended up with a worse economy and massive budget deficits. It’s funny, but that horrible, tax-and-spend liberal Bill Clinton, raised taxes on the rich and left office with a budget surplus. Not only that, but we experienced the largest peacetime growth in the economy in our history; even though economists stated emphatically at the time it would ruin the economy. I remember the 90s very well, and I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind returning to a Clinton era economy. America works best when we reward hard work and innovation, not pampering the idle rich, they don’t need it, they’re born with enough pre-installed advantages.

Here in Chicago there are also a few things we can expect to remain a factor. Exhibitors struggling with the pinch of the economy will continue to pressure for additional cost reductions. Momentum is on their side and they have the leverage to maintain this trend. Like any smart business they will continue to push their advantage and test the limits of their new found confidence to dictate direction toward lower costs.

Additionally, the tradeshow business continues to evolve, and those who adapt will thrive by finding innovative solutions to challenges as they emerge. Tradeshows have been around for a long time, through recessions, depressions, wars and temporary fads. It’s not a glamorous business but the health of the economy depends on us, just like we depend on it.

While we are an essential ingredient of a healthy economy, the majority of the population drives past convention centers blissfully unaware of what happens inside, and how much it effects their lives. We don’t receive much fanfare, and we don’t expect it … have a prosperous New Year.



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