I can smell it in the distance…close and getting closer…2010! Not just a new year but a fresh decade as well.
Is this the clean slate, starting anew for our leaner, still over capacity industry? An industry looking to avoid a full blown identity crisis?
I hope that this continual re-examination (of what our industry does/provides), both from an internal as well as external (customers) analytical view, will help cement in the new “image” for the importance of face-to-face in the marketing mix.
Value and newly emphasized importance will radiate from our modified, current world tradeshow model (North American version). It will have a multigenerational appeal. Yes, convention centers are cool, hip (insert similar words here) and people will want to participate in as many tradeshows and conventions as possible.
Well, maybe his will not just happen with the start of the new decade, but a man can dream, right?
The reality is that while 2010 is an important year – and we may look back in the middle of this decade and identify 2010 as a pivotal year – what we are faced with will take a number of years – years of hard work hard decisions – to fully morph into what it will become.
Vastly important to our future are the industry associations that are working as fast as possible to come up with solutions, both short and especially long term. Movement forward on dealing with the threats facing our industry is happening as many core industry associations just had end of the year meetings.
An important example of the combined effort is the recently unveiled Exhibit Industry Council’s best practices initiative website at www.exhibitindustrycouncil.org, which just went live in December. The Exhibit Industry Council (EIC) is an advocacy group founded to develop and promote exhibitor-focused best practices for the tradeshow industry.
The EIC, which is comprised of five major tradeshow industry associations, was formed to define and advocate exhibitor-focused best practices for tradeshows, conventions, congresses and private events with all tradeshow industry stakeholders. The best practices are aimed at increasing exhibitor value at shows and to unite all industry stakeholders around reputable, consistent standards.
The initial subject areas that the group intends to work toward developing include standardized show kits and work rules, full disclosure and control of exhibitor costs, meaningful and validated show metrics, customer service as a team effort, safety first and specific exhibitor responsibilities.
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