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Javits Center decision may displace major tradeshows

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Jacob Javits Convention Center

By allowing New York Boat Show to reschedule and select desired show dates, six major tradeshows annually contracted to exhibit at the convention center may be affected, according to Friends of Javits. Each tradeshow was informed that the New York Boat Show’s dates would mean a reduction in exhibiting space or canceled show dates for their own shows.

“Members of the trade show industry were disappointed to learn that the New York Convention Center’s exhibition schedule was altered without notice and in violation of longstanding policy to favor the New York Boat Show,” said Charles McCurdy, chairman, Friends of Javits. “This unilateral action threatens to displace six trade shows that support substantial economic activity and job creation for the City and State. Arbitrarily altering the schedule threatens the Convention Center’s reputation related to future business commitments. It also impacts business for local hotels, restaurants and other related services.

“By favoring the New York Boat Show, an event that has been declining, other shows could opt to take their business to competitor cities. Over the coming days and weeks, we intend to work cooperatively with the Javits Center and the Governor’s office to address this matter. We remain confident that we will be able to reach a solution that benefits all involved, and we urge the Javits Center to reconsider an unprecedented decision that violates years of policy.”

Organization officials proclaim the New York Boat Show has been dropping 30 percent in attendance over the past three years. It further claims that no economic impact study has been made available regarding the tradeshow’s estimated economic impact on the city including tax revenue, jobs, hotels, restaurants and transportation. Historically, the selection of tradeshows exhibiting at Javits Center was guided by the board’s policy in addition to the show’s ability to attract attendance and generate tax revenue for the city and state.

Retained by Friends of Javits, Randy Mastro of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher is to represent the affected tradeshows – New York International Gift Fair (now known as NY NOW), Business Journal’s MRket Show, Texworld Show, the National Retail Federation Show, and Action Sports Wear and Street Wear Show, which recently merged as Agenda.

According to Mastro, Javits Center board members enacted Resolution no. 544 that requires show managers to contract with tradeshows based on factors of estimated economic impact on New York City and State, measured by hotel room nights, and estimated revenue for Javits Center. While the displaced tradeshows have consistently generated more economic activities from out-of-state attendees, New York Boat Show attendees typically live in the nearby tri-state area, and so, would not produce as much tax revenue for the city.

Representing operators of more than four dozen tradeshows at the Javits Center, Friends of Javits requested a meeting Aug. 7 with Henry Silverman, CCDC chairman of Jacob Javits. In a letter also addressed to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the president and CEO of Javits Center as well as the board members, the organization wished to come to a compromise that would benefit all parties and maximize the economic benefits to New York City and State.

Also see SISO to NYC governor: ‘Reverse your decision,’ 8/12/13.

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