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Talk on the Tradeshow Floor: Plenty to Be Thankful For—Show Attendance is Up & Work is Plentiful 

by Jeanne Brei

As the holiday season is now in full swing, it’s truly a time to be thankful, especially as tradeshow attendance continues to climb to pre-lockdown levels and work is plentiful. This month, the Boutique Design New York (BDNY) show (pictured above) at the IAAPA showfloor 2022Javits was packed and Orlando’s IAAPA Expo (the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, pictured right) show’s recap stated they had “robust” attendance of  “almost 37,000 registered attendees (representing 104 different countries), including 25,561 qualified buyers representing 11,869 buying companies, and 1,077 exhibiting companies.” Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, MJBizCon (pictured left), the oldest and largest trade show in the cannabis industry, featured more than 1,400 MJBiz conexhibitors (of which 380 were new to the show), 70-plus hours of educational content and 180 speakers. The expo hall, the largest in MJBizCon history, spanned nearly 280,000 sq.ft. on two floors of the LVCC’s South Hall.

But the buzz on the show floor is more about the possibility of Centerplate (owned by Sodex) food service workers possibly going on strike in Orlando, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Sacramento and Detroit. In Las Vegas, more negotiations are scheduled for Nov. 29 and 30, so a strike could be avoided, however, Orlando has already voted to strike and Las Vegas is planning to hold a strike authorization vote on Dec. 7 and 8.

IUPAT flyerThe buzz is also on The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 10 seeking part-time tradeshow workers in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin and posting a Google form for those who’d like to submit. Reactions were mixed regarding their offering of hourly pay that varies by location and ranges between $24.74 and $29.89 for the most experienced.

And, of course, there’s always sports buzz in the mix—especially if it means more work in setup and more money coming to town. The NCAA just announced the four sites for the 2027-30 2022 March-Madness--Final Fours in men’s basketball: Detroit (2027), Las Vegas (2028), Indianapolis (2029) and North Texas (Arlington) in 2030. Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena will host Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games later this season and for the first time. The men’s Final Four will be held at Las Vegas’  Allegiant Stadium in 2028 after decades of waiting due to the city’s roots in gambling and the NCAA’s former hard-line stance against the city. Detroit’s Final Four will be just its second time, coming 19 years after it last hosted in 2009. The greater Dallas area hosted in 2014 and 1986 and the 2029 Final Four will mark the second time AT&T Stadium gets to host. Indianapolis will host in 2026 and 2029, Surprisingly, Atlanta, the only other finalist in this round of bids, will have to wait until probably 2031 even though the city lost March Madness when it was canceled in 2020. This year’s Men’s Final Four was in New Orleans, 2023 will be in Houston, followed by Phoenix in 2024, San Antonio in 2025 and Indianapolis in 2026.

SF central_subway mapAnd finally, the long-awaited Central Subway connecting San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center to more of the city’s neighborhoods and attractions launched a soft opening just before Thanksgiving. According to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the special weekend service began on Nov. 19, operating from 8 a.m. to midnight. Trains are scheduled to arrive approximately every 12 minutes and include stations for Moscone Convention Center, Yerba Buena Gardens, the Metreon and SFMOMA and Chinatown. There are also plans for a new T Third service in Central Subway to start on Jan. 7 seven days a week, providing a direct connection from Chinatown-Rose Pak Station to Sunnydale. Weekday service will run from 6 a.m. to midnight, and weekend service will run from 8 a.m. to midnight. For more info, visit www.sfmta.com/travel-updates/central-subway-service-changes

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