And it wasn't even 9:30 a.m.! This actually was a fun session, with the panelists bellied up to a bar (with real bottles of liquor on it, though they only drank water) and the moderator serving as bartender, in recognition that most of the best learning takes place, well, let's just say not in the session rooms. My favorite quote, right off the bat, from someone in the audience:
- I'm noticing there aren't any suppliers at the bar—who's picking up the tab?
The panelists, including Jane Berzan, CAE, senior vp, National Association of Convenience Stores; Ignacio Cabrera, CEM, vp of exposition sales with the National Association of Home Builders; Tony Calcana, executive vp of expositions with ADVANSTAR; Rick Geritz, CEO, BDMetrics; and Marcus Arky, general counsel, MetroGroup; tackled a bunch of sticky issues, from what's the most critical factor to the success of a tradeshow (delivering relevant bodies on the show floor, proving
They also dived into whether or not to segment the
And they batted around when to get a deposit from exhibitors (up front? a certain graduated percentage as you get closer in?). While attorney Arky liked the idea of removing a barrier to immediate sales by waiving up-front deposits, most of the show organizers disagreed, saying that they'd be more likely to blow off the show if they didn't have an immediate stake in making it happen. All agreed that those who haven't paid don't get their booth come showtime.
As to ROI, Calcana pointed out, "We're talking more about ROI these days because our exhibitors are asking us about it more than they used to. As the amount they have to pay goes up, so do the demands for ROI. We may not like it, but it's an appropriate response."