“Secretly, producers wish the audit nightmare would go away, forever. In what is arguably one of the last great, unregulated industries, they see third-party audits as an assault on their independence. Such visibility would make shows vulnerable to competitive pressures, not to mention embarrassment on a colossal scale, so the thinking goes. And to some extent it's true. One well-known show reported a 100,000 attendance figure for years. After a single audit, the number dropped to 60,000. Still, while the loss of face might have been huge, it was a one-shot hit, and the show enjoyed higher credibility with exhibitors from that moment on … .”

This commentary, “Show Audits: An Industry at Risk,” by Lee Knight of Exhibitor Magazine, can be found in its entirety in the October issue of The Communicator, CEMA's monthly e-newsletter that keeps members up to date on industry news as well as CEMA-specific information. If you would like to receive the online publication, contact the Computer Event Marketing Association at (978) 579-2022, cema@cemaonline.com.


Face-to-Face: Not Exactly

In response to travel restrictions, CEMA will bring the next installment of the “Face-to-Face” series directly to its membership. CEMA is partnering with ITworld.com to produce a custom webcast scheduled for March. The webcast, which will include three discussions, will address professional development and trends specific to the IT event marketing industry, including alternatives to face-to-face marketing such as webcasting. The event co-sponsor, Southborough, Mass.-based ITworld.com, is an online publisher of news, educational content, and broadband interactive media for the IT community. Its client list includes 3Com, Compaq, Dell, EDS, F5 Networks, IBM, and Intel, among others.


Need a Number?

Among the benefits of belonging to CEMA are its annual Membership Directory and Planning Guide. The Directory, published each winter, lists contact information for all current CEMA members. It breaks membership into two groups — event managers and industry associates — and further categorizes the industry associates by the services they provide. The Planning Guide is a calendar that lists many of the IT trade shows and events that happen throughout the year. Both these useful reference tools are available in an online version that is updated weekly and can be found at the CEMA Web site, www.cemaonline.com.


CEMA Moves Headquarters

As of January 1, headquarters for the Computer Event Marketing Association are at River Glen Office Park, Suite 203, 10 River Road, Uxbridge, Mass. “We feel that the move will allow CEMA to increase staff in addition to member services,” says CEMA Board President Marilyn Kroner, Benchmark Storage Innovations. The first step will be to bring in an association assistant shortly after the start of the new year, freeing the CEMA membership director to focus on the CEMA constituency. “It's important to increase our programs and benefits now more than ever,” says CEMA Executive Director Trinette Cunningham. “Our members need to know we're here for them in not only good times but tough times as well.”

CEMA headquarters had been in the Sudbury, Mass., offices of Nth Degree, a global event management company. From its founding in 1990 through last fall, CEMA had relied on Nth Degree for management services; however, the association is now an independent entity.