Within a week of the announcement that VNU Business Media's Incentive Show was closing its doors, competitor Selling Communications had launched a new show to fill the void—The New York Incentive, Rewards and Recognition Expo. The new event will take place May 30-31, 2007, at the Sheraton Towers Hotel in Manhattan.

The decades-old Incentive Show had experienced declining attendance and exhibitor interest in recent years (the number of exhibitors had dropped to just 200 in 2006) and New York-based VNU Business Media USA had been grappling with ways to reposition it. The trade show drew some of the largest and most prestigious purveyors of incentive merchandise to New York's Jacob Javits Convention Center each May, from Coach to Harry & David.

Just a week after VNU made the decision to cancel the event, Irvington, N.Y.-based Selling Communications and Motivation Media stepped in to fill the void. The company, which handles the marketing and content development for the Motivation Show, held each fall in Chicago, expects to attract the leading brands in merchandise, travel, and retail as exhibitors; Movado, Sony, Marriott, and Canon have already committed to the new event. Selling Communications also plans to hold roundtable sessions and seminars focused on incentive and recognition program design, and to create a hosted buyer program for attendees.

Meanwhile, VNU is exploring the idea of producing a virtual trade show to replace the Incentive Show, and has announced a 2007 launch for a new luxury brands event to complement its Luxury Brands supplement. No dates or locations have been set for either event.