As we prepare to head off to the spring and summer season trade shows, we're reminded that the number of shows seems to have grown in number over the years, even as the same few shows remain the core events. It's this dilemma that got us thinking, does the industry always provide the right kind of event, in the right place, at the right time?
As we travel to the trade shows, we sometimes hear the mock-desperate refrain from attendees or exhibitors, ".... no more trade shows!" It's usually uttered by folks that highly value attending shows and conferences, and attend most or all of them, they just feel that it's becoming harder to manage all the travel.
We're not in the trade show business, and we highly value the service that the major trade associations provide this industry, year in and year out. We're proud to partner with those associations to help them build the industry--including helping them grow their trade shows, reach out to new audiences, and provide both business management and technical education. But as much as we value the major trade shows, you can't always see equipment in action at trade shows, and you can't always take all the staff you need to take. While trade shows provide needed exposure to new products and training, the need for hands-on demos with gear, and for business and technical seminars in your own area is greater than ever. This is particularly true for the staging business, because stagers, unlike other AV market players, are the end-users of equipment. (AV systems designers and installers spec gear and/or install it not use it. Their product evaluation needs are totally different from those of the staging community.) And the staging business is made up of relatively small companies whose staff is frequently on show site, traveling to a show site, and generally are juggling a variety of duties that sometimes prevent them from attending the major trade shows that are typically held in the busiest part of the staging calendar.
To address this, Rental & Staging Systems magazine will be launching a series of Regional Events to serve the industry this year. We will be bringing seminars and hands-on equipment demos to an area near you. Our goal is two-fold: we want to bring product updates and training to you, in your area, for your staff, all of whom may not be able to attend a trade show in a given place on a given date.
To help us plan the when, where, and how of these Regional Events, you might take a moment to respond to the surveys we are sending out to our readers, and let us know how you would like us to shape these events to best serve your company. Or, get my attention and let me know your thoughts when you see me this spring and summer at one of the great trade shows where I'll probably find you-complaining about all the travel while wishing you had more time and had brought more staff to soak in all the new developments in this booming industry.