So back to this CEDIA Spring EXPO thing again. Ive received a smattering of thoughts on the subject, and to be honest, most people dont really like it.
Most of us are up to our eyeballs in tradeshows already, and the cost of exhibiting for manufacturers is getting higher every year. One manufacturer with whom I spoke noted that for a smaller company these added marketing expenses are not taken lightly. They can really take their toll and at what return?
As a first-year show, which this essentially is, often generates lukewarm response as many play a wait-and-see game. This already happened with CEDIAs marginally successful EL EXPO last spring in Las Vegas, and unless excessive coercion occurs with the Spring EXPO, its unlikely to draw the number of exhibitors that in turn will draw attendees. Its a chicken and egg thing at that point.
Arguably the educational component of the Spring EXPO could be the draw that is needed to make the event a success. However without the income for exhibiting manufacturers, the show is still a loss leader.
Im also concerned, for CEDIAs sake, that they will once again be stuck with two western U.S. shows in the same year. Because the decision to create a Spring EXPO came relatively late in the prior year, CEDIA had few options for location. Las Vegas came calling because they already had a spot for EL Expo. Unfortunately, Denver and Las Vegas may draw from relatively the same population pool. Or maybe not.
Despite all of my cynicism here, I think that CEDIA Spring EXPO has a legitimate chance for success. The key is getting through the first couple years and establishing a suitable eastern U.S. destination for one of the shows. Fall EXPO is slated for Atlanta in 2009 and 2010, and at that point a western location like Vegas or Dallas for the Spring EXPO starts to make sense. We shall see.