Follow-up from TS2 in Chicago
We are back from Chicago, and I am exhausted. But then again, spending an unplanned six hours waiting around at O’Hare will do that.
The six hours at O’Hare gave me the opportunity to check Twitter and LinkedIn for reactions to TS2, and to compare them to my own thoughts and reactions.
Let me preface this by saying that I have a fairly unique perspective when it comes to TS2 with over 10 years as an exhibitor and the past three years as a member of the TS2 Exhibitor Advisory Committee.
That being said, I will start off from the exhibitor perspective. I, like others, found the show traffic very slow. Having the front and center island in a show, like we did, usually is a huge advantage, but the flow of the traffic seemed to veer right and left as they entered, so our traffic on Day 1 was not the best. Day 2 was better than Day 1, which was not the same for others on the show floor.
Looking through the leads and speaking to other exhibitors nearby, it felt like the attendees were not your typical TS2 exhibitor attendees. Meaning, it felt like the majority of them were there looking for technology, promotional products, education, and other services. Not for exhibits.
From the Exhibitor Advisory Committee Member perspective, it was more positive. Still not great, but more positive. One of my duties was to tour several aisles, thank the exhibitors for attending, and to get feedback on the show. The Advisory Committee wanted their reactions and comments and felt they would be more open with a fellow exhibitor who has the ear of show management.
I have to say, the majority of the folks I spoke to were very happy with the show. The show was slow, but they expected that. And most spoke about the good quality of the leads they were generating. There were recommendations about how to make the show better for Boston, and there was a clear acknowledgement that the traditional “Exhibit House” presence was not there.
I have been asked multiple times in the past 48 hours, “Will TS2 survive?” My response is, I hope so. Although attendance numbers were only off about 15% over the Philly show in 2008, it’s the attendee profile of this year’s show that concerns me the most as a longtime exhibitor. I, for one, think that for TS2 to survive they need the participation and involvement of the Exhibit Houses, and they need to re-engage the Portable, Modular and Hybrid Manufacturers. The show needs to get back to being the “Tradeshow for Tradeshows”. . . along with welcoming technology and event companies.
In the end, for those of you that I did see there, it was great to see you. The Block Party on Navy Pier was excellent! Very well thought out and executed. The Pub Crawl turned into an event of its own . . . I am pretty sure you can find the re-broadcast of the now legendary Beer-Pong Champs on ESPN 8 “The Ocho” this coming fall. 🙂
In all seriousness though, if you attended TS2, please post a comment and give your honest thoughts and feedback from the event or from what I have said.