Post-TS2 Review and Highlights
This past week I was in Boston attending TS2 — a show that, to be honest, has had questions attached to it lately.
Questions like — What is the show’s direction? What is the show’s future? What is the motivation and/or reason for attending the show?
As the TS2 Exhibitor Advisory Committee (EAC) Chairman, I have fielded many questions about what is TS2 and where is it headed. As a long time attendee, 13 years to be exact, I can tell you that I agree the show has been (from the outside looking in), maybe a little lost. However, moving forward from Boston, I would suggest that the show has come full circle and has found its place and direction.
The Tradeshow for Tradeshows
Those of us with a long history with TS2 revere the show as the “Tradeshow for Tradeshows.” And in recent years I am not sure that has been true. Not to any particular person or groups fault, rather due to a desire to better differentiate the show from other industry shows. However at the end of the day, TS2 is and needs to be the “Tradeshow for Tradeshows” in my humble opinion.
We need to look at this event as an opportunity to gather good regional leads as well as an opportunity to forge business relationships and to reconfirm existing partnerships.
Having said that, I feel the show has gone a bit astray over the past few years by aligning itself with other associations that may not make the best sense. But at the same time, I understand the attempt to broaden the show’s reach beyond Exhibit Marketing Managers.
The education this year was well received and was a positive topic of discussion. Along with that, the floor, while somewhat small compared to EXHIBITOR, seemed to really speak to what the industry has to offer. The show floor had a real “pulse” for the first time in many years. There was a great deal of enthusiasm, and people wanted to see this show succeed and have a purpose.
I am curious to hear from those of you who attended. What were your thoughts after attending and/or exhibiting?
TS2 2011 Location
There have been some questions raised about the show’s location next year. A location has yet to be announced, and not for a lack of trying. Much to the contrary. There are actually three locations on the table currently, and we hope to make an announcement by the end of August.
Taking off my Exhibitor Appointed Committee hat for a moment and just address this as an exhibitor, I feel that TS2 has started to fit more as a “boutique” show. Meaning, not a major hall type of show. Rather a show that can place itself in a “destination” city. One that offers exhibitors and attendees the opportunity to bring their families for a summer vacation as well as conduct work.
To me, the EXHIBITOR Show provides a broader spectrum of offerings to attendees and exhibitors. However, it does not always capture the whole country. Meaning, I believe that we need a second show each year for people who can’t or do not want to travel west to Las Vegas and who still want an opportunity to see the trade show industry’s latest and greatest.
Smaller is Not Always a Bad Thing
Smaller is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, a more direct and regional objective makes more sense to those who do not want to wade through a national show.
Boston, was a great case study in this. Many people were pleased and thankful to see the show in Boston — an area rich with customers and trade show-related businesses. We heard from many of you that it was exciting to see the show come to the NE corridor. It gave you an opportunity to catch up on what is new while not having to leave your back yard.
At the end of the day, Boston TS2 was a very successful show for Classic Exhibits, Exhibits NW, ClassicMODUL, and Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits. Does that mean that next year we plan to have the same presence as we did this year? We’re not sure. But we’ll be there without a doubt.
As part of the EAC, we still have more work to do to get the focus of the show back to being the Tradeshow for Tradeshows. But I really feel like this year was a step in the right direction.
For those of you who did attend and/or exhibit, what did you think? Was it a good show? Would you do it again? Where would you like to see the show next year.
Great seeing so many of you last week. Especially our great vendor partners, distributors, and competitive friends.