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  • National Association of Chain Drug Stores OK’d a 3-year deal with CompuSystems for registration at their meeting and Total Store Expo.
  • Quebec-based ExpoPromotion has sold Montreal Home Expo and Montreal Fall Home Expo to Cleveland-based home show producer Marketplace Events.
  • Access Intelligence will launch Global Esports Business Summit for the esports industry Oct. 1-3 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
  • Renovation of the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center’s lobby, ballroom, and meeting space is scheduled for completion this summer.
  • UBM has acquired Grupo CanalEnergia, an organizer of events in the Brazilian renewable energy sector.
  • The grand opening of the new downtown Omni Louisville Hotel next to the Kentucky International Convention Center was March 6.
  • The grand opening of the Fairmont Austin was March 5. It has 140,000 sf of event space, and direct access to the Austin Convention Center.
  • A new Industry Insight Series Report from CEIR is a practical guide to integrating effective engagement tactics in exhibit booth design.
  • Freeman was named an approved partner for all Mobile World Congress events globally as part of a 3-year deal with event producer GSMA.

Lou Pavledes Exits Detroit’s Cobo Center; More Staff Cutbacks Likely

Trade Show Executive
April 2, 2004
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Detroit – As the city of Detroit struggles with a $96 MIL deficit,  Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has targeted staff cutbacks at Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center as one way to mitigate the financial losses. Lou Pavledes, Director since 1996, was let go on April 20th.  The Mayor’s proposed new budget would eliminate 23 of the 103 jobs at the exhibition center.

Glenn Banton, Cobo’s Deputy Director for the past six months, is running the facility while a nationwide search for a permanent director is underway.

The Mayor’s proposed staffing plan for Cobo, which must be approved by the City Council, would reduce the staff to 80 in 2004 compared to 103 last year.  He would eliminate six in building services, ten in maintenance, six  in security and one foreman. 

The City Council will hold a budget hearing on May 6th to discuss Cobo’s finances.  Like most exhibition centers in the U.S., Cobo loses money on operating costs  -- ranging from $14 MIL to $26 MIL annually – but generates significant revenue for the local economy through hotel taxes and other direct and indirect spending from show participants. Cobo’s two largest shows include the North American International Auto Show and SAE- the Society  of Automotive Engineers International Congress. The auto show generated an estimated economic impact of  $553 MIL in January 2004.

Currently, Cobo Center offers 700,000 square feet of exhibit space on one level and has plans to  replace the existing facility with a new one nearby which will offer one million square feet of exhibit space. 

Reach Lou Pavledes at (313) 610-6271; reach Glenn Banton at (313) 877-8777.

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