Growth is Loechner’s Top Priority at Nielsen Expositions

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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New York, NY – David Loechner took over the helm of Nielsen’s newly reorganized exhibition division June 1 and indicated he would stay a conservative course as the global economy gets back on its feet.

Loechner was named president of Nielsen Expositions after serving as senior vice president of the division’s Retail Group and in a “co-president” role with Senior Vice President, Building & Design Group Joe Randall since January 20.

Randall and Senior Vice President, Central Services Mary Kay Sustek will continue to report to Loechner, as will Darrell Denny, newly-hired senior vice president of business development.

The modest reshuffling of the corporate tree was carried out in order to streamline the new division’s leadership, Loechner told Trade Show Executive. Operations at Nielsen Expositions will remain largely unchanged for at least the near-term. “I’m an old trade show guy and our mission is to run trade shows,” said Loechner, who at 50 has amassed 27 years of trade show experience.

“My job is not to come in and change everything around,” Loechner said. “I would like to turn our attention forward. I intend to focus on growth.”

Nielsen Expositions organizes 15 trade shows and has a portfolio of seven magazines. The show roster includes notables such as InterbikeOutdoor Retailer and the Kitchen + Bath Industry ShowOutdoor Retailer Summer Market ranks No. 36 on this year’s Trade Show Executive Gold 100 list, with 398,448 net square feet (nsf) of exhibit space; Outdoor Retailer Winter Market ranks No. 56, with 329,357 nsf. Interbike ranks No. 65, with 285,170 nsf. The Kitchen + Bath Industry Show made last year’s Gold 100 list at No. 32, with 572,800 nsf. Nielsen’s ASD Las Vegas brand placed two shows on this year’s Gold 100 list. ASD Las Vegas – August ranks No. 17, with 630,000 nsf, and ASD Las Vegas – March ranks No. 18, with 623,000 nsf.

Loechner joined Nielsen in 2000 when Nielsen acquired Miller Freeman. He is a member of the board of directors of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO).

The first order of business for Nielsen Expositions, Loechner said, is to regain forward momentum after playing defense during the uncertainty of the recession. “Some shows are already coming back,” he said.

Nielsen’s leadership did not hand Loechner a detailed list of changes they want made, but did give the division a healthy degree of autonomy that will be used to tweak events on a show-by-show basis. Loechner said the result may be changes at some shows but few at others. “We may be serving our customers exactly the way they should be served and nothing will change,” he said.

By taking a hands-on approach and focusing on customer service, Nielsen should be in position to catch a wave of growth in the exhibition industry that Loechner said was already building. Such growth will come through organic expansion aided by a continuing strengthening of ties between shows and Nielsen’s associated print and online publications.

Loechner is not yet looking at a significant campaign to expand into overseas markets. “We recognize there are growth opportunities overseas, but we have work to do domestically, like everyone in the trade show industry does, before we take too big a bite out of the globe,” Loechner said. “But we certainly have it on our radar.”

Reach David Loechner at (949) 226-5777 or david.loechner@nielsen.com