IAEE NY Chapter Will Meet on Valentine’s Day to Look at Trade Show Performance; Javits’ User Group to Meet Afterwards to Discuss NYC Convention Center Proposals

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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New York, NY – The trade show industry will have their first chance to express their love, or lack thereof, for a blockbuster proposal to erect a major convention center in the New York City borough of Queens at a February 14 forum at the Intercontinental New York Barclay Hotel in Manhattan held by the Friends of Javits users group. The group is gathering right after the monthly meeting of the New York chapter of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), which features speaker Doug Ducate, president & CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).

Ducate will present the latest CEIR data on exhibition industry performance and moderate a panel of senior industry executives. The panelists will include Charles McCurdy, CEO of George Little Management; Jim Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority; as well as executives of Reed Exhibitions, other show organizers and service contractors.

The session will address the recent characterization of exhibition industry performance as reported in the Wall Street Journal, “Have We Got a Convention Center to Sell You!”, on December 31 at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204720204577126603702369654.html

Following the IAEE chapter meeting and luncheon, the Javits users group meeting will include representatives from the Aqueduct race track, the proposed site of the new center, as well as a competing project proposed for the Willets Point area of Queens.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed in January that a new convention center be built from scratch at the expansive Aqueduct site. The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan would eventually be torn down and the valuable real estate turned over to developers.

Cuomo characterized Javits as being too old and too small despite ongoing renovations. The new center, which would be paid for by the Malaysian company that runs the casino operation at Aqueduct, would be the largest convention center in the U.S. and would provide easier access to the city’s airports.

There have been no architectural plans released for the proposed building, and a major question for show organizers and the city is how receptive trade show attendees will be about staying in Queens rather than glitzy midtown Manhattan.

Javits Center is currently #14 on the Trade Show Executive World’s Top Convention Centers rankings with 840,000 square feet of prime exhibit space. McCormick Place in Chicago tops the rankings with 2.6 million square feet of prime space.

Renovations underway at Javits, which are scheduled for completion next year, will increase exhibit space by about 40,000 square feet.

The forum will present whatever additional details are available about the Aqueduct proposal as well as an update on the work taking place at Javits Center. The floor will also be thrown open to questions and comments from the audience.

Reach Michael Fiorentino, chairman of the IAEE New York Chapter, at (212) 888-4646 or fiorentino@enkshows.com; Douglas Ducate at (972) 687-9242 or dducate@ceir.org

To register, email Steve Leonard at nyiaee@aol.com