Chicago – Michael Bandy, President of the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) announced yesterday that the sales and management functions for TS2, The Trade Show About Trade Shows, will be managed in-house, beginning with TS2 2005. National Trade Productions (NTP), the existing management firm, will be retained to manage the show’s marketing.
TSEA has hired Stuart M. Lawry as Senior Sales Manager to prepare for the transition. Lawry’s background in the industry includes show management and sales management experience at Cornerstone Expositions, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, Hoyt Publishing and the National Housewares Manufacturers Association.
In some ways, this decision brings management of the show nearly full circle. When it was launched in 1973, TS2 was managed by The Sanford Organization, a multi-management firm, which ran the association and the show for nearly 20 years. In 1992, Convention Management Group was hired to manage the event, followed by The Rebedeau Group and most recently NTP.
Michael Bandy, TSEA President, says the most important reason for making this move is to intensify the association’s relationship with its customers. “We believe it is vital for our staff to develop strong relationships with our clients,” Bandy says. “We can’t just call them and sell them exhibit space. We must find out what they really need, since one size really doesn’t fit all.” He says, “By bringing the sales and management of TS2 in-house, strengthening our headquarters staff, and using strategic partnerships, we have the ability to be more innovative and flexible during event planning and execution,” says Bandy. TSEA has strategic partnerships with The Freeman Companies and ExpoExchange, and just announced a new partnership with a2z, Inc., who will streamline sales, marketing, and accounting processes for the event.
The show had faced formidable challenges in recent years, namely industry consolidation. Bandy says that in 2001, there were 350 exhibit designers and producers. Many have folded or merged, and there are now about 200. The 2001-2002 economic downturn also took a toll. The 2000 show spanned about 60,000 net square feet of exhibit space. Last year’s TS2 utilized about 38,000 square feet of exhibit space. Bandy expects the 2004 to be up slightly at about 40,000 square feet.
“What we’re really pleased with, though, are our attendance numbers right now,” Bandy adds. “Our current preregistration is running 31% higher than last year. This could bode well for a really good show if the numbers hold.”
TS2 2004 will be held July 12-15 at McCormick Place.
Reach Michael Bandy, President, at (312) 842-8732 (TSEA); email@example.com.