More Associations Co-Locate Tradeshows
The American Sportfishing Association and American Fly Fishing Trade Association are two of the latest organizations to announce they will co-locate their tradeshows. As more associations consider this option, what’s the potential impact for staff and attendees?
With an economy that is limiting how many conferences and tradeshows a person can travel to and attend each year, associations are looking at new options to get people registered and on the show floor. One that’s been popping up more and more recently: tradeshow co-location.
Last week the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) announced that they will co-locate their shows in Las Vegas in July 2013, “collectively creating what will truly be the largest recreational fishing show in the world,” according AFFTA President Ben Bulis.
In a press release about the co-location, both ASA and AFFTA state numerous advantages to moving in this direction: The ability to grow and improve their collective business interests, the potential for growth of the fly-fishing industry, and larger attendance numbers, among others.
Mike Nussbaum, ASA President and CEO, added this: “By combining both shows in one venue, we can expand the business opportunities for both tradeshows in terms of increasing international attendance, as well as buyers and media located in the U.S., which will benefit both organizations. If an attendee is on the fence about attending one show or the other or both; we’ve now eliminated that barrier.”
However, both organizations also mention potential roadblocks that may come up, including deciding on future locations and dates and how to consider potential partnerships or integrations with other existing tradeshows. They also acknowledge that “no solution is going to please everyone.”
While every consideration mentioned in the release is on-point, something that popped into my mind as I was reading was how important it will be for the two staffs to blend and work together to execute both shows under one roof. The release says each organization will manage its own show but will combine functions like registration and the show directory and be open the same hours.
I can imagine some potential struggles for both staff teams — particularly their head meeting planners — with this arrangement: Do you work together to give attendees a similar, almost seamless experience from one tradeshow to another, or do you want attendees to have the same experience from years past, especially if the individual tradeshow received positive feedback? Since every association has a different staff and member culture, I wonder how you navigate co-location to everyone’s benefit.