Tradeshow Renews After Host City Sweetens the Deal

For one group, incentives to stay at its meeting location sealed the deal. What would your host city do to keep you?

There are many factors that go into deciding where to host your tradeshow: location, price, and proximity to hotels are some things to consider.

And, when it comes to location, there are countless benefits for cities, including a boost in retail spending and the opportunity to make the must-visit list. For example, Nielsen Expositions, which puts on the Outdoor Retailer Summer and Winter Market tradeshows in Salt Lake City, brought the city an estimated $40 million annually. The group’s contract ends in 2014, and it was considering other locations because of its growth, but the city went out of its way to get the group to stay.

More details:

The fix: To compensate, state and local economic-development officials announced an unusual incentive: a free 150,000-square-foot tent for additional exhibitor space. The cost to the state: $2.66 million. With a new boost to its show, Nielsen Expositions agreed to an extended contract through 2016.

But wait, there’s more: Furthering its ties with the group, the state has just created an Outdoor Recreation Vision plan to drive home the point that “Utah IS the premier place for outdoor recreation,” Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement.

The sudden change of heart may have come from the organizers—according to a report, “organizers had threatened to move the event if the state didn’t demonstrate its commitment to preserving public lands and solve the space issues” asking for a plan by this month. The new plan includes a government office that would be devoted solely to outdoor recreation and would hold an annual summit of industry retailers and businesses. (The decisions about public land are still on hold, for now.)

Though the government hasn’t outright said the push was from the outdoor tradeshow, the intentions seem fairly clear: The state wants to preserve that $40 million revenue.

Has your group ever encountered incentives from your tradeshow’s host city or state? How did you handle it?


Chloe Thompson

By Chloe Thompson

Chloe Thompson is a contributing writer to Associations Now. MORE

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