by Brendan M. Lynch | February 01, 2005
Michael BandyIn December 2004, following a year of zigzag management decisions, Michael Bandy resigned as president of the Trade Show Exhibitors Association, effective March 31. Bandy, who has headed the Chicago-based TSEA since 1998, plans to establish an association management firm with his wife, Dee Dee.
    “I’ve gotten a bit of the entrepreneurial bug,” said Bandy. “Dee Dee and I have been in the association management business for a long time. We can offer great service to three or four clients.”
    Bandy’s departure capped a year that in June saw TSEA take over management of its flagship event, TS2The Trade Show About Trade Shows, from its Alexandria, Va.-based partner, National Trade Productions. TS2 had suffered a 45 percent drop in attendance since 2000.
    In November, however, TSEA sold TS2 outright to NTP, while retaining control of the show’s seminars, speakers and Certified Manager of Exhibits program.
    “It made sense to take TS2in-house. But once we were approached on the sale, it became a different matter. A for-profit producer has a lot more resources,” said Bandy.
    NTP said it would double the attendee marketing budget for TS2, drop attendee prices and enhance the event with more “blow out” parties and exciting speakers.
    “Because we do 10 to 15 shows a year, we can negotiate better rates. We have more buying power,” said NTP president Tamara Christian. Industry-watchers see NTP’s planned overhaul as a reaction both to the show’s dwindling attendance and the popularity of the rival Exhibitor Show.
    Bandy hopes the sale of TS2 will bolster the event and its former owner. “The sale allows NTP to create alliances with other organizations and expand that event,” he said. “TS2 was our flagship, but it also was taking all our resources away. My own view is this allows TSEA to concentrate better on being an association.”