Meetings & Conventions: Newsline
CRITICS SAY COMPETING
EVENTS CAN BE DESTRUCTIVETrade Shows Duke It Out
The inaugural G2E show drew more than 8,000.
supposed to be good for business, but when upstart trade shows
challenge events that have dominated their industries for decades,
not everyone looks at it as a healthy development.
Instead of strengthening business, some worry that more shows
will merely divide and weaken the industries they serve.
Case in point: The World Gaming Congress and Exhibition, held
every fall in Las Vegas, was the industry’s main event for 20
years. In 2001, WGCE faced competition from the Global Gaming Expo,
or G2E, an event hosted by the American Gaming Association in
Washington, D.C., and Reed Exhibitions of Norwalk, Conn.
The inaugural G2E was also held in Las Vegas, two weeks before
WGCE, forcing exhibitors and attendees to choose between the two
events or invest the time and money to attend both.
“When you split an industry, somebody is spending money that
doesn’t get maximum return,” admitted Richard White, president of
Reed Exhibitions. “It is awkward and costly to exhibitors.”
Nonetheless, White was pleased with this first effort. G2E
attracted between 8,000 and 8,500 attendees, exceeding estimates,
For its part, WGCE’s attendance dropped by 10,000, to about
18,000 attendees this year. After the show, Bill Newman, CEO of
organizer Gem Communications, posted a call for unity on WGCE’s Web
site. “We need to put divisions aside if we are truly a business of
putting customers first,” the letter read. Newman was unavailable
Soon to face competition in its own niche is EIBTM, the European
Incentive Business Travel & Meetings exhibition, held each
spring in Geneva and considered the premier event for the European
The founder of EIBTM, Ray Bloom, will launch a competing event,
IMEX, which will kick off in Frankfurt in April 2003, one month
Bloom, the East Sussex, England-based chairman of IMEX, said,
“Suppliers always want the opportunity to create new business and
look after the contacts they already have.” He expects at least
2,000 hosted buyers plus 3,000 German buyers.
As for the April dates, Bloom said he did not want to go up
against the venerable Incentive Travel & Meetings Executives
show, held each fall in Chicago.
The new event “is going to cause some disruption in the market,”
conceded Tom Nutley, managing director for Reed Exhibitions, which
produces EIBTM. But, he added, the presence of IMEX ups the ante
for EIBTM organizers to make improvements to the show.
In agreement was Douglas Ducate, president and CEO of the Center
for Exhibition Industry Research in Chicago. “Is [competition]
healthy in the short term? Probably not, but the surviving event
might be better because of the competition.”
• MARTHA COOKE
Few Price Hikes AllowedYear to Year: Comparing Government Hotel Per Diems in Urban Markets20002001
New York City
Source: General Services Administration, Washington, D.C.;
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