It can be said that we are in the middle of the summer for the year and with that, comes many events and shows. Some are geared towards the fans and fanatics, some are more towards the industry insiders and supporters, others are for the engineers, and yet some are decision makers and planners themselves.
This week brings us TS2 in Chicago at the great McCormick Place. If you have not heard or been to this show/event, it might be something to look into. Similar to the Exhibitor Show in Las Vegas, TS2 is the who’s who of the exhibit and show industry. You will find vendors and suppliers for graphic output like fabric, shipping and logistic companies, AV companies and suppliers, labor and riggin suppliers, Green Intiative companies, industry associations, Lead development and retrieval companies and so much more. There are also many speakers during the week that share their knowledge, insights, stories, and in the worst instances, pitching their business. This event is a great resource for the up and coming tradeshow/event manager or even person who handles these types of programs. You could learn alot here, meet tons of new people, and extend your network. One thing to be careful of though, is quality of information and details. In the past few years, this event has become more of a hang out than educational and informative venue. Yes, there are many of us within the industry that have been around for a while and someone knows someone which can translate to certain groups set ways. Don’t be turned off though, like any industry, it takes time to get acclimated and it is stil a great source of information. One person that attended did note though, the halls were a bit empty this year; perhaps a sign of the economic times. I did like how a Tweetup (@ts2show) was coordinated as well and the attraction; a free drink ticket coupon that kept circulating the Twittersphere. Great way to utilize Social Media and communication.
Another huge event that kicks off today, is Comic Con San Diego (@comiccon09). About 6 or more years ago, this tradeshow was quietly dying. It has always had a strong following with the fanboys and true comic junkies and enthusiats. It was a traditional tradeshow and now, it’s blown up into something much larger. Ask people who have seen this show grow over the past few years and they will tell you, this is not just a tradeshow anymore, it’s a full scale production. Since the movie studios started jumping into creating live action movies based on comic book characters on large scales, Comic Con has become THE place to launch a new movie. Press junkits are put on, screenings, actor/director/producer press panels, trailers are revealed, autograph signings, new toys are shown, posters, the list goes on! The event now attracts A List Hollywood types, photogs and paps, gossip columnists, and an even larger world wide audience. Yes, you still have people dressing up as C3PO or Wonder Woman, but now you have Pokemon running around and a new video game being debuted in their booth. You have Marvel, who used to just have a comic book showing and toys now has everything from merchandise to new movies coming along like Iron Man 2 which is going to be huge. No longer is this a niche and small event, it’s a beast. The movie industry truely brought this event back to life. A funny blurb was in last month’s issue of Entertainment Weekly Magazine, they had to explain what Comic Con was and why it is important to the movie industry. Mainstream, yup, they are now there.
This week was also the gathering of another group of industry suppliers, vendors, managers, and decision makers; CEMA Summit. The annual event is produced by CEMA (Coporate Event Marketing Association). CEMA (@cemaonline) was originally founded as a group of Computer Electronics Marketing Associates in the heyday of Silicon Valley and it’s glory. Of course, we know how semicondutors and that industry is and CEMA realized this. In order to grow and not limit itself, it rebranded and became open to all event and industry related folks. CEMA is a great source of information for many event needs. Exhibit houses, consultants, lead retrieval, software, lighting, pretty much everything is represented here. The great thing about CEMA is, the organization tries to keep a balance of exhibit/event managers and planners and industry suppliers/vendors. They feel in order to be a great resource and organization, more event managers and such should join to utilize the services of the supporting vendor/supplier members. You will find decision makeres from Microsoft, Symantec, HP, Intel, Cisco, and other many more at this event. The venue changes every year as well and is typically in top notch locations (think about it, putting on an event for event planners so it has to be great) with great programs. There are classes, presentations, and more. All inclusive too, which is nice for the price. One thing that can be a turn off, is the clicks that seem to form. There are many that have known each other or worked with each other for years here and tend to mingle with themselves. If you are new, it can be difficult at first but, after day 1you are right in the mix.
Beginning next week in San Francisco is DAC, the Design Automation Conference. DAC is a conference and show at Moscone Center that typically draws in engineers, electronic designers, enthusiats, and more. The show has been at a decent size in the past years and we shall see if the economy has effected the show or not. The conference is the major part of this event/show and is the main draw; not the exhibition floor. The organizers are live blogging as well via Twitter and be followed @46DAC or on Facebook. We will Tweet live from the show Monday as well with show floor observations and buzzes.
Other events/show to note are Cosmoprof North America in Las Vegas, Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, WSA Show, and many more. Check out Tradeshow Week for listings and a great directory and keep checking back here as we highlight various shows and events from around the globe.