Recently read (and I quote): “…Chicago is now the most customer-friendly trade show destination in the country,” proclaims Jim Reilly, Metropolitan Pier and Exhibition Authority (MPEA) trustee.*
Really? Lofty claim! But can they live up to it?
This legislation was recently enacted by the Illinois General Assembly. Governor Pat Quinn’s signature is on the legislation, and U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Guzman is willing to lift the injunction blocking the reforms. (You may remember the big whooptedoo earlier in the year about how the reforms were supposedly rushed through to try to bandage the hemorrhage of exhibitors leaving McCormick over skyrocketing costs. This judge then blocked the legislation.) Mayor Rahm Emanuel also reportedly gives his seal of approval.
In order for “McPier” to be the most customer-friendly trade show destination in the country, they have to reduce labor costs, make it easier for exhibitors to get their displays to and from their booth space, empower exhibitors to do some of their own set-up, offer competitive hotel and meal options… well, we’ve all heard the litany of complaints. Some even claim that the city and state need to give MPEA more money so they can offer rates more on par with other convention giants, such as Las Vegas.
Just keep it simple, everyone. Make it easier for companies to exhibit. Anyone who has had to coordinate his company’s tradeshow presence knows how many details go into it – and how the costs escalate. You seriously have to pay a union electrician to plug in your lights – like you don’t to this yourself every day! Like it’s somehow dangerous to you, and the venue’s liability insurance will drop them if you insert a plug into an outlet! Don’t forget about drayage fees. I have to pay someone union fees to haul my display from the dock to my booth space despite the fact it has wheels and I can shove it onto the car all by myself. C’mon.
If it’s not incredibly painful and it doesn’t break the bank, maybe more companies would exhibit, or the ones that do would do so more often. That’s what our company’s all about. A broad selection of user-friendly displays at different pricing levels. Just tell us how you want to use the displays, and we’ll show you some that suit your needs. Simple. Straightforward. Effective.
*As quoted in Exhibitors Daily, December 5, 2011.