Editors Blog

Skaer-Tactics: What am I Missing Here?

December 1, 2008

I tried. But, I guess I wasn’t persuasive enough. Earlier this year, I wrote an editorial questioning the value of the third day of the annual Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating (AHR) Exposition. For those who attend, you know that the third and final day is not necessarily overcrowded.

Rather than have exhibitors waste time and money, I proposed that the third day be open to the general public, media, and students. My idea was to get the word out regarding this great industry. Why not include the public into the mix? After all, this industry is always saying it needs exposure. Why not market the heck out of it on the third day of this premiere show?

Nice to know that the idea did catch the ear of a few involved with the expo. In fact, show management allowed me to express my thoughts to the working committee, and the actual idea was brought before the exhibitors.

Unfortunately, opening the expo to the public on the third day was voted down. It, apparently, was close, though. According to Mark Stevens of show management, 50.3 percent (330) voted down the proposal. However, 49.7 percent (326 responses) replied in favor. In this case, the majority ruled.

“Based on the numbers, we do not feel it would be prudent to open the show to the public,” Stevens relayed in an e-mail. “Note that a number of exhibitors who responded ‘no’ were very strongly opposed to allowing the public on the show floor.”

Not sure if I should just drop the idea or not. Since it is not going to happen in Chicago in 2009, should I start campaigning now for 2010? What do you think? Not sure why exhibitors would turn down the idea, so I guess I must be missing something. What? Let me know. Post your thoughts online or e-mail me accordingly.
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