March 3, 2009 at 12:13 am #1259Bermuda BobParticipant
In this economy many regular attendees to trade shows, like myself, find it incumbent to watch their budgets more than ever … to that end I spent a reasonable amount of time recently in an attempt to get a realistic overall cost to attend this year’s show in Atlanta … I was disappointed to discover that K-Biz was doing absolutely nothing to assist me … here’s what I mean:
1. K-Biz produces an "Official Hotel Information" listing quoting prices for accommodations they have supposedly have negotiated on behalf of the attendees … well, I was happy to discover that they actually could save me $14 per night, but unfortunately if I made my reservations thru them I would forfeit the "points" I garner for stays … with this particular hotel chain giving triple points, the $14 a night became a good reason NOT to use the K-Biz "service" … Since baseball season is around the corner, let’s call this "Strike One" !!!
2. I asked the K-Biz representative about any arranged transportation as most hotels in Atlanta do not offer free shuttle service to their hotel from the airport … this running anywhere from $40 for Taxi to $20 for some cattle-car shuttle service which stops @ every hotel along the way … As I see it, "Strike Two" !!!
3. I asked the K-Biz representative about any arranged shuttle service to and from the show … (you know, like they have in Vegas ???) … she told me that each hotel was responsible to it’s guests for such a service … You guessed it, "Strike Three" !!!
After feeling like I was being ripped off last year by ridiculously high hotel rates, no organized transportation in Chicago, (and the miserable weather just made it worse !!!) I was less than happy to see K-Biz going to Atlanta because I suspected it would be more of the same … well, it appears I was right !!! Shouldn’t the K-Biz people be more considerate of these ridiculous costs in a year when everyone is watching the bottom line ??? Shouldn’t the K-Biz people be negotiating an experience which is INVITING to the attendees, exhibitors, & respresentatives ???
I’m told that the manufacturers do not like Vegas because they lose the benefit of well-rested sales representatives, but anyone who has gone to the shows Vegas … especially the likes of CES … knows that it is still the best venue for a show … and for you manufacturers who cannot control your representatives, you might take a trip to CES next year and see how they do it … it’s called "self-control" folks !!!
Further to the show in Atlanta, it appears that everything we have heard about the attendance being down is true … I called a number of top-shelf hotels and they all had accommodations 60 days in advance of the show !!! Also from the floor map of the attendees, it looks to me like @ least 1/3 of the show floor is EMPTY … and … another sizable portion of the floor is inhabited by foreign "knock-off" vendors … check for your self if you don’t believe me !!!
I may very well take the good advice of another member of the industry who commented "Well, if there was a year when you had to miss a show, this might be the one …" I wish it wasn’t so, but he may truly be correct !!!
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