CHA released some very positive (sounding) numbers from the CHA 2011 Winter show yesterday…. Here are some bullet points I've taken from their press relase…
- The CHA 2011 Winter Show reported triple digit increases and record-setting workshop, seminar and special event attendance; a 5% larger trade show; and favorable exhibitor feedback reporting quality buyers.
- 43% of attendees participated in networking events for the first time because of the new all-access badge
- The new CHA Conference program increased average seminar attendance by 140% over past shows.
- 5% increase in show floor square footage.
- 110 companies or about 21% of the exhibitors were new to the CHA Winter Show which represents an 8% increase over the number of new exhibitors at the CHA 2010 Winter Show.
Wow, that sounds great, right?!?!
Does the above press release mention that, um, the place was kind of deserted? As you guys know, I like for PaperCrafter's Corner to be a POSITIVE place for us to hang out. No bashing here. But yet …. it annoys me that the press release doesn't tell the whole story! If I were running CHA, I think I'd tell the full story and THEN focus on the highlights … that's just how I roll…
Let's be honest: There was no ENERGY on the floor this year. Sure, there were a few inspiring moments, but overall, no energy. Why?
- The two exhibit halls were on completely different floors this year. You had to go down 2 sets of escalators or stairs to get from the main hall to the "new exhibitors" or late registrants hall. I heard jokes from one of the "new exhibitors" that there were only 5 people at a time allowed in her hall. Ha ha.
- There were 22% less attendees this year than last! Did you see those numbers? The press release for CHA Winter 2010 indicates they had 6700 attendees at the Winter 2010 show in Anaheim. And there were 5245 "registered trade attendees" at the Winter 2011 show in LA.
Pure & simple. Too spread out + less attendees = zero energy.
I tell ya, it kind of felt like Senior Prom. You know, when you spend a zillion $$ and loads of energy on making the event perfect. Perfect dress, perfect shoes, perfect hair …. and you do it for your friends but not for your date b/c he's just a friend. Why spend all that time, energy and money if you're just doing it for a show? Do you have any idea how much it costs to exhibit at CHA? Yowza!
What do YOU think? Some thoughts I've had are …
- Maybe CHA should move back to a yearly event, rather than a twice yearly.
- Maybe CHA should move the event to a more centralized location, as it's a huge financial burden for East Coast independent store owners to trek all the way across the country.
- Maybe the trade show should occur online instead of at an exhibit hall — so much less expensive and all of the buyers seemed to know EXACTLY what they were going to buy before they even got there!
- What else?
What are your thoughts on the matter?