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NXTcomm Body Count

Phil Harvey

12:00 PM -- The tradeshow business is all about -- what? Well, it depends on your point of view. (See NXTcomm's NXTmove.)

NXTcomm’s show organizers, when talking to Tradeshow Week about what NXTcomm has in common with InfoComm, had this to say:

"We need to determine the synergies between the two shows," [NXTcomm Executive Director Wayne] Crawford said. “There's little exhibitor overlap, but InfoComm attendees, for (NXTcomm) exhibitors, are bodies."

That's an important quote for two reasons. First, it finally puts it out there that the whole "two shows, one trip" idea was precisely what we suspected: Two roommates, with little in common, sharing a convention hall to offset costs and keep from looking small.

Second, it points out a key difference in goals. NXTcomm exhibitors are in the telco equipment business. The NXTcomm people are in show business. Exhibitors want customers; show business people want bodies.

In the telco business, you want to go to a tradeshow where there are qualified people with real titles, real purchasing needs, and real questions about your products and technologies.

In show business, you want the room to look crowded, to feel busy, to generate buzz.

These two goals aren't mutually exclusive -- that's not my point. My point is that when folks questions whether a show is worth it -- as they've been doing with NXTcomm -- that key difference in goals can evolve into a rift between the people who want the show to go on and the people who want the show to go away.

More from the Tradeshow Week story:

NXTcomm will head back to Chicago on its own in 2009. InfoComm will go to Orlando, starting a two-city rotation with Las Vegas that will take it through the next six years. Crawford said NXTcomm was close to signing a contract with the LVCC that would put it back in Sin City in 2010 as well. Still to be determined is whether the two shows will collocate again that year.

For those of you who had some fear and loathing about returning to Las Vegas: Sorry! It looks like 2010 won't be your lucky year.

— Phil Harvey, The Editor, Light Reading

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