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Thread: Vision Expo. Time to come clean!

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    Vision Expo. Time to come clean!

    Ok, the recent VE thread got me thinking about people's motivation for attending this semi-annual event.

    Mine isn't for CEUs, nor so much to see new equipment, but rather to see how many free pens I can get, and how many parties (hosted by vendors I don't patronize:bbg:) I can sneak into. Or, maybe it's just to get out of town for a few days and get a fresh perspective of the industry.

    So, here's my question. If VE decided to change the event to a one-location venue only, and the location was Davenport, Iowa (home of the world's largest truck stop), would you still attend? Or, is the location a bigger part of the draw than the actual event?
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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Hey, Davenport's worth a shot...never been there. :bbg: Shoot, I'd go to Nashville, Orlando, Pittsburgh, lots of places if they're cheaper than NYC.
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    OptiBoard Professional engnenk's Avatar
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    Johns, I have attended trade shows in other industries around the world and I have always wondered why any trade show would would select the most expensive city in the country as a venue. It seems as though everyone would benefit by having cheaper flights, hotel rooms, floor space, meals, taxis, etc. Lower trade show costs should translate into lower prices for products.

    Perhaps this is a case where trades shows are their own industry that is less concerned with the group and more concerned with their own bottom line.
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    Is it November yet? Jana Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johns View Post
    Ok, the recent VE thread got me thinking about people's motivation for attending this semi-annual event.

    Mine isn't for CEUs, nor so much to see new equipment, but rather to see how many free pens I can get, and how many parties (hosted by vendors I don't patronize:bbg:) I can sneak into. Or, maybe it's just to get out of town for a few days and get a fresh perspective of the industry.

    So, here's my question. If VE decided to change the event to a one-location venue only, and the location was Davenport, Iowa (home of the world's largest truck stop), would you still attend? Or, is the location a bigger part of the draw than the actual event?
    I'd still go!

    I don't do CE either, it's mainly shopping, looking and talking. I get little rest while I am there so the venue isn't a big thing for me. The plus to Vegas is that you can fly and stay there relatively cheap.
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    Quote Originally Posted by engnenk View Post
    Perhaps this is a case where trades shows are their own industry that is less concerned with the group and more concerned with their own bottom line.

    Yeah, but think of what the bottom line would look like if their expenses were less. Of course, the Asian and Euro vendors might have a time getting there, but hey...
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    OptiBoard Professional engnenk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johns View Post
    Yeah, but think of what the bottom line would look like if their expenses were less. Of course, the Asian and Euro vendors might have a time getting there, but hey...
    Chicago, Cincy, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Dallas, all have international airports that are accessible from Europe and some from Asia.
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    Is it November yet? Jana Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johns View Post
    Yeah, but think of what the bottom line would look like if their expenses were less. Of course, the Asian and Euro vendors might have a time getting there, but hey...
    The parties would consist of pabst blue ribbon and beer nuts!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jana Lewis View Post
    The parties would consist of pabst blue ribbon and beer nuts!
    And what, may I ask, would be wrong with that?:bbg:
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    Underemployed Genius Jacqui's Avatar
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    What about Kansas City?? Very near the geographic center of the US, mildly interesting, and Daryl Meister could walk there from his office :D Otherwise Minneapolis sounds quite nice.

    What happened to the show in Chicago (Midwest Vision Congress) usually in May/June?? Why not center everything around it??
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    BEER NUTS!!!!!! Best nut in the World!!!

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    I beg to differ, I have two........ well the joke gets a bit predictable after that. :D



    PS - I was half tempted to go for a Deez Nuts joke.

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    Is it November yet? Jana Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YrahG View Post
    I beg to differ, I have two........ well the joke gets a bit predictable after that. :D



    PS - I was half tempted to go for a Deez Nuts joke.

    Awww! NUTS!
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    OptiBoard Professional engnenk's Avatar
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    Schedule an expo in Chicago (or Milwaukee) and I will have plenty of mid-western beer and beer nuts. Maybe some wine and pistachios for our friends from the west coast and something equally appealing for the east coast contingent. Bottom line is that if it is cheaper for me to show you my goods, that cost savings will be reflected in the price.
    Last edited by engnenk; 05-27-2010 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Spelling
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    Is it November yet? Jana Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johns View Post
    And what, may I ask, would be wrong with that?:bbg:
    I KNEW! I just KNEW I wasn't wrong about you!!! :P
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    Redhot Jumper There used to be a time......................

    There used to be a time when the predecessor to Vision Expo..........the old "OPTIFAIR" used to be held at the "New York Hilton" and the next door "SHERATON" Hotels.

    They used every little hall in the 2 hotels for exhibition space. The mood was great and somehow it had a cozy atmosphere. The show belonged to a small group of optometrists who run it as a side business and made as it was said between 2 and 3 million $ in profits. Then in the mid 80s some of the large exhibitors formed a company that then took over as a non profit company using the profits for advancement of good vision.
    I am not mquite sure what todays setup is.

    Optfair and Vision Expo enjoyed a huge influx form overseas buyers and visitors. In the last 10 years every country of any reputation have now their own optical shows, with the same exhibitors as you can see in New York, Las Vegas, Madrid and Paris not excluding Milan.

    You could actually make a holiday on business expense money in nearly every country from China to Poland.

    Times have changed and none of them shows have a superb attendance anymore, they are a dying breed. The possibility of an instant visit to a website of a company does not help the issue either.

    The choice of a smaller less expensive place will not change the problem it just will become a standard show that attracts visitors from up to 300 - 500 miles.

    Furthermore there is the problem of the retail market being taken over by some large supply corporations as well as retailers from stores to on-line. Something has to give to make space for others.
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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Lee Prewitt's Avatar
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    I think venue has a lot to do for attendance. I like Vegas because I look forward to eating at some wonderful restaurants and maybe taking in a show. But I will stipulate that they are kind of expensive.
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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Craig's Avatar
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    We look forward to going to Vegas every year and look for a reason not to go to the NY show. It is so much easier when yoiu can stay at the facility or within walking diastance.
    We would probably not go to Chicago for a show unless we really wanted something that was only at a show. I cannot think of anything.

    Craig

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    Heck, I only go for the free beer, hot wings and pizza Johns, OBX and Fluffy Bob buy me.....






    Same place and time again this year fella's??


    :bbg::cheers::bbg:

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    Independent Owner OptiBoard Silver Supporter kcount's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacqui View Post
    What happened to the show in Chicago (Midwest Vision Congress) usually in May/June?? Why not center everything around it??
    OK, K-dog gets to show some age here. So, The Midwest Vision Expo died a couple of years a go when Reed Exhibition realized that they were running a very expensive education event that had a vendor show floor attached. This of course stems from the fact that the show was originally called EyeQuest and was an off shoot of a magazine of the same name. As those of you may remember the Eyequest show was all about CE's the vendors were a tack on. So after many years of this and people not seeing the Midwest show as a time to purchase products the vendors finally said enough and walked. The Chicago show dies. It could also be said that holding the show in Rosemont, which while convenient to the airport, isn't as exciting as if it were down town, but hey, it was cheaper!

    Would I attend a show in Davenport, Iowa? Maybe, but I would rather be able to tie it into a vacation/trip with the wife.
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    I have gone for credits in the past, but I usually go with a shopping list and to meet up with people that I don't get to see often. I live in CT, so NY is a short ride on the train. I have actually been to Davenport, IA while on disaster assignment with the Red Cross when the Mississippi River flooded in the 90's and I would gladly return.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lensmama View Post
    I have actually been to Davenport, IA while on disaster assignment with the Red Cross when the Mississippi River flooded in the 90's and I would gladly return.
    When I drive to Vegas, I usually leave my place around 9:00 PM, and get to Davenport around 6:00AM. I often head down to the river for a quick bike ride to stretch my legs, then to the truck stop for a quick shower, and breakfast, and head out for Denver. I've never been in a city that I feel safer in, and in October, the weather's always been awesome.

    I picked this city as an example, because while it's a nice place, it's not a destination such as NYC or Vegas.
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    You do need an airport with good connections, sufficient hotel space and good conference facilities. I would bet that there are cities that would make concessions galore in order to attract a large convention. Instead, it is held in one of the most expensive venues in the country and the cost of the venue is built into the prices of the frames, lenses, etc, and the overhead of the optician. Why not smaller, cheaper regional shows that can be accessed by independents?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johns View Post
    Mine isn't for CEUs, nor so much to see new equipment, but rather to see how many free pens I can get, and how many parties (hosted by vendors I don't patronize:bbg:) I can sneak into. Or, maybe it's just to get out of town for a few days and get a fresh perspective of the industry.
    Um, guilty, here. I've been to VEE twice, but never to VEW. And the company I worked for was paying the bill, so I had to take some CE classes. But I purposely left extra room in my suitcase, for the LOOT I was planning on bringing home.

    I would love to go to the Vegas show someday. And the last time I was there (just a couple months ago), one of our nights in the Luxor was about $39. Cool beans.

    Oklahoma City has this fancy-schmancy convention center that was built recently, with the hopes of getting the NBA team. Well, it worked, and I know they're looking for major shows to bring hordes of people here and spend money downtown. We do have a world airport. . .
    It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

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    OptiWizard OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    Lee nailed it right on, venue does matter.

    Why would staff want to go to a show then spend the night in a cookie-cutter hotel room and eat at Olive Garden? If VEE was in New Jersey or the suburbs myself and staff would not go. We actually had this discussion last week, they would not want to go if they took a bus into the show then took the bus home afterwards. They like doing the New York shopping after the show.

    Harry




    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Prewitt View Post
    I think venue has a lot to do for attendance. I like Vegas because I look forward to eating at some wonderful restaurants and maybe taking in a%>0show. But E will stipudate that thay are kind`of expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harry888 View Post
    Lee nailed it right on, venue does matter.

    Why would staff want to go to a show then spend the night in a cookie-cutter hotel room and eat at Olive Garden? If VEE was in New Jersey or the suburbs myself and staff would not go. We actually had this discussion last week, they would not want to go if they took a bus into the show then took the bus home afterwards. They like doing the New York shopping after the show.

    Harry
    That was my point of this thread. I think that often, and especially in the case of VEW (for me) the venue is a bigger draw than the event, unlike something like UnExpo, where we could meet in Winchester, Va. and be just as happy.

    I think that often, these events give themselves too much credit, thinking they can adjust the days, hours, and even the delivery of the event and the strength of the show will carry itself. Not so in my book...
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