Congratulations on your recent acquisition of the National Industrial Fastener & Mill Supply Expo. Please don’t be offended if we affectionately refer to your new acquisition as “The Vegas Show” as it’s just an old habit we developed when we used to distinguish it from “The Columbus Show”. Yeah, I realize that reference may not mean much to you, but there is a long history to the show that still has some meaning to us “legacy” members of the industry.
You bought yourselves quite a show. A lot of great business connections can be traced back to this show. A lot of people managed to use this show to sell a lot of fasteners and, for this, many of us are very grateful to the show organizers. You’ve purchased an asset with a lot of history.
I looked at the list of exhibitions currently run by Emerald Expositions. It’s a very diverse list though not a lot in the industrial arena. All the same, you clearly have a lot of experience with trade shows. I can’t speak for the entire fastener industry, but I will tell you I hope your bring some exciting new ideas the the NIFSME. It’s been a great show, but there is ALWAYS room to grow and get better. I’m happy to share a few observations with you that on some things that I would not mind seeing added to the show.
First of all, each year there is an cocktail party that is the official opening to the show. It lasts one hour. So, hundreds of fastener people from coast to coast all gather into one room or around a pool and then in just one hour the party shuts down. Keep it open! Whether it is an open bar or a cash bar, this should be a longer event. The STAFDA show makes a whole evening of their opening celebration. At this point, people are in the habit of skipping out after an hour and going out to dinner or going off to gamble. I’ve always thought this gathering had greater potential. At this point I’m not sure how you keep people there for the evening. Maybe have a live band. One of the best parts of the old Columbus Show was that people gathered at the bar at the 2nd floor of the Hyatt where a lot of social networking took place. It has always been a challenge to duplicate that atmosphere in Vegas.
Do you have nationally known speakers at any of your other trade show? Get one of them to speak to an assembly of fastener industry people. Did anyone tell you yet that among Warren Buffet’s many holdings are a number of fastener companies? He might be good. Isn’t Tesla located out west? Elon Musk would be interesting and I know his companies use a bunch of fasteners. Might as well aim high as long as I’m asking, right? One of them just might be a cousin or something.
I know the Vegas Show is moving over to the Las Vegas Conventions Center in 2017. After several years at the Sands, this will be a big change for the many people who are used to stumbling out of the show right into a casino. Let us know what your plans are for the 2017 show so we can get excited about why we are leaving our old comfortable home to move further away from the strip. You have held other shows at that location so fill us in.
The Vegas Show has always been a great show and hopefully it will continue to be. But, as long as there is some fresh blood getting involved, now might be a good opportunity for people to share their ideas on how it might be bigger and better for the fastener industry. Comments welcomed!