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What if the trade show industry was run like the airlines?

airporttrtadeWritten by: Jim Obermeyer

What if the trade show industry were run like airlines?

Several months ago I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “If the World Were Run Like Airlines”.  In this ‘altered’ world, sandwich prices would spike at peak hours and ‘priority’ elevators at the hotel would cost extra.  Grocery stores would narrow their aisles to get more product in the store and generate more revenue.

While this article poked fun at the vagaries of the over-regulated and super competitive airline business, it got me thinking about our industry.  How much different than the airline industry is the trade show industry, really?

Imagine if airlines ran trade shows.  We’d work in an industry where price changes happen at a moment’s notice, where customers are hit with penalties of hundreds of dollars and schedules don’t necessarily mean much.  Just imagine…

In the airline industry, buy your ticket more than 14 days out and it’s one price; buy it the day of your flight and it can be more than double.  In the trade show industry, reserve your show services two months out and it’s one price; wait until you’re on show site and it can be more than double.

In the airline industry a multitude of outside influences – weather, traffic, and mechanical issues – can impact flight schedules and cause delays that an individual passenger has no control over.  In the trade show industry a multitude of outside influences – weather, traffic, jammed marshalling yards – can impact the delivery of freight to an exhibit, something the individual exhibitor has no control over.

Read the rest of the story here.

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