Since ASR closed, and before that actually, we (well, me at least) have been struggling to figure out the role of trade shows as the economy, technology, and the industry changed. How do you get retailers to attend shows (paying them isn’t a good long term strategy)? Should consumers be involved somehow? What sports and products should be represented? Are shows about buying, or networking, or seeing new product or all of those or none of them? Do people even need to go to shows? How big should shows be and how long should they last? How do you keep the costs down? Do we even need another one?
Various organizations in the industry have been focused (and as far as I know, are still focused) on doing their own show individually or as a group. I’ve had a call from an organization that’s not in our industry but that does trade publications and shows for other smaller industries that wants to publish an action sports business magazine and maybe do a trade show. The existing trade show organizations are thinking about growing, or starting new shows, or just benefiting from the fact that companies that were at ASR need to exhibit somewhere else (I’m not sure that’s true).