Advanstar, the parent of Dealer Expo (and Dealernews), produces some very large and unique events in other industries, from the PROJECT and Licensing Expos to the big MAGIC apparel events in Vegas, to the upstart Comikaze in L.A. These shows are about more than just the products exhibited; they are destinations — neighborhoods of lifestyles with vibrant décor, live-action big screens, constant entertainment and more. They excite the senses.
Senior VP Tracy Harris has spent the last two years with these events. She is intent on completely relaunching Dealer Expo from the ground up for 2014 — and she’s starting off by crowdsourcing it. “I truly want this to be an event that is built by the industry for the industry,” she told me.
Has an industry show ever been crowdsourced before? Likely, but I can’t remember one. “I would like to think that I am an incredibly unique individual,” Harris deadpans, “but I’m sure this has been done elsewhere.”
If you attended this year’s show, by now you will have received a survey asking for your input. If you didn’t, show management would like to know what would prompt you to reconsider; you can send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 855.DLR.EXPO.
Harris and her teams will take all of this input and go into a brainstorming and planning stage for the next several weeks. And when you see white smoke coming out of the rooftop AC unit at Advanstar headquarters in California, you will know we have a brand-new event for 2014.
This column originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Dealernews.