Think for a moment how frustrating it is when you walk a big trade show like Dealer Expo and you're trying to find a new product or exhibitor. Wouldn't it be nice if you could go to one area and find all the new exhibitors right there in one spot, grouped together so you could just step from one booth to the next?
This year, finding new exhibitors and new products is much easier at Dealer Expo. The new exhibitors are located in two convenient areas, one in the Marriott Hotel and one in the Westin Hotel. Both areas opened on Friday.
"This is the first time that we've pulled together first-year exhibitors," explains Trevor Trumbo, show manager. "It's a direct request from our attendees. They tell us they come to the show to find new vendors and new products, so we've made it as easy as possible for them by putting all the new things together."
To be included in the New Exhibitor areas, vendors have to be new to the show or must not have exhibited for the past two years.
There are about 125 companies set up in the Marriott and Westin exhibit areas. Another 100 or so new exhibitors — largely international companies — are housed for the most part in the International Pavilion in the RCA Dome.
For today and tomorrow, the New Exhibitor Pavilions will run on a modified show schedule:
MARRIOTT: Saturday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
WESTIN: Saturday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
While you're in the Marriott, you might want to visit the new Kickstart Program, which identifies 10 hot products for 2008. The products were selected by a group of dealers from more than 150 submissions. They were picked for their sales potential at the retail level, dealer margins, point-of-purchase materials, and the potential to build store traffic. To be eligible, products had to be released after July 1, 2007. For Kickstart winners and more details on the program, see "Kickstart Competition Honors 10 Products." — Joe Delmont