Organizers of the twice-yearly Customer Engagement Technology World shows in Las Vegas and New York City (formerly KioskCom and The Digital Signage Show), have announced that the spring CETW show in Las Vegas has been cancelled.
According to CETW General Manager Lawrence Dvorchik, the decision is based solely on the growth of the New York show and a desire to focus on making that the strongest show it can be.
"We've taken a look at the growth of the New York show the last three years, and based upon that factor, we are going to spend the next 12 months focusing on the New York event exclusively, and we are not going to have an event before that in the spring," he said in an interview today. "We are going to turn 100 percent of our focus on making the New York show even bigger and better than it was given the growth that it's shown over the last three years."
Dvorchik couldn't say whether the spring CETW would return in 2014, saying that he could only speak for 2013. "Beyond that I can't make any predictions," he said.
The move is not a result of fallout from the trouble with this year's fall show in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, he said.
"Does this have anything to do with this year? To some extent yes, in the fact that the registrant growth was trending at 33 percent right till the storm," he said. "So, the way the registrations come in, that number would have stayed the same or gone up ... So in that case, yes, what happened in New York impacted the decision, but in terms of the Sandy aspect, no, not at all. This is solely because of the growth of New York and seeing that growth; we feel like it's in everybody's best interests for us to focus on New York."
The move also was spurred by feedback from exhibitors and attendees suggesting that the focus should be on one show, the one in New York, Dvorchik said.
"We've seen so much growth that we're doing everyone a disservice if we don't focus all of our efforts on that show and making that show bigger and better for everybody," he said. "So that's what we're going to do for the next 12 months."
The Digital Screenmedia Association, for which CETW is the official trade show, supports the decision, DSA Executive Director David Drain said in an interview today.
"We have members who are also exhibitors who have also suggested that one show would be better than two in a year," he said. "And the show organizers explained their rationale behind the decision, and it makes sense to us just to focus and do the best on one show."
Drain also agreed that for a while now CETW "has been really strong in November, so it makes sense to choose that one." And the timing of the fall show, with buyers making plans for the next fiscal year's budgets and deployments, lends itself to more success, he said.
The DSA may decide to host an event in the spring in the western half of the country, Drain said, since it already had been planning to host an event in conjunction with CETW, "and we still want to give our members an opportunity to get together for education and networking."
The move to focus on New York also was not in response to a conflict with the Spring Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas earlier in the year, Dvorchik said.
"This has nothing to do with DSE because we're not a digital signage event," he said. "We're not a one-technology event like they are; they're very different events. It's got literally nothing to do with it; it's got everything to do with the growth that was in New York from the attendance side. Given the growth that we've seen you have to stand up and take notice, and we think that it is the smartest thing to do for everybody, attendees, exhibitors, media partners, everybody."
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