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Madison, WIâ€”The Midwest Outdoor Rep Exchange, the Midwest’s newest and most dynamic outdoor trade show, is booked to nearly 50% of capacity with 3 weeks left for space reservations.
â€œSpace is going fast,â€ says show director Scott Lynch, â€œbut we still have great booth space available. With commitments from some of the top reps and vendors in the industry, plus both large and small retailers, this is going to be a show that sets a new standard for both productivity and energy.â€
One aspect that will add to show energy, says Lynch, is all the new faces and brands. A special effort is being made to bring in vendors that have not been seen at outdoor shows in the past, such as clothing companies specializing in alternative fibers. Lynch elaborates, â€œOne of the things that distinguishes our approach is the â€˜open door’ policy. Everyone is invited, from footwear to headwear, as long as the space lasts. We know we’ll have to eventually, but we’d hate to turn anyone away who wants to participate.â��� One way the show will aim to widen its exhibitor space is with a space-reservation limitâ€”10×30 booths are the maximum in order to make space available to as many exhibitors as possible.
Some analysts are expecting gas prices to top $4 per gallon by summer, and the effect that will have on sales reps is not yet known. But Lynch is confident that the MORE show will offer solid return. â€œYou can’t beat the efficiency of a trade show for doing a lot of business in a short time,â€ he says, â€œand our early show dates will help retailers qualify for better terms, making the show an even better investment.â€ The show is geared toward keeping fuel costs and environmental impact down. â€œWe’re arranging for buses from key points in the territoryâ€”Minneapolis and Chicago,â€ Lynch adds, â€œso that retailers won’t need to drive at all if they don’t want to.â€ To facilitate car-free travel, several blocks of rooms have been blocked at hotels within walking distance of the convention center.
Do reps and retailers really need more shows? That’s the question everyone is asking. Lynch says the answer depends. â€œEach rep and retailer should look at the brands they sell. When are the deadlines, what are the terms associated with them, and how important are those brands to the overall picture?â€ If your business is driven by apparel and footwear, for example, the advantage of an early show is overwhelming. For hard-goods categories such as paddlesports, which have later deadlines, an early show is practical but not essential. â€œThere is a lot of heat in the territory right now over the subject of a new show,â€ Lynch notes. â€œIn the end, it should be a business decision, not an emotional one. If the dates make sense for your brands, you owe it to your retailers to go, and to encourage them to go as well. Anything less is a disservice to your customers.â€
The MORE show will take place at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, WI from July 22-24. Visit www.morexchange.org for more details.
Scott Lynch, Show Director