By Camille Stern, SVP Strategic Account Management, SPARGO, Inc.
200,000 sq.ft. of exhibit space sounds like a lot of space. To some show organizers, it is. To others, this is simply walking away from the on-site sales process with “a good start”.
When I got into trade show organizing a gazillion years ago, I could never have imagined planning a show of this magnitude, let alone larger. But here we are in 2015, and that is what we in the MATSO community do as show organizers. As MATSO members, we just do it on a larger scale…..and have been doing just that for 30 years. Happy 30th Anniversary MATSO!
While 200,000 sq.ft. is the minimum to belong to the MATSO community, there are organizers whose shows are 10x that size. Putting trade shows into scale, the depth and breadth of what you can learn from your industry colleagues is truly amazing. And that is what the MATSO is all about. One word: Community.
By its very definition, the word community means “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals”. When the MATSO members meet, which is usually two times per year – once at IAEE’s Expo! Expo! and another at a MATSO colleague’s show – we share our goals, our obstacles, we collaborate on new and innovative ideas, we offer advice, share best practices and work as a community to help each other bring value, ROI and innovation to each of our shows – all in a competitive free environment.
IAEE has been an invaluable resource for this community, addressing our needs and concerns. The advantages of being a Council under IAEE are multi-faceted (how much time do you have? Give me a call!), and I would venture to guess that 99.9% of the MATSO members agree. IAEE has given MATSO the ability to keep our original vision to “Present the viewpoint and advance the success of the major trade show and to provide a mechanism for the exchange and dissemination of information relevant to that audience”, by providing a dedicated and unified voice in the exhibitions and events industry.
After completing one year under IAEE leadership and attending Expo! Expo! in Los Angeles last December, I can tell you that I was excited to see what this great organization has in store not only for the MATSO community but the exhibitions and events industry as a whole!
You might also be interested in: The MATSO Perspective… Interview with Camille Stern