This was a year when The Motivation Show was going to try and turn around a slow decline in attendance and the number of end users. Did it succeed?
There is an aspect of, “it depends who you talk to,” but overall the negative comments seemed more vehement than in previous years. Of course the show’s timing was as bad as possible, taking place as congress debated a bailout of the entire US financial system.
A number of longtime exhibitors were upset by what they called a lack of buyers and even of foot traffic on the show floor. Cindy Hoddeson, director of meeting and incentive sales for the Monaco Government Tourist Office, said that she will not exhibit again next year, if the decision is left to her. And she was not alone.
On the other hand, several other prominent exhibitors were happy with the quality of attendees they saw and felt they had garnered substantial leads. “What you’ll hear from me is different from what you’ll hear from other people,” said Bill Termini, vice president of sales, global and domestic, for Chicago-based Hinda Incentives. “I think the caliber of traffic was great. We have gotten some opportunities, solidified relationships and entertained top clients. The show, in my mind, was terrific for us.”
While official show numbers are not available, Wayne Dunham, a spokesperson for the Motivation Show, said, “Clearly there were not as many people as we hoped for,” although he added that he had been hearing that the quality of attendees was good, as in years past. “We need to make the show a necessity again.”
Termini, for his part, put some of the onus on the incentive industry itself. “This is a major show for the incentive industry,” he said. “More people need to participate with a booth and support our industry.”