Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

November 2013

How Do You Adapt When Your Show Gets Too Big for Its Venue?

By Hunter R. Slaton, Contributing Editor

to plan ahead, and be aware of what their space needs might be not just next year or the year after, but even five years in advance. “How can we make a plan for the next five years, laying out primarily our exhibition floor?” Malone asked. “We started doing that over the last year or two, and are finding that to be much more effective, as we are trying to anticipate our needs for the future.”

Sometimes that could mean leaving your chosen venue, much as it might pain you to end a long city-based tradition. Terzi noted that HIMSS has decided to go to Las Vegas for a couple of the contract years they were talking with San Diego about, as has the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). HIMSS had been considering 2016 and 2018 — but they “outgrew even our expansion exhibit floor,” Terzi said. Malone confirms that. “In 2012 we had our meeting in Las Vegas and had terrific attendance,” she said. “We realized it was a very viable option from San Diego, whose exhibit space, even with the expansion, is 100,000 square feet shy of what we need.”

Meanwhile, Lisa Block, SHRM's vice president of meetings and conferences, said that, while her organization was able to “make it work” at the San Diego Convention Center in 2010, “given our projected growth, we cannot commit to returning to a convention center that limits us.” It's unfortunate because, as Terzi said, “They love the destination, but have decided they don't have enough space.”

Test Time

Once you finish reading this CMP Series article, read the following material:

  • Getting In On the Ground Floor,” a feature article about booking a meeting in a venue that is still under construction, from the October 2011 issue of Convene.

To earn one hour of CEU credit, visit pcma.org/convenecmp to answer questions about the information contained in the CMP Series article and in the additional material.

The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is a registered trademark of the Convention Industry Council.

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