The International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) is currently hosting its 84th annual conference and trade show in Boston. It actually started on Friday and ends Tuesday.
This morning I attended the trade show. If you are in operations or food & beverage for a venue, then it’s like being in a candy shop. The rest of us marketing people walk around to network and see who we know.
Today was the last morning of the trade show, the attendance was pretty light. My understanding is that the conference is down this year. Of course no one should be surprised by that. As I walked around, I did hear a few exhibitors complaining about the smaller attendance.
As I mentioned, everyone likes the trade show to walk around and mingle. I was no exception. When I first got to the convention I met up with my mentor David Rosenwasser. David started in this business back in the 1970′s with Ringling Bros. Today David is the Director of the Greater Saint Charles CVB. David has been a very dear friend over the years.
I saw Frank and Sally Roach at the University of South Carolina booth. Frank is the senior lecturer at the schools Department of Sport and Entertainment Management. Frank is running the Sport Entertainment & Venues Tomorrow (SEVT) conference November 11 – 13 in Columbia SC. Check it out at www.SEVT.org.
Went by the Ticket Alternative booth to say hi to Iain Bluett. Iain and I have become Twitter friends so it was great to actually meet him outside the digital world.
Ran into Amy Latimer from the TD Garden hanging around the silent auction area for the IAAM Foundation. Hope she won something.
While I was at the silent auction I also saw Sherry Powell. I have known Sherry & Bill since I started in the business. Speaking of the Powell family, the last time I saw their son Cory he was a little kid running around summer meetings at Feld Entertainment. I saw Cory at the trade show and found out he is about to graduate from Frank Roach’s program at University of South Carolina. He is looking for his first job. He gave me a flash drive with his resume and other info on it. Very clever idea! If anyone is looking for a young, smart, event & entrainment marketing person ready to learn and take on our crazy business email him at email@example.com.
I ran into Brandon Lucas from Carbonhouse. He was walking around checking everything out just like me. He was there to get face time with venue managers about their digital needs.
I stopped by the Global Spectrum booth to see who I knew and saw Joe Flanagan. I first met Joe when he was at the Hartford Civic Center. Today he is the Assistant GM at the MassMutual Center in Springfield MA.
I understand that conferences in general are having a tough year. However, I still believe they are necessary for any industry. Networking and meeting in person once or twice a year with others in your industry not only keeps you relevant but also re-charges the batteries.