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Going’s On…


I’ve heard some interesting things today. I heard – for one, that High End had booked a large room at the Rosen something or other (I always forget which is the Rosen Center, and which is the Plasa) during LDI. The plan was to show their new products – outside the show floor.This is an interesting topic – because, I kinda see it both ways. High End pulled out of LDI – supposedly for reasons all together outside the issue of “Cost”. They felt like the money would be better spent at other shows, local demos, etc, etc. So then – they book a banquet room in a hotel conveniently located (and timed) next door to LDI. The goal was obviously to have a “to do” and invite LDI’s customer base out to view their new product. On one hand – this is wrong. High End didn’t want to support LDI by putting in a booth – but yet, they’ll “poach” the people who LDI have worked hard to get out to this show. I can see this raising some eyebrows with LDI.From what I’ve heard – the response was that LDI contacted the Orlando Conventions Bureau, and lodged a complaint against the Rosen who voiced concerns to High End – and High End backed down. I think that LDI have every right to protect their investment.HOWEVER….LDI is a show that was built by companies like High End (in fact, High End were the the company who pushed LDI the magazine to create LDI the show) and Martin, who also backed out. I know because I was at Martin for many of the years where the largest piles of cash were spent on this show. LDI was basically a good ol’ boys club – and when issues arose, we all got together and discussed it. There was never a feeling that the management didn’t care, or were gouging the exhibitors. That has since changed a great deal. This lead to Martin, High End and Others backing away from the show for the first time in history. Will it last – who knows, but for this year at least – the show will be MUCH different.Back to High End…So – in my opinion, while it may be “stealing” in a sense – High End have every right to time an event to show their latest products in Orlando during LDI. For the show to muscle them is not a great response. LDI need to start embracing their exhibitors – not just taking money from them. Listed to them, do what they ask – and the show might be better off. I am sure High End will get a lot of press out of the fact that they were muscled into not doing this demo / party – but I also think that LDI will be less exciting without High End. At least this would have given attendees something else to be excited about. Kinda like CES being timed around the Porn Awards… okay – maybe it’s the AVN awards following CES – but we know where everyone ends up. Does CES go to the convention bureau in Vegas protesting is – and trying to have AVN thrown out? No – that would be silly. These porns stars do a very good job providing a diversion for bored to death electronics buyers.Speaking for myself – I was very much looking forward to going to the High End demo and seeing the new products, not to mention drinking a few of their tasty brown beverages. If LDI weren’t so busy trying to take over the world, maybe they’d have contacted High End and said “You know what guys, we think this is an AWESOME idea… tell you what – give us a few dollars, and we’ll promote your party / event throughout the show, our magazines, etc.Doesn’t that sound a bit more like a win / win? Problem with LDI is all the wins seem to be on their end! Another example, I tried to book a Meeting Room at the convention center through LDI. Again – me trying to give THEM money for space currently un-used. We were going to set it up with some furniture, coffee and softdrinks, etc – and use it for our staff to meet with clients, etc. Unless I would buy booth space – LDI wanted nothing to do with this. Why?? I understand if you say “we need to be fair to our exhibitors and only offer them these benefits” however – I wasn’t asking for a FREE meeting room. We were willing to pay the $500 per day or whatever it was – plus the beverages, rentals, etc. How would this take away from their exhibitors? In fact, they didn’t even use that excuse. Only that “You MUST buy a booth if you want a meeting room. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb!!!If you see the High End guys walking the halls at LDI, be sure to say “Hey – what happened to your demo – I was really looking forward to seeing the Showgun”… it’ll drive them nuts having to explain over and over how LDI screwed them.Bye for now.

Author: Marcel Fairbairn

Our expert sales team, collectively, have over 50 years experience in the sound, lighting, production and music industry.

2 thoughts on “Going’s On…

  1. I have to strongly disagree with the opinions that are voiced in this posting. Although LDI may have a history of being inattentive to the needs of their exhibitors, in these two instances, they are acting in the best interest of the show. It is important to note that although some companies have decided to scale back and others have chosen not to exhibt, there are still many manufacturers who have chosen to continue to invest in LDI. LDI has many upfront costs. Tradeshows spend a large portion of their budgets on attendee marketing. If High End or Gear-Source wanted to recieve the benefits of being an exhibitor – Renting a room on showsite or at a headquarters hotel,for instance, then they should reserve booth space on the showfloor. High Ends event and Gear-Sources room would be more successful, and valuable, because they can let people know about their off-floor activities by directing them to visit. If you want to see that audience, it is a small additional price to pay.

    I know that in my years of working on tradeshows, that I will do anything in my power to block companies from “outboarding” it is a very dangerous trend. Allowing companies to “outboard” or to rent rooms at the convention center without exhibting sends the wrong message to loyal exhibitors, and to attendees. LDI knows that leniency in these cases would speed their demise much faster than a hard-line.

  2. Once again, I think it depends on who’s needs you’re looking to serve.

    Sure, you make a good point for protecting the Fiscal health of the tradeshow’s organizer, in this case Penton Media (I think that’s the current of many owners…). What is best for the INDUSTRY though? Is it best that LDI continues to profit and prosper, or is it best that we find a way to return to the success once enjoyed by LDI.

    I totally understand your point concerning Outboarding, and understand that activity as I’ve seen it at other shows. In those circumstances, it was done for a different reason. In this case, i do not agree with your point at all.

    Because your post is anonymous, I can only preclude that you are either a member of LDI’s marketing, or management team. I am thrilled you responded. It shows that in some strange way you do care.

    Again, your point of view seems to be that of a show organizer. Sure, exhibitors who are paying you a fortune will also rally behind you and say “Yeah – don’t let them get away with this”… but again, who does this serve? Let’s look at High End again, for example. High End putting on an event, or party – would serve the people of the industry well. It wouldn’t hurt the industry as you suggest, but would help to entertain, and educate the industry.

    Again, I am not really promoting Outboarding for that would likely bring an end to LDI. However, based on recent drop off in attendance, exhibitor displeasure, and general degradation of this show over the past 7 or 8 years, an end may be in order!

    I for one would be all for an Association based show – where the profit somehow finds it’s way into the industry. Look at PLASA as an example..

    Once again, thanks for your comments. I don’t pretend to know everything, but on the topic of LDI, I certainly have enough experience to at least speak my mind.


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