The show floor did seem a tad lighter traffic-wise this time around, but what was also missing were more of the running machines from shows past. Clearly, there were exhibitors (slitter/rewinder suppliers, specifically) who had the space to display a machine (or even two) and conduct demonstrations. That’s what people come to see. That’s one thing that made ICE Europe so successful back in 2013 and 2015. Now, it wasn’t like going to the Chicago Auto Show, for example, and expecting to see and feel cars and getting only brochures to flip through. But in some cases, it was close.
So, here’s my plan for the longer-term success of the Munich event and next month’s ICE USA in Orlando. Please move the shows to alternate years like the Tarsus Group does with Labelexpo Europe in odd-numbered years and Labelexpo Americas in the evens. Being a year apart rather than a month is bound to make each event stand out stronger than they already do. It could make more European exhibitors exhibit in Florida, and more North American companies try their hand in Germany. It would certainly smooth out plenty of exhibitor marketing budgets by knowing that each year they would have to plan for a major converting and web-processing trade show, rather than spending like drunken sailors every two years.
Now, I understand a lot of reasons why show organizer Mack Brooks Exhibitions would object. Primarily, it would be the lost revenue from one show in the process of rescheduling the two events. Still, I think it might be coming clear that for the continued success of both shows, an alternating-continent/alternating-year approach is needed…and soon.