STAFDA has been faced with the challenge of a trade show that has sold out months ahead of opening its doors.
STAFDA (the Speciality Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association) runs an annual Convention & Trade Show for the tool and fastener business in the USA, at a different venue each year. This year’s edition is in Austin, running 12-14 November and has seen unprecedented demand, selling out by the end of July.
The show floor was reconfigured three times, an additional exhibit hall was attempted to be secured – twice – from another other group in-house at the show venue, and STAFDA has been exploring other exhibit space options for over a month. The waitlist for exhibit space is significant and it’s STAFDA’s goal to accommodate as many companies as possible. The good news is that STAFDA has now added more exhibit space in the Austin Hilton.
The Austin Hilton solution
The Austin Hilton is across the street from the Convention Centre and has two sections of its ballroom that can accommodate 42, 10x10s. The ballroom is on the 6th floor of the hotel and STAFDA will have signage getting people from the Centre to the Hilton. This includes in STAFDA’s registration area and inside/outside the Trade Show entrance (listing the names of the companies at the Hilton). This would also be marked in the on-site convention program.
STAFDA will still maintain the waiting list sequence in the event something opens up in the Trade Show so an exhibitor currently in the Hilton for example, would have the option to move into the Trade Show in the Convention Center. Another member on the waiting list would then take this company’s booth space in the Hilton.
STAFDA was originally planning on having a poker run at the Austin Trade Show to maximise exhibitor exposure and this was before the show sold out! However, having a poker run between the Center and the Hilton will circulate attendees through both buildings, STAFDA said.