Super Show wants to help buyers be less overwhelmed

A massive trade show like The Super Show can make new attendees feel overwhelmed. So organizers want to offer a warm welcome with a Newcomer Ambassador Program.

Walking into a new company, a meeting with new colleagues or a party where you don't know anyone except the host can make you feel overwhelmed, anxious and unsure.

A massive trade show like The Super Show is no different, organizers say. So they're out to offer a warm welcome that should break the ice and help buyers -- especially newbies to the show -- feel more comfortable and be more productive.

Show management has proposed a so-called Newcomer Ambassador Program for the 2004 event set for Jan. 12-14 in Orlando, Fla., which will have members of the board of directors for show owner Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) personally contacting new or potential attendees within each of their areas of expertise.

Why the rush to warm-fuzzies? According to a survey by Target Management at the 2003 show, 41 percent of total buyers (individuals attending for the first time) admitted to feeling at least a little overwhelmed at how to “work the room.”

Show management says it projects about 6,000 to 8,000 new stores from around the world will be personally contacted by a member of the SGMA board of directors representing their industry segment over six months. If a particular segment is not represented on the board, another industry leader who is a long-time exhibitor at The Super Show will contact the new buyer directly to advise them on how to maximize show time and welcome the person.

“The Newcomer Ambassador Program is unique in the fact that this level of industry leader has never taken such a hands-on approach to make a personal contact with a new buyer,” said SGMA President John Riddle.

Participants in this inaugural program will be treated to a Welcome Party on the first day, Jan. 12, for a jump-start to The Super Show with an additional networking opportunity.

SNEWS View: This Newcomer Ambassador Program is a great idea really -- many conferences and some trade shows we know actually have first-timers meetings, orientations and first-night gatherings to help with such logistics and networking. No reason The Super Show should be any different. We can see another interesting twist here -- personally contacting thousands of stores who haven't attended, or at least not of late? Wow, seems as if the board will be put to work doing a bit of selling, too.


The Super Show's "super-ness" questioned by some

Although the fitness area at The Super Show had beefed up compared to recent years, the show's move this year to Orlando, Fla., from Las Vegas resulted in mostly desolate aisles, with some exhibitors and attendees not only questioning the huge visitor numbers flaunted by show more

Peter Haines and The Super Show part ways

The Super Show and its director for the last three years, Peter Haines, have parted ways, as of Jan. 28. As COO of show manager CSM, Haines came on in March 2002 with an option to buy the business that managed The Super Show for show owner SGMA. His goal was to return the more

The Super Show mellow, but still productive

In its last hurrah on the West Coast for at least three years, The Super Show in Las Vegas last week seemed to have steadied itself from its precipitous fall from glory of late, leaving many fitness and sports exhibitors and attendees saying they'd be back next year. "The show more

The Super Show touts growth with Orlando move

With a move to Orlando, Fla., for the next three years, The Super Show had to rebuild its entire layout and floor plans, including a major re-jiggering of its still-wet-behind-the-ears World of Sports Innovation (WOSI) -- of course, all the while hoping not only that more

The Super Show up for major reassessment

In its second year in Orlando, The Super Show has become a shadow of its former self as even some key buyers bailed this year at the last minute, leaving a few exhibitors questioning the expense to be there and calling the 20th-annual event a turning point in the show's life. more

The Super Show: Say good-night Gracie

Although only the first of three days of the last-ever Super Show was complete, attendees and exhibitors were already talking about how the show's demise, as well as the mere shadow of its former self it now was, was a pity. In a noon "State of the Industry" luncheon address by more

SGMA's future show strategy ousts The Super Show

In a not-truly-surprising announcement, the SGMA has said this month's 21st Super Show – an event on which the association had hung its hat for years but one that recently had lost its shine – will be its last. At the same time, the group revealed a post-Super Show plan more