The Super Show beating "Innovation world" drums loudly

With The Super Show and its new World of Sports Innovation edging closer, the company says registration numbers are up. What do those numbers mean?
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With The Super Show and its new World of Sports Innovation edging closer to the Jan. 20 opening, the company says registration numbers are up this year over last, and more than 100 companies will unveil in the "WOSI" with some 300 displays. To see who's participating, go to http://thesupershow.com/Sports_Innovation/participatingcompanies.htm. To see renderings of the 11 different sports "worlds," go to www.thesupershow.com/renderings. The WOSI will be some 150,000 square feet. A pre-show reception will be Jan. 19, as will the media tour of the 300-plus interactive displays. Admission to these events is by invitation only. Interested? Contact Heather, 1-800-327-3736, ext. 176, or email heather@csmipi.com. The Super Show runs Jan. 20-22 in Las Vegas, Nev. -- likely its last year on the West Coast for a few years before it moves to Orlando, Fla.

SNEWS View: The show's newsletter touted some impressive numbers about the percent of companies in different categories that were coming. For example, "80 percent of the leading fitness companies will be flexing their muscles at the show," and "71 percent of the leading outdoor companies will be pitching their tents (and other gear)." But what you don't know is how those percentages are calculated, who are on the lists and where the lists come from. What does "leading" mean? We were told it is based on the judgment of the management. Show director Peter Haines told SNEWS: "We maintain a database of all manufacturers in each category. We know who our participants are and match them against the 'universe.' We know the size and significance of some. We make assumptions on others. That's where the management judgment comes in."

After decades of experience in the fitness and outdoor industries, SNEWS humbly thinks it knows a little bit about who is a leading company and who is not. And to say that 80 percent of the leading fitness companies and 71 percent of leading outdoor are going to be there makes us look askance and wonder why so many of our readers (all from those "leading" companies) tell us they aren't going.

Now, despite that criticism, don't get us wrong. We do think the "new" Super Show is going to be a gigantic improvement over the last few years and have much more to offer than in the -- how do we say it? -- recent waning years of the show. It fills a niche, particularly for sporting goods stores and international markets. We think Haines has put a lot on the line to push the envelope on creativity to bring the show back to the living, attract more exhibitors, and all signs are promising. But if one is going to release figures, they need to have solid lists behind them. You can't truly research the lists of companies on the website either since you have to choose one of umpteen product categories, or scroll down pull-down lists (except for WOSI exhibitors). What is "exercise equipment" compared to "fitness products" compared to "gym equipment"? Why is "treadmills" a separate category but elliptical trainers isn't? Fila makes exercise equipment? According to the list, it does. Johns Toys and Sporting Goods makes fitness products? According to the list, it does. What the heck is "environmental apparel?" Note too that many companies appear on multiple lists. We'd love to see printable PDF files that list exhibitors by category. And that means each exhibitor only appears ONCE on the lists, not three or four times, based strictly on the area in which they are setting up their booth.

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