By Gary Reichert
We do trade shows as well as publish magazines. We own and promote the Garage, Shed & Carport Builder Show (Greenville, South Carolina, January 18-19, 2023) and the Construction Rollforming Show (Cincinnati, Ohio, September 27-28, 2023).
One of the dirty little secrets about trade shows is there are many hidden ways they make money. Rather than hide revenue streams, the honest thing to do to increase revenue would be increase the cost of attendance.
One thing that makes me angry is when I go to the show and the promoters are getting a commission on the hotel rooms. When you book rooms for a show (ours included) always check the room rates through independent sources like Expedia or Kayak, or call the hotel and do not reference the event.
The difference between the group rate and the common rate can be significant. Occasionally over $100 per night.
I believe all businesses should be fairly compensated for their work. Part of compensation “being fair” is the purchaser knowing what they are getting for their money. If a show has 1,000 attendees and gets a commission of $25 per room night that can easily be an additional $30,000 or more. Shows are 100% about revenue, and it is fair and good to charge what the market will allow. Jacking up the accommodation rates when your clients think they are getting “a deal” just feels wrong.
If any of our hotels show a lower rate anywhere, please bring it to my attention. As part of our agreement with the hotels, we are guaranteed the lowest available rate for the days of our events. If that is not so, please let me know so I can make the hotel abide by the terms of our agreement and be certain you are treated fairly.