Reed Exhibitions & Urban Expositions Expand Trade Show Portfolios with Niche Industry Events

June 15, 2017

Two major trade show producers recently have added specialty conventions to their extensive event portfolios.

Reed Exhibitions acquired the Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree, a consumer event focused on the growing tiny house movement.

The event will collaborate with the National Tiny House Jamboree to host the world’s largest tiny house and simple living consumer convention, set for Oct. 27-29 at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, Texas.

Founded in 2015, the Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree grew to attract more than 50,000 attendees in just its second year, while the 2017 show is expected to draw close to 60,000 tiny house enthusiasts, builders, sustainability advocates and curiosity seekers.

While the exact number of tiny homes in the U.S. is unknown, there are more than 30 tiny house communities across the country, and the trend appears to be growing as more people look to lessen their environmental footprint, live debt-free and take on less financial risk with large homes and mortgages in uncertain times.

“We are thrilled to bring the Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree to Arlington,” said Nancy Walsh, president of Reed Exhibitions U.S.

She continued, “We recognize the growth in the tiny house movement and appreciate the passion of those devoted to small, smart and sustainable living. As we grow the event and increase education around the industry, we are looking to expand into other cities to expose more people to this exciting movement.”

Featuring 60 tiny house structures, exhibits, keynote speakers, entertainment and kids’ zones, the event will also offer 30 hours of educational programming covering a wide range of topics including preparing for your first weekend in a tiny house; tiny building practices; techniques for downsizing, and simple, smart and sustainable living solutions.

In addition, attendees will have the chance to explore a variety of tiny living products and services such as construction equipment, furnishings and appliances, interior design and outdoor living products.

New to the show will be the DIY Village, where tiny house owners can relocate their living quarters to the event’s outdoor exhibit space.

Throughout the festival, curious visitors will have the opportunity to explore the structures and ask homeowners about building and living the tiny house life.

Meanwhile, Urban Expositions acquired HAuNTcon, the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Conference for the Haunted House Industry, complementing its specialty portfolio that includes Halloween & Party Expo, while reinforcing its market position for the Halloween, party and celebration industries.

Beginning in 2018, HAuNTcon and Halloween & Party Expo will collocate under one roof at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Set for Jan 12-15, the combined events will provide Halloween and haunt professionals with one-stop access to a comprehensive range of products and services including haunted attractions, costume stores, party stores, amusement and theme parks, family entertainment centers, grocers, drug stores and gift stores. 

In addition, the two global industry brands will join forces to share industry trends, offer innovative and relevant education, and provide a collaborative environment for networking and business exchanges, thereby providing an enhanced experience for an anticipated 3,000 industry professionals and 350 exhibitors.

“HAuNTcon brings together people who love Haunted Houses, Halloween and scaring people, for four fun-filled days and nights of haunt tours, special events, education and networking,” said Leonard Pickel, HAuNTcon founder, who will continue with the show as industry advisor and work with the Urban team on joint activities including educational offerings, specialty tours and the HAuNTcon costume ball. 

He continued, “Teaming up and co-locating with Halloween & Party Expo allows us to take HAuNTcon to a totally new level that we could not have possibly done before.”

With U.S. consumers spending more than $8 billion on the spooky holiday in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, it makes sense that Urban would combine the two events into a larger, more enhanced experience for those who make their living from one of the nation’s largest commercial holidays.

According to Michael Carlucci, senior vice president of Urban Expositions’ specialty show portfolio, Halloween attraction owners will indeed benefit from an expanded exhibit hall, advanced education program and more networking opportunities. 

“We are thrilled to offer our customers this opportunity to develop relationships with professionals representing the entire spectrum of the Halloween market in New Orleans this January,” Carlucci said. 

He added, “This collaboration is just one example of our strategic priority to add value for our customers. We look forward to working with Leonard, who brings a level of expertise in Haunt to our team.”

Going forward, the goal of the two events will remain the same – to offer both buyers and exhibitors new business opportunities and in-person connections within the industry, according to Michele Biordi, executive director of the Halloween Industry Association and partner of the Halloween & Party Expo.

“The decision to collocate these two events was made to offer face-to-face business and networking solutions to haunted attraction owners, as well as Halloween and party retailers, to network and share best practices all under one roof,” she said.

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.