JCK’S SHOW ADVISORY BOARD: YOUR ADVOCATES AT WORK
Advisory boards often are little more than rubber-stamp groups whose names on official stationery add a glow of prestige to some event or cause. This is far from the case with the JCK Show Advisory Board. This 22-member group of suppliers, retailers and association executives is a working board which has a direct say in almost every aspect of the show’s operation.
Let’s look at just a few examples. Board votes have helped determine which days the show will be held and how many hours it should be open each day. The board has provided valuable advice on security issues. It has worked actively to help smooth the operations side of the show. And it has offered ready advice on how to improve food service in the exhibit hall.
Those few illustrations really do little to reveal the board’s true value. While it meets with the staff show planners three or four times a year for formal day-long sessions, some of the greatest help its members give comes through informal polls and telephone calls. Hardly a week goes by without some contact. Someone on the staff suggests a procedure that should speed up exhibitor registration. It sounds good, but we need input from exhibitor board members so we turn to the phones – and get excellent advice.
Or the issue may concern buyers. What’s the best way to make buyers feel more comfortable in such a large show, to help them find their way around? For this we turn to retailer board members for input.
When we first created the Show Advisory Board our goal was two-fold: to recruit men and women who we felt would give us frank and honest advice and to achieve a balance in board membership that would reflect the interests of both exhibitors and buyers.
We discovered very quickly that finding outspoken board members was not a problem! Finding the right balance in membership was more difficult. But by careful recruiting we now have a very good balance in size of business, type of business and geographic location.
One of the most rewarding aspects of our dealings with our Advisory Board has been its members’ total lack of selfishness. No member has ever pleaded a special cause to help his or her own firm. Just the opposite, in fact. On a number of occasions different board members have said publicly at one of our meetings, “This isn’t a step I’d like. But we should take it because it’s really for the good of the whole show and good for the industry.”
So, now, in behalf of the industry and the JCK Show, I take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks to this truly dedicated group of people.