The JCK Advisory Board

It is appropriate to acknowledge a group of industry leaders who since 1991 have helped guide The JCK Shows through the rocks and shoals of the trade show business. It’s not an easy task: Show managers must deal with owners and entrepreneurs who are writing checks for the goods and services they buy when attending a show.

Charles Bond, who was at the time the publisher of JCK magazine, formed the original advisory board. Since then, the board has remained largely intact, with only a few changes. Charlie selected a diverse group: manufacturers who sold to the majors and those who sold to independents; representatives from the retail community, both major stores and independents; and some industry association representatives. The board’s primary objective was to provide advice and counsel to The JCK Shows on various topics.

Advisory board meetings have been interesting, combative, and sometimes routine—but never dull. Everyone on the board has an opinion and is more than willing to express it.

During the past eight weeks, the genesis of another trade show in Las Vegas began. This new show would have taken place in another hotel far from the Sands Convention Center where The JCK Show is held. The organizers of the show sought to compete head-on with The JCK Show during the same time frame—attempting, in effect, to ride on JCK‘s coattails.

Several months prior, The JCK Show Advisory Board discussed and debated the issue of one location or two for the venue-bound, sold-out JCK Show ~ Las Vegas. There is a waiting list of several hundred exhibitors who wish to get space in the Show, and many existing exhibitors would like to expand the space they now occupy—a tough problem for any show management company. Plenty of customers who are ready, willing, and able to pay, but no place to put them—sounds like a no-brainer, right?

The advisory board addressed the matter of providing more space to existing exhibitors and accommodating those on the waiting list. Their collective opinion was that the show should stay in one location, and the preferred location was the Sands.

The retail members of the board were clear on one thing: They did not want to go to the other end of town to see their suppliers. Having everything under one roof makes it relatively easy to do the job they need to do. The manufacturers also endorsed the idea of a single location despite the difficulties involved, especially lack of space.

Business guru Peter Drucker once said that the goal of every business is to produce satisfied customers. That’s easier said than done, but the advice and counsel of The JCK Show advisory board have helped the Show and JCK magazine meet this basic objective.

So thank you, Ed, Marvin, Ari, Avi, Babette, Bob, Jay, Ken, Jon, Larry, Roland, Charlotte, Cindy, Earl, Isaac, Simone, Doug, Robert, Carl, Clayton, Dave, Jeff, John, Juell, Marion, Mark, and Sissy. Your interest and involvement have helped The JCK Show prosper and grow—the right way.

fdallahan@reedbusiness.com