I used to love regional shows, The Charlotte Show, The Texas Shows, Gutenberg, and the only one left—Miami. They are generally more relaxed than the cauldron of McCormick Place. Setup and break down was certainly easier. I miss swimming in the pool at the hotel at Gutenberg and the Cajun food at the Charlotte and Texas shows.
Why did they die? The answer is a chicken and egg problem. Low turnout caused less exhibitors to show their wares but which came first? I remember visiting customers in southern California and attempting to get them down to the show. Few did. I venture to guess that the closer a bindery or printer’s facility was to the show site, the less likely they would show up.
Some say the best solution is to rotate Graph Expo to different locations every other year like this year’s show in Orlando. Then printers could have brought their families to Disney World or Universal, and attend the show for a day or two. Then after I sold all the machines in my booth I declared; “I’m going to Disney World!” Food for thought.
The jury is still out though as many exhibitors prefer to exhibit in Chicago.