Last week I traveled to New Orleans, LA for the second time in three months for my fourth consecutive Connect Marketplace, put on by Collinson Media and Events. If one were to hear of anyone claiming to have been to more Connect Marketplaces than I, that person would be fibbing, for I’ve been to all of them! That begins with their nascent entry into the market in 2009 at Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, which had roughly 300 people in attendance; to their anything but sophomoric return in 2009 at the Marriott in Louisville where the crowd was nearly twice that; to their bold and impressive 2010 meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago where they approached nearly 1,000 total participants; and finally this year at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside where rumor has it, they Connected 1,300 people.I remain a huge advocate for this conference as they are the leaders in putting on the most current, potent and high level education topics, incredible networking opportunities and events, and are the industry pioneers in the appointment based trade show concept where thoroughly vetted planners sit in their booths and take back-to-back-to-back (and then some) appointments with interested suppliers.
No tradeshow more respects the notion that our time is valuable than does this one. Somehow they are able to synthesize quantity and quality better than anyone else in the industry right now. Of the forty four appointments I had in two days, I’d say I have legitimate business for maybe 35 of them. If every supplier went home with business from 80% of their appointments as I’m suggesting, then despite the rather high price of admission, there is uncanny return on their investment at Connect.
I will continue to go to Connect Marketplace so long as I’m invited. And for those with a bent towards religious programming, I can advocate blindly for their Rejuvenate Marketplace; and similarly for those working the corporate market segment, I am confident you’ll find the same exciting experience at Collaborate Marketplace. See you all in Milwaukee in 2013!