Showfloor Buzz – September 1, 2023


EACA Member Meeting at The Randy  The EACA Board has announced that there will be a meeting for all members who will be in Atlanta for the 29th Annual Randy.   The Annual Member meeting at The Randy provides an opportunity for all members to connect with the EACA Board, receive updates on EACA initiatives and activities and to bring awareness to the Board on challenges and opportunities the members are currently experiencing.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, October 5 at 2pm to 4pm at the offices of Nth Degree and current EACA President, Ben Power.   All those who plan to attend are requested to RSVP to Executive Director, Jim Wurm at [email protected]

EACA to Exhibit/Meet at EDPA ACCESS  The EACA has confirmed that not only will we hold our end of year Board meeting but that EACA will also have a booth in the EDPA Showcase.

The end of year EACA Board meeting includes the election of new Directors to the Board and the introduction of the new Officers for 2024.    Any member interested in considering a position on the EACA Board is requested to email Executive Director, Jim Wurm at [email protected]EDPA ACCESS takes place Nov. 28-30 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, FL.

EAC Registration Schedule. EACA is supporting the following events with our EAC registration services:

Pack Expo                            Sept. 11-13             Las Vegas
NBAA                                    Oct. 17-19               Las Vegas
RSNA                                    Nov. 26-29               Chicago
Winter Fancy Foods            Jan. 21-23               Las Vegas

EACA Salary Survey.  A quick reminder to any EACA member that participated in the 2023 Salary Survey and didn’t receive your copy please email Executive Director Jim Wurm ([email protected]) and we’ll send it out right away.

EACA Member News

Willwork Names Zimmerman VP Operations  John Zimmerman has joined Willwork as their new VP Operations.    With more than 40 years of I&D operations experience Zimmerman brings a wealth of industry knowledge and relationships that will prove vital in his new position.

Bill Nixon, President of Willwork, said “hiring John will help us put more focus and concentrated effort in our I&D operations. We feel like we’ve added one of the best there is in trade show operations.”

Zimmerman started his career with I&D (now known as Nth Degree) and then started his own company called Zenith LaborNet.    Zenith later merged with Nth Degree.    He spend the last couple years working with Eagle Management before his recent move to Willwork.

Lancaster Names Harnois Atlanta City Manager  Lancaster Management has recently named Dalton Harnois as their new Atlanta City Manager.    Patrick Lancaster said, “Harnois brings showfloor experience, creative ideas and a ton of excitement to the growing trade show market of Atlanta.  We’re excited to have him as part of our management team.”

Golf Slots are Filling Up at the 29th Annual Randy.   The Randy reports that golf slots are filling up quickly for this year’s event This that takes place on October 6th once again at Stone Mountain Golf Club in Stone Mountain, GA.

The strong early response to participate in the 29th Annual event has also completely filled one of the hotels for the event.   The Atlanta Evergreen Resort is sold out but the Randy Board has secured other room blocks for those who have yet to make a reservation.

Hotel rooms are available at the County Inn & Suites and the Holiday Inn Express which are both located a short distance outside the park.    Click here for information on how to make your reservation.

Take Advantage of New Health Insurance Offering. The EACA has recently joined the Small Association Leadership Alliance (SALA) in order to take advantage of their health insurance programs which can offer discounts up to 50% of what companies and individuals typically pay for coverages with carriers like Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Member companies, or individual employees of member companies, can enroll in the program.  Additional information on how members take advantage of these programs is on the EACA website.  Click on Healthcare Insurance for a program overview.  When you click on SALA Healthcare Program you will come to a page where you can see a link to Enroll Now.

If need assistance in getting your program set up there is a 24/7 Concierge Service to assist you.  

Just send an email to [email protected]

Industry News

Fast Forward Events Acquires Craft Beverage Expo <TSNN>   Fast Forward Events has expanded its portfolio of events in the adult alcohol beverage industry with acquisition of the Craft Beverage Expo & Distribution Conference (CBE), the Craft Beverage Experience and the Women in Craft Symposium. CBE Co-Founder Kellie Shevlin joins Fast Forward as vice president, sales and marketing.

Created by Shevlin and industry veteran Vincent Polito, CBE has connected professionals and enthusiasts across the craft alcohol beverage space for the past decade. The event is focused on small-batch beverages including beer, wine, spirits, mead and cider and the issues that producers face — from finding the right technology and equipment for their operations to getting their beverages onto store shelves. In 2023, the B2B and B2C events were held March 29-April 2 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

OVG Hires Thomas Jr to Run McCormick Place <TSNN>  Oak View Group (OVG), which takes over venue management for Chicago’s McCormick Place on Oct. 1, named veteran convention and hospitality executive Samuel Thomas Jr. as senior vice president and general manager of the campus, which includes McCormick Place, featuring 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space, the 10,000-seat Wintrust Arena and the 4,249-seat Arie Crown Theater.

Thomas, who will relocate to Chicago from Washington, D.C., where he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Events DC, will begin his new role the first week of September.

Freeman Acquires Sparks <Northstar Meetings Group>  Dallas-based events and brand-experience giant Freeman has acquired Philadelphia-based Sparks, combining two large events agencies with a significant roster of corporate clients. Sparks, which will maintain its brand and operational structure, is now known by Sparks, a Freeman Company. As part of the sale, former Sparks owner Eagle Tree Capital has fully exited its investment in the agency. Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed.

“This combination reinforces our leadership position in the industry and sets the stage for future success,” said Scott Tarte, co-owner and past CEO of Sparks. “By harnessing our collective strengths, Sparks, a Freeman Company, will be well-positioned to continue a legacy of innovation and excellence, crafting meaningful experiences for Fortune 1000 brands.”

Informa Plans to Acquire HIMSS  A London-based international business-to-business company that already has extensive investments in U.S. business-to-business ventures, has announced that it is ready to acquire the HIMSS Conference, the annual conference presented by the 120,000-member, Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).