Reed Exhibitions (RX) is launching eight new trade shows this year across six cities: Chicago; Las Vegas; Orlando; New York; Portland, Oregon; and San Diego. A combination of B2B and B2C, the new events include collaborations with leading media brands and associations, geo-clones of RX global brands and value chain extensions of existing RX events.
“Launching new events is an integral strategic pillar for business growth at RX,” says Hervé Sedky, president of Reed Exhibitions, Americas. “We launched eight events in 2018 that will continue in 2019. To date, RX [Americas] has approved eight additional launches for 2019 with further launches expected for 2020.” In addition, RX is open to collaboration on new show launches for 2020, he added.
RX’s LaunchPad division, created in 2017 to launch events with staying power that will drive RX business growth, appears to have it down to a science. According to Marie Browne, LaunchPad group vice president, the division is continually conducting sector research to identify growth areas as well as space in the market for new shows that could meet an underserved audience. “We have a formal process for evaluating these opportunities, which includes a combination of desk research. But more importantly, we interview and survey attendee and exhibitor prospects as well as industry experts,” Browne said. She continued, “From this input, we determine the best city, venue type and time of year for the event to meet market demand. There are times when we have a great event concept but we may have to delay the event launch until we can secure the right time and location.” Of the 50 shows that RX owns and runs in the U.S., approximately 16 were launched in the last couple of years, she added.
Here are some of the new RX shows on table for 2019:
Racquet & Paddle Sports Show
Held Jan. 23-25 at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando and co-located with PGA Merchandise Show, Racquet & Paddle Sports Show is a collaboration with the Tennis Industry Association. This multi-faceted tennis, racquet and paddle sports industry event featured hands-on product demos and an opening welcome party at the USTA National Center. The inaugural year was conference-driven with plans for a large-scale event beginning next year.
Co-locating with Book Expo, Unbound Expo will be held May 29-31 at Javits Center in New York City. This curated collection of bookish goods will present merchandise buyers from independent and chain bookstores, museum stores and specialty retailers with a range of complementary products to help grow and expand their non-book offerings.
Outside Experience will be held July 13-14 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Produced in collaboration with Outside magazine, which reaches 8 million active lifestyle readers per year, the new show will feature the latest gear and adventure vehicles. It will also offer attendees the chance to paddle on Lake Michigan, demo mountain bikes on an indoor dirt trail and enjoy new adventure films.
As a curated convention and festival bringing the world of complex media to life in the areas of pop culture, music, art, food, style, sports, innovation, activism and education, ComplexCon Chicago will debut July 20-21 at McCormick Place. The show is a geographic extension of the popular Long Beach event, which is entering its fourth edition in 2019 and attracts 60,000 fans.
Independent Home Improvement Show
Independent Home Improvement Show powered by NHS will be held Aug. 13-15 at McCormick Place. IHIS is designed to connect independent home improvement retailers with leading manufacturers to create personalized, meaningful connections and develop strategic sourcing opportunities.
Functional Fabric Fair Portland
Functional Fabric Fair Portland powered by Performance Days will be held Oct. 22-23 at Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. Showcasing the latest trends in fabric development for the functional textile industry, the event is open and complimentary to verified designers, product, purchasing or material managers looking to source fabrics and accessories for sportswear, workwear, sport fashion and athleisure apparel.
JIS West Coast
Designed to target West Coast jewelry buyers, JIS West Coast will be held Nov. 2-4 at San Diego Convention Center. As a trade-only jewelry “buying and selling” event now in its fourth decade serving the industry, the Jewelers International Showcase’s flagship show takes place in Miami three times per year to coincide with U.S. and Latin American buying cycles.
Salon du Chocolat NY
As an event that connects cocoa producers, chocolatiers, pastry chefs and thousands of individuals who are passionate about chocolate, Salon du Chocolat NY will be held Nov. 15-17 at Javits Center. The show will incorporate elements of the world-renowned Paris version of the show (and from 32 cities around the world), including a chocolate fashion show and a full schedule of delicious demonstrations and hands-on workshops.
2020 and Beyond
RX has multiple events in the pipeline for next year, including Equitana USA, which will be held Oct. 2-4 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. The annual event for equine enthusiasts is a geo-clone of EQUITANA held in Essen, Germany, one of the largest equestrian sports shows in the world that attracts more than 200,000 visitors and 750 exhibitors over nine days.