Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Space Allocation 2009: Day 1—Morning Session, Part 2

11:54 a.m.: The committee is breaking for lunch now. Should be back around 12:30 p.m. Spectrum Sports International, No. 174, was the last booth placed during the morning session. I'll back in a little while with comments from some committee members.

11:44 a.m.:
One thing that continually impresses me throughout this whole process is the amount of knowledge and experience that comes into play during the Space meeting. Any time a snag occurs, people attack the problem and put their heads together to solve it. Most of the time they're speaking a trade-show language I have no hope of understanding, but they understand it, so that's the important thing. Redrawing the floor plan on the fly, adapting to multiple requests … it's like they can see the floor, already built, in their heads and can move the pieces around like a 3-D model. And then eight months from now, we'll take all this work and turn it into an amusement park under the LVCC roof.

11:23 a.m.:
Placements are flowing well right now, overall. I asked my colleague Pete Barto, head of the IAAPA Exhibit Sales Team, about it and he said "the floor is starting to take shape." I'll have more on this at the lunch break when I talk to committee members. Right now we're on Intercard, No. 166.

10:57 a.m.:
We're on No. 143, Designs in Motion, and I'm told we've now rounded the quarter pole, with more than 25 percent of contracts assigned. Right now there are more than 94,000 square feet of booths placed on the floor. Still lots of chatter in the room, as everyone's working hard on the phones, on the big board, and between one another to make sure every detail is ironed out.

10:34 a.m.:
Back up now. That was quick. Here's hoping for a good run leading up to the 12:30 p.m. lunch break.

10:32 a.m.:
And … we're on a little hold again. Welcome to Space Allocation 2009, everybody. It's definitely an adventure.

10:30 a.m.:
OK, they're back in action. Just placed No. 128, National Pizza Products.

10:27 a.m.:
Hit another holdup as we get caught up on the redrawn floor plan and resending those confirmation e-mails.

Some exhibitors this morning may have received their confirmation e-mails with an incorrect link to the current interactive floor plan. The team resent the e-mail, so be sure to use the most recent one if you want to check out your spot. Or, you can click here.

10:08 a.m.:
Here's how the Space Allocation Meeting works: There are 13 members on the committee, and each is responsible for a particular segment of the M&S community; Chairman Jack Mendes handles games, Premier Rides' Jim Seay and Intamin's Vittorio Fabbri oversee ride manufacturers, Arihant's Rajen Shah watches over water rides, etc. As each company comes up for placement, the according committee rep speaks up on the exhibitor's behalf and ensures the booth ends up in the best possible spot, related to the company's stated preferences. These guys are on their phones all day long, touching base with their groups and working through options. I've never been in a National Football League draft "war room," but I imagine it's kinda like this.

9:48 a.m.:
First, had to start a new post because the last one wouldn't let me update for some reason, sorry 'bout that. The break actually took about 20 minutes because the committee redrew a chunk of the floor plan on the fly to accommodate several requests. You can view the updated floor plan here.

Live TV, baby—ain't nothin' like it.

9:30 a.m.:
The committee's taking a 10-minute break. After an hour, they've assigned about 30 booths. When they come back, next up is Seniority No. 110, SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment.

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