I’m on the SPX mailing list and just received an email about the dates for the 2007 event, including registration dates. The SPX website is known far and wide for its “slow as molasses in (pre-global warming) January” update schedule, so for purposes of Google indexing, I’ll post the announcement here (although the email claimed the site would be updated this week):
SPX has announced that their 2007 show will be held October 12-13 at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel & Conference Center.
Exhibitor Registration for SPX 2007 will open on January 21, 2007. Forms will be available for download at the web site www.spxpo.com at that time.
First and foremost, note that the event will again be held at the expensive and ill-located Marriott “Bethesda” in Rockville. This was pretty much a foregone conclusion of course, not just because last year’s show was a success, but if what I overheard via my extremely rude eavesdropping at last year’s event is to be believed, the Marriott was pleased with attendance, room bookings, etc. And, location and expense aside, it really is a much nicer hotel and the general consensus on the “big room” seems to be positive.
The note, from new Executive Director, Karon Flage, also included this interesting tidbit: “I don’t plan on making any major changes in the show structure in my first year of running the show…” This is a direct reference to an online survey that exhibitors at last year’s show were asked to fill out, but one can maybe read a bit into it given some of the questions asked. Thankfully the survey is still online–and since the original email was still in my gmail account, I went back and refreshed my memory on it. Here are a few questions from which one might deduce some of the changes that were perhaps under consideration, but which are apparently not in the works for SPX 2007–a few stand out:
Q) Would you like to see a larger show with more exhibitors?
A) Yes / No / Yes, if it keeps tables prices down
Q) Would you like to see SPX move to a Saturday/Sunday show? (Note: The Ignatz Ceremony will always be held the second night of the show. As a festival award, voting must be available both days of the show.)
A) Yes / No / Yes if exhibitor setup was available Friday night instead of early Saturday morning.
The latter question of a possible day shift has clearly been ditched–the 12 & 13th of October are a Friday/Saturday. As to the former, my guess here–and of course this is all exactly that–is that, despite much talk of potentially adding more space to the “floor” and perhaps letting volume bring down the per-table exhibitor price–this has likewise been shelved.
The survey also contained a few questions about two acknowledged problem areas of last year’s show:
Q) Did you attend the Ignatz Ceremony this year?
A) Yes / No / I wanted to but couldn’t get in
Q) Did you attend the Sunday exhibitor programming (the Small Press Summit)?
A) Yes / No / No, I didn’t know about it /No, the topics did not appeal to me
Regarding these items–the overcrowded Ignatz ceremony, and the lack of any real information about Sunday programming–I’d hazard a guess that they don’t fall under the heading of “major changes.” The fact that they were on the survey indicates to me that the powers that be are aware of these relatively minor problems and will likely do something to attempt to remedy them, although I’m not sure what to make of the fact that the announced dates of the show don’t include Sunday the 14th. On the one hand, if promotion of Sunday programming is a recognized problem, it’s hard to imagine that they’d neglect to include the date as a part of the show’s announced schedule. On the other hand, they didn’t include the day last year on the website, etc. and there was (supposedly) Sunday programming then.
Personally, yeah, I’m gonna go. I’ve gone to this event for the last four years or so and SPX is really the only East Coast indy-friendly show that I can afford to attend (MoCCA being out for that reason)… particularly now that the “Indy Island” portion of Charlotte N.C.’s Heroes Con
seems to be no more is perhaps in doubt, given the departure of Heroes “indy guy” Dustin Harbin.
After every convention season, I usually make a “vow” of the, “Next year I’m gonna…” format. In past years it’s been to get a cell phone, buy a laptop, get one of those rolly cart things, etc. Last year’s vow for this year’s season: I will get takeout or delivery and eat dinner at SPX in my hotel room. 100% of my dinner experiences last year involved some sort of trauma: overpriced mediocre food at the hotel restaurant, a lengthy freezing hike down the Rockville Pike, restaurants with an hour and a half wait time to get seated, missed Ignatz ceremony because of slow service, etc. Pizza Hut, here I come!