America’s trade show industry is a vital part of our economy. There are more than 13,000 trade shows in this country each year, and they generate revenues of $100 billion annually. More than 120 million people attend these events, resulting in billions more for the travel, hotel and restaurant industries. Every industry has at least one major trade show that brings competitors together to discuss their common challenges and inspect the latest tools of the trade.
This puts into perspective the recognition that the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition received last month by Tradeshow Week, which named IRCE the fastest growing conference and trade show in the country. When you compete with 13,000 organizations for this coveted award, actually winning it is an enormous honor.
The honor is shared by all 30 employees of Vertical Web Media, which owns IRCE and the Internet Retailer media family. They include:
Our Conference Team: Steve Rogers, our exhibition director, represented all of us when he accepted the award at the Tradeshow Week Fastest Fifty banquet in Baltimore last month. Steve is assisted by Marisa Snell, our conference services director. Eileen O’Neill, our conference coordinator, keeps our entire conference operation running smoothly. And Erin Dowd manages our conference marketing program.
The Editorial Team: More than any other factor underlying the growth of IRCE is the incredible amount of content in the conference program. Our conference agenda, which will feature 179 speakers at IRCE 2009 in Boston next June, is developed by our 10-person editorial staff, which selects every speaker independent of the sales side. That team is headed by my partner of 25 years, Kurt Peters; and includes Don Davis, Internet Retailer’s editor; Mark Brohan, our research director; Paul Demery, IRM’s managing editor; and all other members of the editorial team: Bill Briggs, Katie Deatsch, Nesli Karakus, Jonathan Love, Bill Siwicki and Mary Wagner.
Our Advertising Team: The Exhibit Hall at IRCE 2009 will again constitute the largest display of e-retailing technology in the world-350 exhibiting companies. Our five-member advertising staff sells all advertising related to the show and maintains the day-to-day relationships with our ad clients who also are our exhibitors and sponsors. The team is managed by Molly Rogers, our vice president of advertising (and VWM partner), and her ad sales group, including Nancy Bernardini (another VWM partner), Judy Dellert, Dave Cappelli, Cindy Wilkins and Farnia Ghavami.
Our Support Team: Marketing and signage materials for IRCE are produced by Tom Chambers, our production director, who is assisted by Matt Love, who manages distribution of e-mail promotions for the show. Customer service for the conference is handled by Chaz McCrobie-Quinn, who also processes all group registrations, and by Linda Ragusin, our circulation manager. Our conference registration process is managed by Michelle Suchomel, our IT director, and her assistant, Teresa Covelli. All billing and payments for the conference are managed by senior bookkeeper Sue Kroeger and controller Andrew Podlasik.
Each member of this team works tirelessly for months preparing for the show and each puts in long hours at the event. Without them, we could never have built IRCE into the largest e-retailing show. Without them, the award we got from TSW would be meaningless.