Published: October 9, 2001
NEW YORK CITY – Forty of the city’s top show management companies, exhibition equipment suppliers, teamsters, longshoremen, electricians, carpenters, display equipment and decorating companies met at Madison Square Garden Thursday, October 4, to discuss the future of special events in New York City. The forum was hosted by Stella Show Mgmt. Co., producers of some of the city’s largest antiques and collectibles events.
The tone of the morning was one of solidarity and strength as representatives of these organizations searched for solutions that will bring event and show business back to the city. Effected are the producers of large antique, art, design, book and craft consumer shows as well as major trade events previously scheduled for the city’s armories, piers and Jacob Javitz Convention Center – now utilized for disaster services.
Overall, these shows produce in excess of $100 million a year for the city and state economy and provide thousands of jobs for the union and tradespeople involved in their production. Fall events have already been lost, with show managers seeking new venues for their next big season in January.
Attending the event were representatives from ENK, Sanford Smith & Associates, The Houghton Organization, The Armory Art Show, Art Dealers Association of America, Stella Show Mgmt. Co., Teamsters Local 807, CSI, International Terminal Operators, WNYC Radio, and others.
“The city is just now beginning to understand the full spill-over effect caused by the events of September 11,” commented Elise Kroll, head of ENK, an organization that produces important trade shows monthly. “The city is not ignoring the needs of groups such as ours, but they are overlooked. We are looking at January, February or March before these needs are addressed.”
Meanwhile, the search for space is on. A major concern voiced by the group is whether local governmental help can be obtained to assist in restoring current exhibit spaces, or speeding up construction permits and COs so that raw space can be converted into exhibition space quickly.
“We must continue to have an open dialogue among show producers,” noted Stella Shows spokesperson, Joan Tramontano. “We must continue to share information and help each other to help New York gain back its event business. We can – and will – make a difference by bringing thousands of tourists to New York City.”
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