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PlanetChristmas Magazine July 2012

Christmas Expo 2013 Want to help our community? I’m worn out. By Chuck Smith IASAP. What can I do to help? is balancing the needs of the attendees, theirThe trick to the success of Christmas Expowas pleased because we produced a top qualityevent that proved we were real.t started the last day of Christmas Expo2011. When and where is the next one? Iwant to sign up now. Let’s start planning As the producer of what started as PLUS families and the vendors. The event must be in and evolved into Christmas Expo, all I wanted a location easy for people to get to which tends to do was close out the 2011 show and take a to limit our focus to major cities or at least be well-deserved rest before giving any thought to close to them. Seems must people arrange their the next event. It’s hard for people to imaging family vacation around the Christmas show so how much work goes into creating a successful the area must provide entertainment for fam- Christmas show. ily members not interested in our passion. Here’s the deal for 2013. I’m looking for Finally, enough people must attend to justify someone to take over producing and financ- the vendors coming and showing their wares. ing the event. I’ve done five of them and I’m Where many have the belief of ‘sticking it to tired. the vendors to pay for everything,’ what they In reality, I long to go to a Christmas Expo, don’t realize is vendors need to make a profit or attend the classes, visit the vendors and enjoy they won’t be back for the next event. We need talking with other passionate decorators with- them as much as they need us. out having to worry about everything being in I’ve talked to professional meeting planners the right place at the right time. and they can get incredibly clever with financ- But... my standards are very high and I insist ing our event in such a way where you could Christmas Expo stay a first class event anyone think everything is free. Move enough hotel attending would be proud of. rooms and you might get free meeting space. Interested? Keep reading. Get enough meeting space and you might A small group of us started this event qualify for significant banquet discounts. Buy back in 2003. We realized there were no enough banquet meals and you might get a free Christmas tradeshows in the USA so who bet- banquet hall. They lead you to the impression ter to put one on than over-the-top decora- if you sign a thick contract today then every- tors. PlanetChristmas provided $1,000 of seed thing will pay for itself tomorrow. The key money to get things going and before I knew to success is everyone must stay in the same it, I was also in charge. The event ended up in hotel and pay a premium price for their rooms. Nashville, Tennessee in a fancy hotel confer- When I’d suggest I was a Christmas guy so ence center next door to my office. I called in why should I be fretting about moving hotel every favor I could think of to keep costs low and rooms the response was always ‘because that’s 125 decorating fanatics had a great weekend. I how you produce a show.’ I don’t think so. 58 PlanetChristmas | July 2012


PlanetChristmas Magazine July 2012
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