Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
sent me an article that he wrote recently and was published on Twice.com. As I
read it, I was once again reminded of just how damaging outboarding is to our
trade show – AAPEX – and to all trade shows and the
organizations that produce them.
I am very proud of what AAPEX has
become over the past few years. AAPEX engages the auto care industry here in
North America and many other countries. We bring all of the stakeholders together
in one location to celebrate this great industry. I am sharing many of the
comments Gary made in his article and taken the liberty to interject the Auto
Care Association. I don’t think he will mind.
The Auto Care Association spends
tens of millions of dollars each year supporting and promoting our industry.
How does the Auto Care Association fund these initiatives? We produce an annual
trade show called AAPEX that generates the needed revenue.
But there some who take advantage
of the AAPEX venue. These people choose to go to Las Vegas each year during
AAPEX and pretend to be a part of the event. They set up in outer hotels,
construct displays, show off their products and provide transportation for
important clients. They even pretend that they are participating with AAPEX.
Make no mistake – these people are
not a part of AAPEX. They are engaging in a practice called “outboarding.”
Outboarding is harmful to us all.
While this practice may seem innocuous to many, outboarders unjustly benefit
from the energy and excitement derived by the tens of thousands of real
participants in AAPEX. The real participants invest in AAPEX and the industry
In addition to the actual damage,
there is the issue of fundamental fairness. Why should outboarding companies get
a free ride? They unjustly benefit from the show and all of the efforts of our
In his article, Gary provided a
list of reasons of why an outboarder should consider becoming a true exhibitor.
Here are my top 10, five of which Gary mentioned in his article.
- Credibility – Your customers will immediately recognize
your support and participation in our industry.
- Global reach – More than 11,000 buyers from outside of
United States attend AAPEX. AAPEX offers translation services, networking
opportunities and other benefits to connect you to potential partners
around the world.
- Media coverage – AAPEX provides official exhibitors with a
list of registered media. AAPEX offers numerous ways for official
exhibitors to contact the consumer and trade media that attend AAPEX.
- AAPEXShow.com – 24/7, 365 days a year. As an
official exhibitor, you have access to year-round promotion through the
AAPEX website Official exhibitors can create their very own unique listing
with video, product photos, press releases and brands.
- AAPEX App – The app gives our industry a directory of
suppliers at their finger tips with the option to search by brand, product
category or company name. More than 6,000 attendees downloaded the AAPEX
app last year.
- AAPEX IP Policy – Official exhibitors at AAPEX can take
advantage of the Intellectual Property Office at AAPEX. Where attorneys
will take your complaints and review your options.
- AAPEX New Product
Showcase – The number one
reason buyers attend shows is to see what is new. Official exhibitors are
the only ones that can participate in this showcase. New this year, the
buyers will be able to vote on their favorite new products at the show. In
addition the New Products Magazine will go out after AAPEX to all
- AAPEX Events Guide – More than 20,000 guides are distributed
every year at AAPEX. Only official exhibitors are listed in the guide. For
folks that prefer a printed directory this tool is a must-have when they
leave the show.
- Access and networking – As an official exhibitor you will have
access to attendee lists. The Auto Care Association offers a variety of
resources to members, including the Auto Care Member Center. We offer
networking opportunities at the Chairmen’s Reception, FNR, YANG Events and
- Auto Care Association
staff and the folks at WT
Glasgowwill work hard to find a solution that works for your company and its
The revenue from
AAPEX is reinvested into the auto care industry. Revenue from outboarding is