by Alex Palmer | March 05, 2013
The Motivation Show will not be taking place at McCormick Place in Chicago and Motivation Show Las Vegas will be merged into the PPAI Expo in 2014, it has been announced. Pete Erickson, managing director of The Motivation Show and president of the show’s producer, Hall-Erickson, announced on Feb. 22 that they would be releasing the space being held at McCormick Place for the 2014 Motivation Show. 

Erickson explained that this decision was based on the disappointing response received for its Feb. 15 initial space assignment deadline.

“It is clear at this time that there is not enough support from the supplier community to produce a traditional trade show in a venue like McCormick Place in Chicago,” said Erickson.

He added that the company was exploring other potential event models and venues for 2014, but had nothing to announce as of yet.

The announcement also included the news that the Motivation Show Las Vegas, a new event which had been announced last July to be co-located at the PPAI Expo in 2014, will also not take place as planned. 

Darel Cook, director of exhibitions for PPAI, explained that The Motivation Show will continue to have a presence through buyer education sessions at the event, and the incentive-merchandise pavilion brand., which will continue to operate. But there would not be a distinct Motivation Show Las Vegas, and all space sales and production will now be handled by Cook’s team.

“I don’t think it will change very much — any of the exhibitors that would have participated in the Motivation Show can still participate through brand.,” Cook said, referring to the pavilion on the PPAI show floor dedicated to incentive merchandise. “The key part of the relation with The Motivation Show and attendee customers is still in place, relative to what brand. would bring and the overall event, it’s still intact and very much moving forward.”

Pete Mitchell, director of business-to-business sales for Samsonite, expressed sadness at the departure of the Chicago Motivation Show, recalling when there was enough industry interest to sustain a show in New York City as well as Chicago. He said he is taking a wait-and-see approach as to whether PPAI can fill the void left by the Motivation Show.

“[PPAI] has stated it’s their intention to market to end buyers and get them coming to brand. and making the Expo their new meeting place,” said Mitchell. “But there are so many unknowns. How successful will they be at recruiting end buyers if the buyers can only go to the brand. part of the show?”

He emphasized that since PPAI limits buyers to just the brand. pavilion, that might impact their interest in attending the show. Still, he adds that even as the industry changes, as long as there is somewhere for people to gather, incentive sellers will “be there if they’re coming.”

“While we are certainly disappointed with the current reality affecting our plans for 2014, we believe in this marketplace and will continue to work towards a solution that provides corporate America with an event to learn how best to engage, align and motivate employees, business partners and customers to yield measurable corporate results,” Erickson concluded.