Following last week’s gridlock over signing up for tables at this year’s Small Press Expo, organizers have announced that they’ll be expanding the show floor to include the ENTIRE ballroom at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel & Conference Center. Althugh it seems like a logical development, the announcement makes it clear that attendance must stay commensurate with floor size and this is an experiment:
At last weekend’s meeting of the SPX Executive Committee, after much discussion – and taking into account the feedback we’ve received from exhibitors, both large and small – we unanimously agreed to expand the number of tables for SPX 2013.
We have contacted the hotel and reserved THE FULL BALLROOM. This expansion means opening the exhibitor floor to accommodate as many of our table orders as possible. The new space will allow us to increase the table count from last year’s 210 tables to approximately 280.
With any expansion to the SPX festival, like last year’s addition of new tables, our top priority has been growing the number of exhibitors in balance with our ability to draw attendees. Exhibitors at SPX generally do great business and we don’t want that to change.
So, to be clear, this will be an experiment – and an acknowledgement that we let our community down last weekend. This expansion may not be a permanent move for SPX, but we’ll do our utmost to make sure that this year’s show is the best – and best attended – yet. As to whether the expansion is permanent will be dependent upon how well you exhibitors do in terms of sales and the resultant feedback we get about this expansion after the show.
Even with the expanded show floor, not everyone who tried to get a table will be able to get one, the note continues. Confirmations are being sent out, and there will be a waitlist.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.