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HMA iHobby Expo plans moving forward

Published: April 9, 2015
Although it’s almost a year away, the Hobby Manufacturers Association, partnering with Competitive Intelligence Advertising, is busily filling in the blanks as the next annual iHobby Expo takes shape. The show is scheduled for Mar. 10-12, 2016, in Edison N.J.

 

CIA president Dave Swanson, who is managing the show, emphasized new options available to exhibitors. Some of the new features, such as free floor space for exhibitors, have been previously stated. But Swanson reiterated other incentives to encourage trade attendance, such as a system to establish table space for HMA members to exhibit even without attending; members may choose their level of participation for various prices, from having a booth staffed with stand-ins to merely displaying marketing materials for self-distribution. Information and prices for display options and upgrades are available at www.hmashow.com.

 

“The new news,” Swanson says, “is that we were able to lock in low-cost hotel pricing, starting at $75.” More price information will become available as arrangements with other hotels are finalized.

 

Swanson says the show will still be referred to in trade-targeted marketing and advertising as “iHobby Expo, the Hobby Manufacturers Show.” He says, “To the public, I’m still working on the spin for that because we’re probably going to try to get something a little more public-friendly than ‘iHobby Expo.’”

 

With an increased emphasis on consumer attendance for the coming show, how Swanson pitches it to a general audience largely depends on which HMA members register to attend. “We’re asking all HMA members to register by May,” Swanson says, “and I really want to get a spin on that based on the varied hobby segments. I want to make sure I don’t misrepresent it to the public. For example, if I put ‘R/C’ in the title, I want to make sure that there’s a sufficient number of R/C manufacturers that are going to be there. Same thing with trains. I suspect we’ll have a title that incorporates trains, R/C and models.

 

“We don’t want to lose what we’ve had in the past, but at the same time I want to make sure it’s focused as the HMA show, at least to the trade.”