The point isn’t that the trade show and exhibit models are broken, it is to get people thinking about new ideas and ways to adapt, said Deborah Sexton, president and chief executive officer at the Professional Convention Management Association. PCMA’s Education Foundation is one of five organizations funding and developing the project. The others include the American Society of Association Executives Foundation, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events Exhibition Industry Foundation, Freeman, and Gaylord Entertainment. Insight Labs, a nonprofit think tank based in Chicago, and Manifest Digital, a Chicago-based digital marketing and research company, are also collaborating on the initiative. Since the current exhibit and trade show model was constructed before the Internet, e-mail, Google, social media, and the expectation by many of instant gratification, there will negative consequences for the industry if significant changes are not made, the group believes. “In the original model, buyers had to wait 12, 24, or even 36 months to meet face-to-face with suppliers to seek out new products, solutions, and innovations. Those days are long gone,” now that buyers can obtain information with a few keystrokes, she said. Future Meet began as conversations between Sexton and ASAE President John Graham about how things are changing and how they might be able to facilitate the conversation, explained Sexton. The conversation was solely focused on association conventions. Then Gaylord and Freeman became partners. Along the way, the group decided to broaden it to include trade shows, so IAEE’s Exhibition Industry Foundation joined. Get the full story at MeetingsNet