Worthington Direct attends NSSEA Show

If you appreciate the convenience of a joint tradeshow that boasts insightful workshops and social networking venues all for one registration fee, this year’s School Products Expo (SPE) is one event you won’t want to miss. With 1,173 booths and 436 companies exhibiting as of January 11, SPE promises to be the largest tradeshow event in the industry, combining Ed Expo, the largest back-to-school tradeshow, and the School Equipment Show (SES), a huge furniture, fixture, and equipment event.

This year represents the last opportunity to attend both shows in one venue. “The educational products industry continues its dynamic cycle of change, and NSSEA, if it is to remain relevant, must change with it­­­­­­­,” explained Tim Holt, president and CEO of NSSEA. “The SPE format was an ambitious attempt to bring the two largest industry sectors together under one roof, and in the process created the largest show of its kind. The synergies of this bold change were indeed achieved. However, the market consequences produced by the ‘compromise’ timing required to make this happen were untenable.

Very quickly, the leadership recognized the wisdom of recalibrating the optimal timing for both sector events.” Thus in March 2008, the combined SPE format will operate for the third and final time. Then, November 13 through 15, the School Equipment Show will be held as a stand-alone event. The two-show format will be fully reinstituted in 2009 with Ed Expo in Dallas, March 5 through 7, 2009, and the School Equipment Show in Phoenix on November 18 through 20, 2009. “The NSSEA leadership will continue looking forward and monitoring industry trends in order to optimize the commercial value of all of our industry-leading events,” said Holt.


For dealers, discovering new products may be the primary reason for coming to Orlando this March. However, NSSEA is proud to present many additional opportunities to learn and grow this year with 10 workshops geared towards optimizing your retail exposure and success. Retailer Susan Savoie from Teacher Heaven in Austin and manufacturer’s rep Cam Logan from Cameron Marketing Services will lead a workshop on Wednesday, March 5, called “Hot Topics: Using Industry Trends and Standards to Effectively Choose ‘Future Best Sellers,’­” and retail experts Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender will present, “Are Your Promotions Causing Commotions? In-Store Event Planning 101,” on Thursday, March 6. Among the valuable SES sessions, Paul Houston, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, will present “Leadership: Doing the Right Thing in the Wrong Times,” which will shed light on how to best navigate through today’s sea of expectations and tight resources. Deb Moore, executive editor/publisher of School Planning Management magazine, will offer a 360-degree view on “Trends in the School Equipment Market.”


SES attendees may leave most satisfied after indulging in the “Taste of Baltimore” Networking Reception. Here, you not only chat with your customers before dinner while snacking on Maryland’s best, but you can also get a special preview of what’s in store at the SES event forthcoming in November 2008. The LEAD Reception on Thursday, March 6, sponsored by the Leadership and Education Development Committee, seeks to connect people across the board. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and make connections with likeminded individuals from all over the country in a relaxed environment. Both new and returning participants are invited.

The success of NSSEA’s SeaWorld Party two years ago has prompted its return in 2008, aptly named “Make a Splash.” A great dinner and exclusive Shamu show await you on the evening of Friday, March 7. Party guests are welcomed to visit all areas of the park and see any show and animal exhibit offered during park hours. “The Friday night party is a fantastic way for vendors and dealers to have impromptu business meetings … I’ve heard it said many times that a vendor representative would much rather be able to mix and mingle with all of his customers than have to pick one or two for a private dinner situation. I am proud that NSSEA offers such an event that truly reflects what a trade organization is designed to do: Create strong and long-lasting business relationships,” said Susan Savoie. Continue reading

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