Sunday, January 14, 2024

Are you trying to show me up?

  If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

The NRF Big Show, or the National Retail Federation Big Show, is an annual retail industry event organized by the National Retail Federation (NRF). It is one of the largest retail conferences and expos globally, bringing together retailers, industry professionals, and technology providers. The event typically features keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops, and an exhibition floor showcasing the latest technologies and solutions in the retail sector. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about emerging trends, network with peers, and explore innovations that impact the retail industry. The NRF Big Show aims to provide insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the retail sector and to foster collaboration among industry stakeholders.

This year, we expect 50K+ to attend NRF BIG SHOW LIVE at Javits Center, and 10X that number to attend virtually

The Javits Center, officially known as the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, is a large convention center located in New York City, USA. It is situated on the West Side of Manhattan, along the Hudson River. The Javits Center is a prominent venue for hosting conventions, trade shows, conferences, and special events.

Named after the former U.S. Senator Jacob K. Javits, the center spans several city blocks and features a significant amount of exhibition space. It has been a key hub for a wide range of events, including business conferences, cultural exhibitions, and large-scale gatherings.

The Javits Center is known for its modern architecture and versatile facilities, making it a popular choice for hosting events of various sizes and industries. It plays a crucial role in facilitating business interactions, showcasing products and innovations, and bringing together professionals from different sectors.

Last week was CES in Las Vegas. Later this month shall be ISE in Spain. Last night kicked off THE BIG SHOW in THE BIG APPLE. 

OK, Google: how far am I from Javits Center? { 33.8 miles away, 41 minutes by car if you leave right now } What about Times Square? { 33.6 miles, figure 42 minutes if you drive }

So, here's the thing: people attend Trade Shows because there are things at Trade Shows that they cannot get, cannot experience, cannot acquire, cannot obtain, cannot learn, if they DON'T attend the show. And, the first thing that comes to mind are the Speakers

Subject Matter Experts. Thought Leaders. Industry Experts. Yes, the booths are cool, the energy of the expo floors is palpable. People that return from CES will take weeks (months?) to unpack what they experienced. But live speakers will always be "the draw" for events like CES, NRF, ISE and others. 

I am spoiled. Living less than an hour (door to door) from the Center of the Known Universe (New York City) I could go to Javits Center every month (every week?) as there is ALWAYS SOMETHING going on at Javits. People travel from all around the world to meetings and events at Javits. Yes, Vegas is probably Trade Show / Expo mecca, but no one ever says no to a trip to New York City. 

I did not go to CES this year (120K+ attending live) but many on my team did physically go. NRF BIG SHOW is in my backyard - I could take an Uber round trip, every day (starting today) and save on hotel rooms. I will not be attending ISE (LIVE) in Spain, but we shall attend virtually. 

Direct office space in Manhattan costs an average of $82 per sq ft each year. Class A space is more expensive, costing an average of around $91 per square foot per year. New York's office vacancy rate has surged more than 70 percent since 2019; there's some 96 million square feet of office real estate available for lease in the city.

During the first three months of 2023, U.S. office vacancy topped 20 percent for the first time in decades. In San Francisco, Dallas, and Houston, vacancy rates are as high as 25 percent. These figures understate the severity of the crisis because they only cover spaces that are no longer leased. Most office leases were signed before the pandemic and have yet to come up for renewal. Actual office use points to a further decrease in demand. Attendance in the 10 largest business districts is still below 50 percent of its pre-COVID level, as white-collar employees spend an estimated 28 percent of their workdays at home.

With a third of all office leases expiring by 2026, we can expect higher vacancies, significantly lower rents, or both. And while we wrestle with the effects of distributed work, artificial intelligence could drive office demand even lower. Some pundits point out that the most expensive offices are still doing okay and that others could be saved by introducing new amenities and services. But landlords can’t very well lease all empty retail stores to Louis Vuitton and Apple. There’s simply not enough demand for such space, and new features make buildings even more expensive to build and operate.

AND SO.................. Trade Shows!

Trade Shows like CES, NRF, ISE allow people to get together, at least a few times a year - LIVE. You don't have to go to the office every day (or even every week) if you can all meet up a few times a year - in Vegas, in Orlando, in Chicago, in Dublin, in Toronto, or of course, meet up in the Center of the Known Universe.... THE BIG APPLE. 

My Uber shall be here in a few minutes.... will I see you at Javits today? 

Also this: members in NY/NJ/CT who work from home can use our NYC office for meetings and events. You are welcome. 

Whew! I made the cut...

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