The SAMA Trade Show has endured a lot of changes in the historic 20 years. The first few years that I was on the committee, we lost money every year, attendance was dismal, and the event was held at the Airport Convention Center. We have audited and updated so many elements of this event to make it profitable for SAMA and the exhibitors over the year as well as changing venues to the Love Oak Civic Center and now the Freeman Expo Hall.
Every year the event has grown and increased in the quality of manufacturers in attendance and exhibiting. The Trade Show Committee has changed over time with the volunteer additions of people with key strengths and input that have little to do with knowing a lot about trade shows…(I do that part).
This year was unique as we were faced with no 2020 show and 2021 a choice of no show or a virtual event. With the support of the SAMA Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Rey and the SAMA staff, Michelle, Rosie and DeeDee worked tirelessly, professionally and left lots of blood on the job to vet the right VR company, create an exciting event, showcase each exhibitor and let each attendee have a bit of fun. Marketing stepped up to help shake the bushes and drive participation- an invaluable asset in cooperative collaboration with one goal in mind – the SAMA Brand.
Although the navigating of the Virtual World proved a bit scary, we all must remember that the generation coming in behind us is very comfortable navigating cyberspace. ARMA, Texas Association of Manufacturers, GHMA and AME as co-sponsors now know as well as their members know, that the SAMA Brand is committed to the strength and growth of manufacturing in Texas. This was a goal we could ONLY have dreamed about 20 years ago and a reality today. That alone is worth the price of the investment of this Virtual Event – yes, event in the throes of a pandemic….the gears still have to turn. The good news is the investment and learning of this new medium and break-even financials
NOW for the real work – as I always state after this event, it is the continuation of the momentum that makes or breaks any event – the lessons learned and the analytics that are the core to continuing the success and growth
If you are a member of SAMA and not on a committee – step up. Volunteers bring valuable talents that we need and you maybe the next Bruce, Tami or Tim, who thinks of a breakthrough idea that turns the page for 2022.
We will return to monthly luncheons, golf outings and even a live Tradeshow soon.
The 2021 event was a successful bridge building and brand building success because of everyone that attended and exhibited – thank you, Best wishes and see you LIVE very soon.
Dollie Bodin – Trade Show Committee Chair