The INSTORE Chicago show April 19-21 had a great deal of optimism and
energy. The exhibitors that I spoke with offered positive feedback
and seemed to enjoy the newness of the location (the Navy Pier) and
theme. Even with the overall assumption that retailers were still
overstocked from the down economy, exhibitors were writing orders and
making sales. Many retailers said they were buying in small quantity,
meeting new suppliers and manufacturers and adding at least a little
new stock to their inventory.
I had tried not to expect too much going in and was pleasantly
surprised. The show was very well attended and had a “buzz” most of
the first day. The ribbon cutting, the red-and-white "Smart Show"
theme and the band striking up at 10 a.m. on the nose on the first
day were nice touches that pumped up the feeling of excitement for a
The opening-day party was cool, too, and no expense was spared.
Chicago was lovely, except for the rainy weather. I was impressed
with the city as a great destination for a trade show and the Midwest
as a new region from which to draw buyers.
Numerous seminars, consultations and bench competitions on the show
floor showcased everything from marketing and memo
transactions to economic advice and CAD/CAM skill. The attending
buyers seemed very interested in the offered.
Overall, INSTORE had the energy and appeal a totally new show should
have. I look forward to next year.
Hope this helped!
Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America