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BCA Expo Moves Dates to July
Oct 1, 2008, 3:44 PM

Mark your calendars — the Billiard Congress of America has announced that the annual trade show will be changing dates.

The 2010 BCA International Billiard & Home Recreation Expo will move into mid-July, with July 14-16 replacing the previously secured June 24-26 time frame. The BCA Board was unanimously in support of the change, which will not affect the location, exhibit halls or floor plans of the 2010 expo. 

"We believe that by going back to the original trade show timeframe, we will have the best opportunity to attract a larger attendance of buyers,” said Ivan Lee, chairman of the BCA Board of Directors. “In addition to the date change, we have also adjusted which days the Expo is held, to Wednesday through Friday. This change is designed to enable more buyers to attend the Expo before heading back to their businesses for weekend sales. While we felt confident that we made the changes for the right reasons, it is important to note that we have received overwhelming support for the date change from all of the exhibitors contracted for 2010.”

It’s no secret that dealers who also sell pools and spas did not favor the June dates.

“In this economy, and with thinner staffs, pool retailers will not … attend a trade show for an industry that means fewer dollars during a time of year when the most profitable and plentiful dollars are coming through their doors,” said Seasonal Specialty Store’s Mike Small, who stopped attending the BCA Expo when it moved to June in 2007.

In recent years, pool and spa dealers have become an increasingly important segment of the billiard and home recreation distribution chain. Meanwhile, traditional billiard retailers who have been slow to diversify their product offerings have struggled. Likewise, the annual BCA Expo has struggled to attract enough attendees to keep exhibitors busy. Increased expo participation from pool and spa dealers is being viewed as an important element in reviving the annual trade show.

And while spa dealers and a number of exhibitors still consider March or April the best month for an expo, most admit that even July dates are more preferable than June.

Additionally, many support the change from the weekend show to a Wednesday-to-Friday affair. With most billiard and home recreation dealers operating with thinner staffs, few can afford to miss weekend days — traditionally the busiest of the week. With the show running Wed-Fri, dealers will be able to return to their stores in time for the weekend. Attendees (and exhibitors) will also benefit from not having to pay for hotel rooms on Friday and/or Saturday, which in Las Vegas can be as much as double the weekday rate.