Hi Melissa and NIck,
I guess what narked me was that it wasn’t actually a rule for everyone. Buyers, those with big names and event managers were there on the stage at previous shows without having to pay yet the sales managers of both shows told me that suppliers would have to pay for the privilege.
While I totally get that people don’t want to be sold to, part of me wonders whether making supplier talks pay to play actually makes it more likely that people will be sold to. Much better, surely, to cherry pick services that people will want to hear about and choose the best speakers you can in those areas, whether by invites or a call for proposals.
It seems to be part of a wider trend of some shows seeing suppliers as cash cows or generally treating them poorly. I am hoping that it is limited to a few shows and now industry-wide.
Have you seen this around?