Change-ups among pitches at ShoWest


Complete ShoWest coverage

LAS VEGAS -- The smell of popcorn hits you at the ballroom door.

But though trade show exhibitors at ShoWest include lots of popcorn machine and candy vendors, theater seat manufacturers and carpet companies, there always are a few more au courant confab vendors on board as well. So while theater-cleaning suppliers remain a part of the exhibitor mix, Royal Paper this year decided to put an emphasis on its "green" maintenance products like biodegradable trash bags.

"Last year we had them, but there wasn't as big a push," said George Abiaad, standing in front of a giant display of the company's eco-friendly wares. "We currently supply AMC, who are interested in looking at the green program. And we think others will be interested as well."

Similarly, Component Engineering has been coming to ShoWest for years, but this year it's stressing the availability of theater-management hardware that's compatible with digital-cinema installations. At least two d-cinema software companies also were pitching passers-by.

Two vendors were passing out cups and bags of ice cream "beads" and "dots." And there were beverage booths, include one hawking f'Real fruit smoothies.

Stadium Seating Conversions built a whole business out of helping theater owners to retrofit multiplexes with state-of-the-art floor plans.

"We have never been here before," SSC's Cory Rallison said. "But it's the place to be, and of course we're here to sell."

More interested in spreading a message than laying on the hard sell, Hollywood Movie Marketing reps were detailing their theater-based movie promotions, which usually involve giveaways or discounts backed by film studios and consumer product companies.

Meanwhile, despite the many first-time exhibitors, the deteriorating economic climate caused a bit of trade show shrinkage this year, organizers said.

"Though we're down a bit, the trade show floor has been as busy as it's ever been," ShoWest's Andrew Sunshine said. "There's talk among vendors of people standing 10 deep around booths."

The ShoWest trade show floor opened Tuesday and continues through Thursday.

ShoWest and its sister trade shows ShowEast, Cinema Expo and CineAsia are owned and operated by Nielsen Business Media, parent of The Hollywood Reporter.