NATPE Plots Logistical Changes for 2012 Conference

Improvements are designed to ease wait time at elevators; expand exhibit space.

When NATPE returns to the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach next January, there will be changes designed to deal with some of the problems that plagued the venue this past January, according to CEO Rick Feldman.

Instead of bunching all of the exhibitors with suites into a single tower, next year NATPE will take half of those who were in the Tresors tower and move them to other buildings in the hotel. This is an effort to combat the problems with over-crowded elevators which left some people waiting an hour or more to get up and down to the sales suites.

"Spreading the exhibition inventory throughout the hotel footprint will relieve the elevator backup considerable," Feldman wrote Tuesday in a letter to NATPE members, exhibitors and the media.

NATPE's annual convention and meeting, the largest event in domestic syndicated television, will next take place from January 23 through 25, 2012.

There will also be additional exhibition meeting options in the Versailles tower, which were not available earlier this year, as well as additional exhibit space because they are moving the Digital Theater off the show floor.

While this past January the idea was most exhibitors wanted to be in suites, it turned out many smaller exhibitors still prefer a show floor where there is traffic and the possibility of meeting new customers. The result was the small amount of space allocated for the show exhibition was not adequate.

NATPE has also contracted with a local marina and yacht companies to offer slips at the dock across the street from the Fontainebleau and adjacent Eden Roc hotel that will be available for rent this coming January.

NATPE is also creating new lounges and has designated more meeting spaces to allow important meetings to take place at the convenience of exhibitors and attendees.

"We are committed to improving on year one and satisfying your business needs," wrote Feldman.