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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record

For 2005, USITT will fill this dramatic space in the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Center with entertainment technology instead of cars.

by Helen Willard
Stage Expo Sales Manager


Stage Expo, Toronto 2005

Publications deadlines mean that by the time you read this, the Long Beach 2004 Conference & Stage Expo will be history, and Priority Booth Space Selection for Toronto 2005 will have taken place. As I write this column, however, I am preparing to drive to Toronto with my husband Frank, and meet VP Conferences Joe Aldridge, who is flying in from Las Vegas. Although we are quite familiar with the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where our 1999 Conference was held, the 2005 Conference & Stage Expo will be held in the North Building of the MTCC.

The North Building is located on Front Street, adjacent to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which recently was renovated and upgraded to an Intercontinental Hotel. Conference registration will be located at street level near the main entrance to the Convention Centre. Whether it is a trip up one escalator to Stage Expo, or down one to the meeting rooms everything in the North Building will be easy to find, and much closer to the action than the South Building.

As you might imagine, things are a bit busy here in the Stage Expo Sales Office, just three weeks before the conference. Finalizing advertising and exhibitor lists for the Conference Program which goes to print very soon, packing materials to be shipped on the truck to Long Beach, and answering exhibitors' questions keeps me quite busy. Not to mention planning for the New Products Showcase, ordering furnishings from the decorator, confirming exhibitor sponsored programming details, talking to last-minute prospective exhibitors, and, yes, answering more exhibitors' questions makes the days fly by.

So why visit Toronto now, during this very busy time? We have to draw the layout of Stage Expo for the Priority Booth Space Selection, held on Saturday, March 20 in Long Beach, when our current exhibitors get first choice on their location for 2005.

The Convention Centre provides a CAD file of the Exhibit Halls, but nothing beats a personal inspection of the space with a critical eye and a measuring tape.

Anomalies like floor ports on 30-foot centers in one direction and 28-foot centers the other, the need to locate temporary fire hose cabinets in the middle of Stage Expo, plus a wall of windows in the exhibit halls raise some interesting questions.

Finding the answers to those and other questions provides an opportunity to check out the Toronto restaurant scene, too. Watch for the final Stage Expo design in upcoming articles about the 2005 Conference & Stage Expo, and maybe a dining suggestion or two as well!

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