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BIG Spells Out Its Show Plans

Cauthen says members have saved on cost of trade show exhibits so far

The Broadcast Industry Group is achieving at least one of its original goals: saving money on trade show exhibits.

BIG formed last summer after organizers brainstormed a way to consolidate certain operations among a half-dozen manufacturers and streamline expenses. Founding companies are Orban, SCMS, Jampro, DaySequerra, StreamGuys and BW Broadcast.

Each continues to be owned and operated independently, said Bob Cauthen, president of SCMS; each is an equal partner within the consortium.

The group’s plans for this year’s spring convention are limited by the fact that exhibit plans need to be made a year in advance, Cauthen said.

“When BIG was formed it was too late to participate in the spring NAB Show as a group. We do plan on holding customer receptions this year and a consolidated booth at future NAB Shows,” Cauthen said. Each company will have its own exhibit space this year. “However, there will be signage in each booth regarding the BIG consortium.”

The group will conduct two invite-only off-site receptions, including a “broadcast engineer reception that typically attracts the top 70 to 80 broadcast engineers and DOEs in the industry,” he said. BIG also will host a reception for prospective Latin American customers.

Cauthen said BIG is in discussions with convention organizers about its exhibit plans for 2016.

The group — the members of which sell generally complimentary products and services — has been active at state broadcaster and SBE conventions so far this year, Cauthen said. BIG had a united presence in one booth at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tenn., in February.

“NRB was very successful for us. I think we had the best booth traffic over the four days, since we were located just inside the main entrance with numerous technologies all at one location” Cauthen said.

BIG features technology, equipment and services for radio, TV and Internet broadcasting, according to the group’s press release for NRB.

The group told Radio World earlier that it hopes to eventually consolidate sales, marketing and promotions. Cauthen said the consortium’s next step will most likely be a joint advertising campaign.

“So far consolidation of the six companies has consisted of exhibits at trade show,” Cauthen said. “We have realized savings from that consolidation through lower exhibition fees.”

Cauthen said more broadcast equipment companies could join BIG if they fit within the group’s criteria.

“We are currently discussing the addition of more qualified companies to BIG. There are numerous candidates that would fit,” Cauthen said. “Everyone already in the group would have to agree to any additions.”

“One of the main areas BIG will focus expansion on is in international broadcast conventions and shows,” Cauthen said. “The cost for those far exceeds the domestic conventions for a number of reasons. That is where the consortium can really help us make a bigger impact.”

Cauthen told Radio World previously he expects more consortiums, mergers and acquisitions within the equipment manufacturer sector.

— Randy J. Stine