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SBE22 Broadcast & Technology Expo Ends its Run

Chapter reevaluates engagement strategy

Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 22 announced last week that the SBE22 Broadcast & Technology Expo will no longer be held, at least in its current format.

In its newsletter, the group serving the central region of New York state said that it “has reevaluated its member and broadcast community engagement strategy.”

The reasons cited were increased venue costs, as well as a lack of commitment from vendors. 

At the event’s peak, they had about 110 exhibitors, which dropped to about 70 vendors in 2014 for the final year. Baycura noted in a phone call that the decline in exhibitors was in part due to a general industry trend away from regional shows, but the absorption/consolidation of companies was also a factor. Value-added resellers, which would sometimes represent four or more companies in one booth, also cut into the show’s bottom line; this is significant because the event did not charge admission. 

The event also had 800-900 attendees during the height of its popularity, but Baycura noted that these numbers were impacted by student attendees.

“This was not a snap decision in any way,” said SBE Chapter 22 Chairman Christopher P. Baycura. “Organizing and presenting the SBE 22 Media Expo in the current form is rewarding and has proven to be of great value to attendees, but the financial aspects no longer support the effort in that form. The SBE 22 Expo Committee is reevaluating our strategy for 2015 and beyond, and we will announce our plans for the future effort by the end of April.”

The large regional convention began in 1972, with eight vendors, and it was initially held at a hotel in Owego (outside Binghamton), then moved to Syracuse and finally to a casino in Verona, N.Y.

Baycura noted that SBE Chapter 22 is not leaving the game entirely. Rather, he said that they are looking at sponsoring quarterly events that target specific broadcast segments and are held in different areas of the region to better serve SBE members.