Editor’s Note

FALL 2019 | VOL. 44 NO. 3

Command Your Future

While we were working on this issue new China tariffs were announced, immediately followed by sagging financial markets around the globe. We saw the tariffs rollout postponed, watched markets rebound – and drop again, when the yield curve became inverted. And, of course, retail continues to be shaken up and realigned as the online influence makes itself felt.

We’ve watched industry friends juggle production and shipping schedules in response, seen people struggle to factor these phenomena into their plans for The 2020 Travel Goods Show.

What scares me is how this seems to take decision making out of our hands; how quickly we begin ceding control.
The factors mentioned above matter profoundly. But we can’t predict them, much less control them, and letting them dictate Association policy would be like abandoning the ship’s bridge in a moment of peril.

TGA is going after the things we can control, like building a better, stronger Show. Because this builds the bigger, better future the industry deserves.

We need to embrace change. More than that, we need to affect change because it’s a changed world. What’s happening in retail isn’t a storm to be weathered.

Giants like Sears and JCPenney are on the brink because they failed to change (or heed the bellwether of Circuit City and Toys R Us who succumbed by sticking to business as usual). You can’t keep farming horses in the time of Henry Ford.

In the meantime, a Seattle online bookseller continues its relentlessly steady march to swallow all retail because time and again, it refuses to settle for status quo. Amazon pioneered 1-click ordering and expedited shipping as standard practice. It’s pivoted, continuously, morphing from an early ecommerce operation into a technology juggernaut (it even has a space program).

We’re taking a page from that playbook. The new Travel Goods Show isn’t going to be the same, because the same won’t cut it. Traditional trade shows are on the wane. It’s the ones reinventing themselves that are thriving.

We’re bringing new exhibitors and buyers to The Show, with a new format outlined in this issue’s feature story. We can’t influence the economy, but we can control The Show. And while we’ll weigh outside factors, we have to act based on what’s best for The Show – and by extension the industry – because reactive tactics and wait-and-see policy aren’t enough.

The companies who will exhibit are the ones helping move all of us forward, just as the buyers who will come are investing in tomorrow instead of hoping to recapture lost glory.

Committing to The Show says you’re here for the future, supporting your fellow vendors and retailers as we work to reinvent ourselves, and this industry.

The Show has always been about the future. I hope you’ll join us on our journey there.