NECO Has ‘Upbeat’ EXPO XI
NECO Alliance’s annual EXPO XI, held last month at Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort and Casino, despite overlapping with the custom industry’s CEDIA Expo, drew a record attendance of 1,560 and sold out its allotted vendor space, according to the group’s executive director, Mel Hunger.
“There was just no downside for anyone who attended,” said Hunger. “It was an upbeat show, and everyone was very positive, with a good outlook for fall. Everyone knows that there will be some shortages in CE and also price erosion, but we expected that and have forecasted well, so we’re getting lots of the products we’re requesting. We’re not terribly short on anything.”
Hunger reported that the organization has added another eight key suppliers to its brand roster since the last EXPO, and that its NECO Select initiative, launched last year among its vendors to stimulate member interest in selling and promoting higher-margin step-up merchandise, has “worked very well. It’s a totally supported program, with ads, circulars, ROP, and it’s also backed up with rebates and consumer financing. It’s part of the direction we’re driving in – the launch into higher-end products to keep our members healthier.