(NOTE: This story appears in the November 2023 issue of ED Magazine.)
There was a buzz at the conclusion of the 2015 EXPO in New Orleans. It was the first time the EXPO had been held outside of Las Vegas in two decades, and many attendees were thankful that the convention was someplace — anyplace — different. It helped that the city, New Orleans, was vibrant, historic and fun, and gave people a reason to tour a city that they may not ever have visited prior.
Back to that buzz at the end of the NOLA EXPO in 2015. There was one question being posed by many of that convention’s attendees: This was great — what city will you bring EXPO to next?!
Of course the suggestions were coming fast and furious. What about Miami? What about Denver? What about New York? I explained to those curious folks that there is a lot to consider when deciding an EXPO location. For instance, we need approximately 30,000 square feet of convention space, and many hotel properties across the US don’t have that much space. And if they do, they want to charge an arm and a leg (and a foot and a hand as well). We want to keep the hotel room rates as close to $100 per night as we can, which, outside of Las Vegas, is nearly impossible. There’s also other items to examine, including the proximity of the airport to the host hotel, where off-property events may be held, and whether the city itself is a built-in attraction (as was the case in NOLA).
So, the answer to “where will EXPO be next year” wasn’t as simple as picking a “cool” city to move the EXPO to.
As many will remember, we elected to return to New Orleans in 2016. We headed back to Las Vegas from 2017-2019, then had the “Covid” EXPO in Miami in May 2021. Then, back to Vegas for EXPO in 2022 and 2023.
But we never stop thinking about that “buzz”— and the sizable bump in attendance we received — in New Orleans. We knew it was time to move EXPO again, and we wanted to provide our attendees for what they were asking for: A more “central” US location, easy to travel to, a city where we’ve never been before, a city that has built-in attractions.
Well, “howdy,” Dallas!
EXPO 2024 will be held August 25-28 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Dallas, which is the location of the iconic Reunion Tower right in the middle of Big D. Two airports (Love Field and DFW International) serve this area, making travel convenient from anywhere in the US. Dallas and such surrounding cities as Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving (known as the “Metroplex) is set to bump Chicago and become the third-largest cityscape in the US by the 2030s, and its “Deep Ellum” and “Uptown” areas of downton are thriving.
Dallas is also home to several national landmarks and legendary locations, including Gilley’s, the venue that’s hosting the 2024 ED’s Awards Show.
And yes, Dallas has its fair share of iconic adult nightclubs, including (but certainly not limited to) Baby Dolls, The Lodge and The Men’s Club, as well as “newer” brands and venues including Bucks Cabaret, Silver City and Spearmint Rhino, just to name a few.
There are many more EXPO 2024 details to come, but we can promise you this: It will be an EXPO like none you’ve ever experienced … and you’re gonna have a blast!