When the city of Detroit declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy a week ago, many people outside of the Detroit area were understandably concerned. Detroit is the largest city to declare bankruptcy in US history. There were many questions about what the overall impact would be, and from the trade show industry in particular questions about how this would impact trade shows and other aspects of the exhibit design and expo industry.
Thankfully, it looks like the industry will mostly be unaffected by the bankruptcy filing. Representatives of the city have sought to reassure those within the industry that the bankruptcy filing will not affect show plans or significantly impact the industry. They have stated that every trade show and other large event that has been scheduled to be held in Detroit will be unaffected by this chain of events.
Detroit still has a fairly healthy trade show industry. In fact, the closely-related hospitality and hotel industry is fairly thriving. Detroit is also continuing to add convention and exhibition space, including a renovation to the Cobo Center which is expected to cost just under $300 million and will add a new ballroom, as well as 25,000 feet of new meeting and exhibition space.
Although the city of Detroit is obviously facing a revenues problem, the private sector has recovered nicely in many areas and the city continues to experience significant investment into the trade show and events industry. The city also contains a healthy exhibit design industry which helps to equip exhibitors to provide the best experience for the many thousands of attendees who enjoy the shows that the city has to offer every year.
The trade show industry continues to provide a large economic benefit to the city of Detroit, just as the many shows, exhibitions and conferences help to inject much needed revenues and investment into many urban areas like Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York City.
Thankfully, the trade show and event industry will see minimal impact from Detroit’s recent bankruptcy filing because it is mostly isolated from the city in a financial sense. Detroit’s major convention centers and exhibition space are privately owned and administered and will not be impacted by many of the expected issues that will precipitate the Chapter 9 bankrupcty filing.