The IPI and RFK, Jr


The IPI and RFK, Jr

The IPI has invited Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., to speak at its big convention to be held in June in Dallas. My knee jerk reaction was negative. My concern is that RFK, Jr is agenda driven and has a history of extreme political views. I have rethought my position and am not in the opposite camp.  I understand that the IPI board has been assured that the speech will focus on "green" issues and not on political ones. 

Frankly having a "name" at the IPI is generally a good thing. It may attract attendees who wish to see the son of the martyred senator and presidential candidate, and I hope it does. 

The IPI puts on a fantastic parking equipment exhibition and anything that can be done to bring in attendees is worth it. Over 180 companies will be in Dallas hoping for a floor jammed with buyers. If RFKJ can help, great.

The problem with all such events, is that bodies in the aisles is everything. Vendors spend tens of thousands to show their wares. A simple single space 10×10 booth, staffed by two people, will easily hit 10 grand when you consider travel, food, hotel, and the cost of the staff in the booth. Remember one IPI show takes the staff out of the field at least a week, and if you add in preparation, probably more. This is a large commitment for smaller companies on limited budgets. 

Those large booths, with the elephants, dancing girls, and last year, a sign attacking Zeppelin, can involve 25 times that much. Yes, a quarter of a million…Its a big investment. On wag joked that he could take all the people who came into his booth, fly them to the factory in Europe, and be money ahead.

It is critical that the organizers get those folks in the aisles so vendors can get a return on the investment they make in the organization that is sponsoring the event. 

If RFKJ can pull them in, more power to him, and the IPI board.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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