The Cooperator’s 15th annual Co-op and Condo Expo, which took place February 25 at the New York Hilton, provided a unique opportunity for prospective co-op and condo buyers, shareholders and unit owners, real estate brokers, board members, and managers to meet face-to-face with the region’s top professionals in the fields of accounting, mortgage brokerage and lending, exterior maintenance, architectural engineering, interior design, property management, law, insurance, telecommunications and building security.
Over 190 vendors participated to deliver professional advice and product information to more than 3,000 people who attended the one-day event, which is the largest trade show dedicated to the co-op and condo community in the metro New York area.
"This provides a great opportunity to gather under one roof in a single venue where people… can see all the products and services available to the co-op and condo community," explains The Cooperator’s co-advertising director John McHugh.
Sponsored by Yale Robbins Publications LLC, which, in addition to the show, publishes The Cooperator and The Official Directory of Co-op and Condo Services—an annual directory of service professionals, this year’s Expo also featured some timely seminars led by industry leaders that focused on hot-button topics like building access and security, avoiding discriminatory practices in the residential admissions process, and the potential liabilities of lead paint and toxic mold. The seminars, which were held every other hour during the show, generated lively discussion and thoughtful questions from the audience, which numbered in the hundreds. In fact, one panel "Healthy Homes: Eliminating Environmental Hazards," which examined the dangers of lead paint and toxic mold, drew a standing-room only crowd of interested co-op and condo residents, board members, building owners, developers, brokers and other industry professionals.
"The Expo gives my company a chance to interact with other industry professionals and also meet with residents, building managers and contractors, who might need our services in the near future," says Steven Konsuvo, president of Konsuvo, The Hallway Company, a corporate underwriter of the event. "In this way, I can illustrate to prospective clients exactly what we do best."
A Can’t Miss Event
According to Marilyn Sygrove of Sygrove Associates Inc., a Manhattan-based interior design firm, the trade show is something that industry experts can’t afford to miss. "It’s a very powerful marketing tool. It gets me in the faces of direct clients as well as referral engines," says Sygrove, an exhibitor the past six years. "My business is generated by referrals from management companies as well as direct feedback from clients and word of mouth. The co-op show is the perfect target."
To Lou Romano, the senior vice president of Castle Oil, the largest independent fuel oil distributor in the New York City metropolitan area, this year’s Expo paid big dividends for his company. "It was a terrific show and I saw and signed a lot of potential customers," Romano says about the trade show. "It really paid off for us."
Who Said Advice Isn’t Free?
One of the unique features of the annual show is the chance for attendees to seek expert advice from various professionals within the real estate industry and co-op and condo marketplace. This year property managers and accountants, attorneys, insurance brokers and mortgage lenders were on hand to answer questions and provide advice to Expo guests.
This year’s show had more exhibits than ever before and, for the first time in the history of the Expo, the booths sold out two months early, according to Yale Robbins, president of the publishing group.
A Learning Experience for All
The show’s original purpose was to educate and inform, says The Cooperator's co-advertising director Charles Mohr. "Historically, the show has always been an educational forum for the co-op and condo community, [as well as] a means of helping our clients build their businesses."
This year’s Expo was another success story for both exhibitors and guests. Please make it a point to pencil yourself—or your company—in for The Cooperator’s 16th annual Co-op and Condo Expo, which is scheduled to take place March 6, 2003 at the New York Hilton.