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  • National Association of Chain Drug Stores OK’d a 3-year deal with CompuSystems for registration at their meeting and Total Store Expo.
  • Quebec-based ExpoPromotion has sold Montreal Home Expo and Montreal Fall Home Expo to Cleveland-based home show producer Marketplace Events.
  • Access Intelligence will launch Global Esports Business Summit for the esports industry Oct. 1-3 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
  • Renovation of the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center’s lobby, ballroom, and meeting space is scheduled for completion this summer.
  • UBM has acquired Grupo CanalEnergia, an organizer of events in the Brazilian renewable energy sector.
  • The grand opening of the new downtown Omni Louisville Hotel next to the Kentucky International Convention Center was March 6.
  • The grand opening of the Fairmont Austin was March 5. It has 140,000 sf of event space, and direct access to the Austin Convention Center.
  • A new Industry Insight Series Report from CEIR is a practical guide to integrating effective engagement tactics in exhibit booth design.
  • Freeman was named an approved partner for all Mobile World Congress events globally as part of a 3-year deal with event producer GSMA.

Hotel Poaching Case Ruling Favors Exhibitions Industry

Jamie Bartosch
, News Editor
March 1, 2018
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TUCKER, Ga. – A federal judge in Georgia has made a major ruling in a case about the trade show hotel business.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia recently awarded $750,000 in damages plus attorneys’ fees to the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) in its trademark infringement case and deceptive practices case against Tarzango LLC.

USPOULTRY sued Tarzango for sending unsolicited emails to exhibitors and attendees of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE), which it runs along with partners American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the Northern American Meat Institute (NAMI). USPOULTRY holds the organizing contract with hotels and other service providers. 

While it’s common for exhibitors and attendees to be solicited from unaffiliated travel agencies and housing agents, Tarzango said it was soliciting on behalf of IPPE, even though it was in no way affiliated. 

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Executive Vice President for Expo Nath Morris told Trade Show Executive that Tarzango had solicited IPPE customers without disclosing they were not authorized agents and that some IPPE ultimately had been defrauded. 

“I guess you can say we were kind of surprised [by the award], but we really felt we had to protect our brand,” Morris said. “We were just getting inundated with calls and emails from exhibitors and attendees alike” about the solicitations. 

“We, with the full support of our partners AFIA and NAMI, asserted our rights and have protected attendees and exhibitors from Tarzango’s unfair and deceptive practices. This decision should serve as a strong warning to those service providers who seek to trade off of the strong goodwill developed in IPPE,” USPOULTRY President John Starkey said in a statement.

The case shines light on a growing problem in the trade show industry. Pirating and poaching impacts an estimated 15 million booking per year, industry experts estimate, resulting in more than $1.3 billion in diverted funds annually. As a result, the U.S. House and Senate are both considering variations of the Stop Online Booking Scams Act. 

Morris confirmed the poachers are a chronic problem and noted the IPPE had just sent a cease-and-desist letter to another entity that had been misrepresenting itself as representing IPPE. “We want people to know there’s a precedent that’s been set [with the USPOULTRY ruling],” he said.

The ruling in the USPOULTRY case was made Jan. 22 and publicly announced Feb. 28. 

Reach Nath Morris at (770) 635-9064 or; John Starkey at (770) 493-9401 or

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