In response to many questions, Vanessa Finney, executive vice president of MANTS, provided exhibitors with an update on the status of the annual trade show.
The event, which takes place Jan. 5-8 at the Baltimore Convention Center, is typically 100% sold out. Addressing the rumor of mass exhibitor cancellations, Finney stated that MANTS 2022 is 96% sold out. Cancellations have come mainly from international companies for whom travel logistics have become complicated. Finney and her company, Quercus Management, have been filling new requests from companies eager to join the show. There will also be some shifting of spaces on the trade show floor to allow for consolidation of vacated spaces, which will be used for additional table seating.
Finney also shared that pre-registration numbers for attendees and exhibitors are ahead of 2018 and 2019 and just behind 2020, MANTS' 50th anniversary year. The same holds true for the number of attending/buying companies. The 8-hotel room block is completely sold out, and a ninth hotel for overflow has been added.
Finney also addressed questions about masks at MANTS. The City of Baltimore has an indoor mask mandate in place, and she believes it is very unlikely that will change before January. She also made it clear that MANTS will be taking the requirements of this mandate and its enforcement seriously.
"If you are of the mind that this does not apply to you or you do not intend to follow it, then please don’t come and we will welcome you back in 2023," Finney wrote in the statement to exhibitors. "I cannot make it any clearer than that."
In addition to the mask mandate, the “new normal” sanitation and safety protocols and procedures are in place. MANTS and the BCC have hand sanitizing stations placed throughout the show floor and all public spaces in the building.
Finney expects MANTS exhibitors will have a ready audience of willing buyers when they take the floor Jan. 5.
"Unless the Governor or Mayor closes the Baltimore Convention Center, the show will go on."