Strut Your Stuff with CAI

Sep 3, 2013

Are you ready to do the Broad Street Strut with CAI?

CAI has some exciting news to share regarding our Annual Conference & Expo. For the last four years, Citizens Bank Park - home of the Philadelphia Phillies - has provided a special venue for our annual conference. When we moved our event to the stadium in South Philadelphia, attendance soared, and this past year we had a record 114 exhibitors. Attendees and exhibitors alike have created many memories at this special location over the last few years - touring the stadium - including behind the scenes areas not often seen by the public, general sessions in the Diamond Club or the Phillies Media Room, spectacular views of the field and the Philadelphia skyline, and, of course, the general mayhem created by regular visits from the most famous mascot in professional baseball - the Phillie Phanatic!  But, like all good things, our presence at Citizens Bank Park must come to an end. We've simply outgrown the space - thanks to the support of our members, attendees, sponsors and exhibitors.

So, after our last conference in May, our Annual Conference & Expo Committee started discussions on what to do next. The committee has come up with a two year plan to say goodbye to Citizens Bank Park and usher in a bigger event at a new location.

As a result, CAI is planning one final event at Citizens Bank Park. On April 24, 2014, we will bid adieu to this unique location on South Broad Street. Business partners will have one more opportunity to exhibit in the Hall of Fame Club. Attendees will have a final opportunity to tour the locker room, see the indoor batting cages and frolic with the Phanatic! Then, in 2015, we'll be re-locating our Annual Conference & Expo to the other end of Broad Street in Philadelphia, north of City Hall, to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The center is easily accessible for attendees via regional rail (with a train station next door - save money on parking!) and offers exhibitors plenty of space to set up shop. For those coming in from out of town, plenty of hotels are within walking distance in downtown Philadelphia.

Once the decision to re-locate was made, the committee focused on an appropriate theme for the event. Should we focus on the nostalgia of leaving such a wonderful venue that has given us so many special memories? Should we focus on the late, great Phillies announcer Harry Kalas' famous line whenever the Phillies hit a home run - "Outta here!" - and have a sports theme? After some discussion, we came up with the perfect theme to celebrate our march up Broad Street.

What better way to make the move up Broad Street than to strut, just like the world famous Philadelphia Mummers have done each and every New Years Day since 1901?

Those of us who grew up in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, or who have lived in the region for a long time, understand well the tradition of the Philadelphia Mummers. This Mardi Gras-like parade is believed to be the oldest folk festival in the United States. The parade consists of Comics, Fancy Brigades and String Bands marching from South Philadelphia up Broad Street to City Hall, where judges consider choreography, costumes and music before awarding prizes. Tens of thousands of New Years revelers line the streets as the Mummers strut their stuff up Broad Street. It is a Philadelphia tradition like no other! Not familiar with the Mummers? Click here for some history.

So, we invite you to join us - don your golden slippers, grab your parasol, and do the Broad Street Strut with CAI as we celebrate the end of our time at Citizens Bank Park and the opening of a new chapter!

Business Partners who exhibited at our 2013 Expo can reserve the same booth as this year through September 13, or reserve a new booth between September 13 and September 28, and pay the 2013 exhibitor fees. After September 28, all remaining booths will go on sale. Strut your stuff at our 2014 Annual Conference & Expo!

Our committee will be working hard on educational topics and speakers to provide a spectacular event for our send off at Citizens Bank Park. And, don't be surprised if you see a string band welcoming you to Citizens Bank Park on April 24, 2014!


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