Fledgling Show Production Company Competes With College Fest, Plans Student Expos For ’98

The husband and wife team of Richard and Ellen Calmus has booked the Hynes Convention Center here for two weekends in January and September 1998 for a consumer exposition for college students.
The couple and their recently established company, Boston Youth Marketing, face entrenched competition from Commonwealth Promotion in Boston. Its most recent event, also at the Hynes, during Columbus Day weekend drew more than 25,000 students and was promoted as “the largest college party,” featuring live music, sweepstakes and discount coupons from some 100 exhibitors.
In sharp contrast, Boston Youth Marketing has dubbed its event SWAG (Stuff We All Get) Mania, pledging that exhibitor products will be the “main attraction” and that “distractions” such as rock music or wet T-shirt contents will not be allowed.
“Consumers attend the show with the full understanding that they are there to meet with companies, purchase products and get great deals,” said Richard Calmus, president of Boston Youth Marketing.
The startup show production company has forged an alliance with Collegiate Advantage, a Boston-based advertising agency owned by Paul Tedeschi that specializes in marketing to college students. Collegiate Advantage’s job is to attract exhibitors to the show.
“This provides a new venue for his clients and potential clients,” Richard Calmus said.
Show organizers said the event will be marketed with print, broadcast and transit ads as well as media promotions and college tours.
According to sales literature, a 100-square-foot booth cost around $20,000. Already on board as exhibitors, according to the Calmuses, are Sprint, Filene’s Basement Vacation Outlet, Dining In and Healthworks.
Prior to launching their own show production company, Richard Calmus was director of international business for Softbank Comdex and Ellen Calmus was a senior vice president at Cone Communications.