The solar industry will have one less place to schmooze this year with the Friday announcement that Intersolar 2019 won’t happen.
The San Francisco event, usually held in July alongside storage show ees and electric vehicle show Power2Drive North America, will resume in 2020 with a new date in February and a new San Diego location. The show also has a fresh owner: Maine-based Diversified Communications, which runs over 50 trade shows and conferences in 15 different industries.
Diversified cited several reasons for pausing the show in 2019, including a reset under the new ownership and an attempt to make the event more economic for attendees. The price tag for hosting events in San Francisco continues to grow.
“The event has obviously been there for 10 years, but it’s become pretty cost-prohibitive for attendees and vendors,” said Wes Doane, Diversified’s event director.
In recent years, Intersolar has also faced increasing competition from the flourishing of other trade shows. Doane said timing the event during February, rather than July, made sense to put more daylight between the conference and others that the solar industry prioritizes on the calendar, like Solar Power International (SPI) and the co-located Energy Storage International.
“Of course, competition is always a factor, and SPI’s dates are in September, but there are a lot of trade shows in the industry that fall into that...time frame,” said Doane. “The feedback we had heard from attendees and exhibitors is that July is just a tough time of year in general, between people’s personal vacations and the time of year in the industry.”
The Solar Energy Industries Association, which is one organizer of SPI, declined to comment on the 2019 cancellation of Intersolar.
Doane said he could not comment on whether a possible decline in the number of exhibitioners contributed to the decision to push the show into next year. He did reiterate that Diversified is looking forward to hosting it in 2020, as the event company has been looking to get into the renewables trade show market for some time. It jumped when former organizers began conversations about acquiring the show. Now, Doane said Diversified is in the “listening phase” of working on discussing next steps and collaboration with current Intersolar partners.
A former organizer of Intersolar, Solar Promotion International, said in a release on the acquisition that in the wake of the sale it would pivot to focus on “promising markets in Central and South America” and focus on its “smarter E concept,” an umbrella that encompasses several clean energy trade shows across the world.