So come on folks, step up and volunteer to organise a meet!
At least you tried Andy " src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies/bigsmile_face.gif" />
I share the concerns about the event going down a trade show route. Such an event should be in addition to a meet.
I was going to gently suggest some benefits of holding the meet elsewhere " src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies/evil_smiley.gif" /> but we're treating this as a national event, which is perhaps a mistake. If the focus is to enable people to try different gear, perhaps this is best served by more, smaller, regional meets. This may limit the available gear but should provide an increased opportunity to listen to what is there, and, of course, there's no reason you couldn't travel further should you want to. Or, maybe hold, say, three events around the country over the year?