This Just In
  • Messe Frankfurt acquired the Thailand Lighting Fair and Thailand Building Fair. Messe has been with the shows since they launched in 2015.
  • JW Marriott will open the 4,000-room Drew Las Vegas in 2020 at the site of the stalled Fontainebleau hotel project on Las Vegas Blvd.
  • Denver OK’d contracts for a $233-million expansion featuring an 80,000-sf rooftop ballroom and terrace at the Colorado Convention Center.
  • The latest numbers rank NAMM’s 2018 show the largest in its 117-year history with more than 115,000 attendees and nearly 2,000 exhibitors.
  • The deadline for nominations for Trade Show Executive’s Trailblazers Awards has been extended to March 16. Got to TSE Events for info.
  • International Assoc. of Amusement Parks and Attractions President and CEO Paul Noland has resigned. CFO Hal McEvoy steps in temporarily.
  • The Aria Resort & Casino $170-million expansion in Las Vegas adds 200,000 sf of flex meeting space, raising total space to 500,000 sf.
  • Gary Musich announced his retirement as Vice President of Sales for Meet AC effective March 2 after 25 years representing Atlantic City.
  • The San Diego Convention Center named ON Site, a GES company, its exclusive sound and rigging vendor and preferred audio visual provider.
  • Board members of UK-based UBM have accepted an offer from Informa for a reported 3.8 billion pounds ($5.3 billion).

April Shows: New Life after Spring Thaw

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
June 2, 2014

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Oceanside, CA – Another strong showing by two Gold 100 shows helped boost the overall April growth rate for the Trade Show Executive (TSE) Dashboard of Monthly Trade Show Metrics. 

The NAB Show passed the 900,000 net square feet (nsf) mark with a 4.1% increase in space. Coverings jumped 9.4% in exhibit space. Those shows and others contributed to an overall 4.3% increase in exhibit space for the 17 shows featured in the Dashboard.

The number of exhibitors in April rose 4.5% compared to April 2013, and attendance increased 3.3%. Moreover, April contrasted nicely with a much-slower March where growth in exhibit space and attendance was less than 1% and exhibitor growth was a modest 2.2%. One year ago, in April, the exhibitor count actually drifted slightly into negative territory.

The 17 shows analyzed in this month’s Dashboard occupied 3,270,462 nsf of exhibit space. Exhibitors numbered 9,488 and 276,803 people registered to attend. Eight of the 17 shows spanned more than 100,000 nsf each. Three were on the TSE Fastest 50 list of the fastest-growing shows and six were large enough to be listed on the most recent TSE Gold 100 roster of the largest U.S. trade shows. All six Gold 100 shows reported solid gains across the board. Only one April show in this report declined in all three metrics. On the other hand, 10 of the 17 shows surveyed grew in all three metrics.

Gold Shows Hold Value

The NAB Show was among a number of Gold 100 shows that had a banner month in April. The NAB Show, which was ranked 11th on the most recent Gold 100, was the largest exhibition of the month and showed that it could build some robust upward momentum. Exhibit space jumped up 4.1% to 914,115 nsf.

The largest NAB Show on record topped 1 million nsf in 2001, and it is slowly but steadily working to reach up and above that milestone. Meanwhile, attendance at the 2014 show increased 4.0% and the number of exhibitors grew 10.6% to 1,726. More than 200 exhibitors were first-timers at the NAB Show, including a number of companies that create semiconductors rather than broadcast content.

“The number of first-time exhibitors this year is a reflection of the show’s ability to adapt and deliver fresh perspectives on the industry’s cutting-edge technologies,” said Chris Brown, NAB executive vice president of conventions and business operations.

Another Gold 100 organizer, National Trade Productions, enjoyed a 9.4% boost in exhibit space as Coverings rotated through Las Vegas. This year’s show, ranked No. 47 on the Gold 100 in the past, was the largest since 2008 and stretched 372,435 nsf. Exhibiting companies increased 1.0% and attendance was up 3.0%.

“New home sales continue to rise, and U.S. tile and stone consumption was up for the fourth consecutive year,” said Show Director Karin Fendrich. “That made attending Coverings more important than ever for the industry.” ISC West, ranked 60th on the Gold 100, notched record attendance and the second-largest exhibit floor in show history. The exhibit floor was up 3.3% at 307,400 nsf.

“Exhibitors and attendees told us that this was the best show in years,” said Ed Several, senior vice president of ISC Events, part of Reed Exhibitions. “Our exhibitors expressed their appreciation with higher renewals for next year.”

Growth Leaders – Possible Fastest 50 Contenders

  • Artexpo New York made the most of moving into larger quarters at Manhattan’s Pier 94. Exhibit space grew 36.2% to 37,421 nsf. Exhibitors climbed 32.5% to 318 and trade show attendance skyrocketed 71% to 4,780. The increases were a masterpiece, but were considered an outlier, well beyond the limit of 25% for inclusion in the adjusted totals.
  • The American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention & Exhibition returned to Houston for the first time in three years. The home-field advantage led to an 80.2% jump in attendance. The crowd of 9,385 at the George R. Brown Convention Center was 5% higher than it was in 2011, the last time the show was in Houston. Exhibit space grew an impressive 16.6% to 78,361 nsf.
  • ApEx – Atlantic Canada’s Foodservice & Hospitality Trade Show had the niche city of Halifax rocking. The show floor was a modest 22,100 nsf, but that was 53.5% larger than last year’s. MediaEdge Communications, Inc. set the stage for the growth spurt by co-locating the Halifax Regional Food Show with ApEx.
  • Another Canadian show, the biennial Truck World held in Toronto, also turned in some healthy numbers. Exhibit space grew 12.6% compared to 138,125 net square feet in 2012.

Top Cities

Las Vegas hosted a trio of Gold 100 shows — NAB Show, ISC West, and Coverings. The big three totaled 1,593,950 nsf. Indianapolis was second on the venue leader board with FDIC International, which totaled a show record 456,200 net square feet. The Gold 100 firefighting conference, organized by Pennwell Corp., was up 5% over last year. Chicago was ranked third among the April venues with IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference & Exposition. The Gold 100 show checked in at 234,480 net square feet.

Next Month

July will see many members of the trade show industry on the road in Miami Beach for the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association Summer Educational Conference. Others will be overseeing Gold 100 and Fastest 50 shows around the country.

SuperZoo at Mandalay Bay is looking to expand past the 191,400 net square feet that earned the World Pet Association event a spot on the Fastest 50. Cosmoprof North America made the most-recent Gold 100, and this year will launch a feature on its Las Vegas exhibit floor for interactive technology that can be applied to attendees’ own websites and social media platforms. Nashville hosts a pair of Fastest 50 shows in July. Summer NAMM hits town July 11-13 and will be followed a week later by HydroVision International.

The market centers will also be busy. Americas Mart will host the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, which ranked 62nd on the most-recent Gold 100. Las Vegas Market closes out the month with its annual Summer Market event.