This Just In
  • Tom Cindric joins Winsight as President, Exhibitions to oversee National Restaurant Show. Mary Pat Heftman now Vice Chairman of Winsight.
  • Emerald Expositions Events Inc. tapped former UBM exec, Sally Shankland, to serve as its President and CEO. Phil Evans continues as CFO.
  • The division of Informa PLC created by the combination of UBM and Informa has been renamed and rebranded as Informa Markets.
  • Trade Show Executive won three prestigious ASBPE “Azbee” Awards in Chicago. TSE is also a national finalist for Magazine of the Year Award.
  • Informa PLC launched Informa Ventures offering capital, access to markets, mentorship, and expertise to knowledge and information start-ups.
  • Freeman Vice Chair Carrie Freeman Parsons promoted to Chair replacing Don Freeman, who will become Chairman Emeritus in July.
  • Marketplace Events (MPE), producer of 66 consumer shows in North America, acquired the Arizona Bridal Shows from Townsquare Live Events LLC.
  • Nominations for 2019 Trailblazers Opens for Trade Show Executive’s Trailblazers program which recognizes the industry’s up-and-comers.
  • Informa Exhibitions reported a 6.7% jump in underlying revenues for 2018 even as it absorbed the blockbuster acquisition of UBM.

Attendance Brightens Amid March’s Otherwise Flat Numbers

Jamie Bartosch
, Senior News Editor
May 19, 2019
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CHICAGO – Attendance at March shows was encouraging, despite flat numbers in the other key metrics and a mixed first quarter of 2019.
Attendance grew a solid 2.1% in comparing March 2019 and March 2018, while exhibit space increased 1%. The number of exhibitors dropped 1.5%, according to the Trade Show Executive Dashboard of Monthly Trade Show Metrics.
Six of the 29 shows surveyed in March reported growth in all three metrics, while four shows were down in all three.
The 2019 Q1 numbers were a mixed bag, with a 2.2% rise in exhibit space, a 0.3% drop in exhibitors, and attendance up a modest 0.8%
Some of March’s highlights include: 
  • The month’s largest show, Global Pet Expo in Orlando, had record numbers across the board. It drew 17,207 attendees, a 5.1% increase over last year, plus more than 3,500 buyers attending the show for the first time. Exhibit space also was up 2.3% to 360,400 nsf, with an expansion of the New Product Showcase and a Best in Show award for the 1,000-plus new products. Exhibitors were up 0.9% to 1,174, including 295 first-time participants. 
  • Progressive Insurance Saltwater Fishing Expo, at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center in Edison, was one of three events this month bearing the Progressive brand and organized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). The expo showed impressive growth, up 11.4% to 45,202 nsf. It’s 233 exhibitors offered attractions like a casting pool and seminars from top anglers. 
  • The Fastest 50 show, Enterprise Connect, a computer technology and hardware expo held at the Gaylord Palms near Orlando, is likely to make the Fastest 50 again this year after record-setting, double-digit increases across all metrics. The expo attracted a lot of media coverage, and had keynote speakers from Amazon and Microsoft. Exhibit space was up 10.8% to 65,700 nsf, exhibitors jumped 11% to 222, and attendance hit 7,256, a 12.1% jump over last year.
  • International LCT Show at the Venetian in Las Vegas marked its 35th year with a 9.6% jump in exhibit space to 70,600 nsf. But exhibitors and attendance both plummeted by 10.9% and 6.1%, respectively. 
  • The 33rd annual video game show, the Game Developers Conference (GDC), at Moscone Center in San Francisco, set a new attendance record with 29,000, a 3.6% increase over last year. It had new features on the floor, including a video game-filled lounge area. 
The top cities in March were Las Vegas (the International LCT Show, Toy Fest West, and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting), totaling 363,215 nsf. Close behind was Orlando (360,400 nsf) which included the Global Pet Expo. Atlanta ranked third in March (335,100 nsf) with the HAI HELI-EXPO and Southeast Design 2-Part Show.
Looking ahead to June, Los Angeles will once again host E3, the video game extravaganza which had stellar metrics last year. This year E3 will offer unique new content and immersive experiences for the attendees. A huge online audience is expected to tune in via social media and streaming video.
Messe Frankfurt will step into its role as owners of the Clean Show in New Orleans. Big names like Coca-Cola, Sony Music and NASCAR are among the new exhibitors coming to the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. And a few big food shows will be held – The Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, featuring thousands of new grocery store products, and the International Food Technologists show (IFT19) in Chicago.
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