Medical Meetings in Stable Condition in Second Half of 2013

TSE STAFF
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Oceanside, CA – Medical meetings continued to hold their own in the second half of 2013, but there was no miracle cure for the sluggish performance of the entire year. The three key metrics for medical and healthcare exhibitions were fairly flat in the final six months of the year, which rounded out a full year that saw attendance slip and exhibit space stall compared to 2012, according to Trade Show Executive’s Semi-Annual Medical Show Report.

The second half included a slight 0.4% increase in the number of exhibitors compared to the last six months of 2012. These exhibitors, however, contracted (1.3)% less exhibit space. At the same time, attendance was off (1.2)%.

The exhibitor metrics for the entire 2013 calendar were fairly stable. The exhibit space total, in fact, was unchanged from 2012 and the exhibitor count drifted a modest (0.9)% lower. Attendance was more worrisome with a decline of (2.1)%.

GROWTH LEADERS

* TheAmerican Academy of Optometry’s Academy 2013, took place in Seattle and saw some sweet increases in all three metrics. The exhibit floor was a modest 34,000 nsf; however that was a 13.3% increase over the previous year and also a sellout. The attendance and exhibitor count grew 8.9% and 6.7% respectively. The crowd of just over 6,000 was the largest audience for a U.S. optometry meeting in 2013, the academy said.

Next year, the academy and the American Academy of Ophthalmology will be collaborating on educational programs for the two closely related professions, which will launch in 2015 and could pave the way for joint participation in each other’s annual conferences.

* The Greater New York Dental Meeting also enjoyed double-digit growth this year. Exhibit space was up 11.8% to 156,615 nsf and the number of exhibitors increased 13.2% to 731. Attendance grew 2.5% to 54,629. New hands-on seminars that were part of the auxiliary program seemed to help drive participation. The organizers have also been making the show more vertical in recent years with sessions and exhibits appealing not just to dentists but to their assistants and office managers as well.

* ASN Kidney Week pumped up its international exhibit sales, which seemed to contribute to a tidy 10.7% growth in exhibit space in Atlanta. The floor was 10.7% larger at 44,000 nsf even though the exhibitor count of 155 was up a grand total of one from the previous meeting’s total of 154.

For the complete report, including listings and analysis, see the March issue of Trade Show Executive which will be posted live March 3.