August Exhibit Space Inches Up

JAMIE BARTOSCH, SENIOR NEWS EDITOR
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More shows, more exhibit space, and more people. That’s what August’s numbers showed in the Trade Show Executive Dashboard of Monthly Trade Show Metrics report.

August notched a 0.5% increase in exhibitor space, a sharp contrast from the 3.6% drop in August 2017. Also, there were 20 August shows this year, compared to only 15 in 2017.

While exhibitors dipped 0.6%, that’s much improved over August 2017’s 5.0% tumble.

The month’s biggest show was the International Woodworking Fair (IWF). Thanks to high levels of international participation – 98 nations were represented, plus all 50 U.S. states – the show had its largest turnout in a decade. Attendance jumped 11.5%, to 30,396. It’s 618,033 nsf of exhibit space at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) marked a 16% increase over 2016.

Global interest in IWF is helped by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program, which promotes major U.S. events to international attendees, and provides export assistance to overseas buyers during the show.

Other notable numbers from the August shows:

  • Double-digit increases in all three metrics were made at TechNet Augusta, held at Georgia’s Augusta Marriott. The show is co-organized by SPARGO, Inc. and the AFCEA. Exhibit space was up a whopping 34.1%, to 31,046 nsf, and attendance rose by 13.7%, to 4,351, thanks to a bullish market for cybersecurity and cyberwarfare technology.
  • Summer NAPE in Houston is a hotspot for people in the petroleum industry and a bustling market for prospective petroleum drilling sites. Exhibit space was up 20.0%, to 36,700 nsf, and exhibitors increased by 8.2% to 225.
  • The Water Expo in Miami continues to be a strong Fastest 50 contender, with a 19.6% surge in exhibit space to 27,500 nsf. The show also increased its Spanish-language sessions, drawing a large crowd from Latin America.
  • Remote participation in SIGGRAPH, via Facebook and YouTube, picked up more than 100,000 total views. That’s in addition to the 16,500 attendees who came to the Vancouver Convention Centre to see hands-on demonstrations on artificial intelligence and robotics hardware and software. The show had significantly fewer exhibitors (a 19.9% decrease, to 160), but 25% of them were first-time exhibitors. Exhibit space grew by 8.9%, to 41,700 nsf, and attendance was unchanged at 16,500.

Atlanta topped the August leaderboard with shows, with IWF and the Atlanta Apparel Market (a combined 749,312 nsf). Dallas finished second with the Great American Trucking Show and Fire-Rescue International (a combined 285,500 nsf). Las Vegas ranked third with three shows, combining for 245,272 nsf.

Next month’s data will include some giant shows, including the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, the PMLA’s Private Label Trade Show in Rosemont, Ill., SupplySide West in Las Vegas, Boutique Design New York, and FABTECH in Atlanta.

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