Blockbuster Co-location Line-ups and New Launches Dominate in Post-Lockdown Trade Show Industry Rebound

JEFF HEILMAN, SENIOR EDITOR

Talk about an exhibitor feast. Next month, Emerald and Questex are launching Las Vegas Food & Beverage Industry Week, an inaugural collaboration of four premier shows from the $1.5 trillion food and beverage industry, at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).

Running from March 21-24, the blockbuster lineup features three repeat customers and one notable newcomer. Returnees include the 38th edition of Emerald’s International Pizza Expo, the 20th anniversary of Questex’s World Tea Conference + Expo, and the 36th annual Nightclub & Bar Show, the latter which is now the Bar & Restaurant Expo, also by Questex.

Completing the quartet is the inaugural SIAL America. Produced by Comexposium, SIAL is the world’s largest network of F&B trade fairs. In June 2021, Comexposium partnered with Emerald to bring SIAL (Salon International de l’alimentation, or French for International Food Fair) to the U.S.

Endorsed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the strength of the brand’s global industry event-hosting renown, the debut show offers a cross-category magnet for importers, food service companies, distributors, retailers, wholesalers and restaurateurs.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Emerald and the LVCVA (Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority) to bring key food and beverage buyers together in one central location to deliver a new, high-value experience that combines key education, product activations and customer interaction,” Tim McLucas, Vice President, Bar & Restaurant Group, Questex,said.

Described by McLucas as “a new customer engagement experience,” this innovative themed co-location of like industry events is gaining popularity in Las Vegas.

Forefront collaborations include Cowboy Christmas and Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Expo. Launched in 1986, the former is the official gift show of the National Finals Rodeo. Pairing up with the latter since 2014, the 10-day, free-admission bonanza that utilizes more than 500,000 square feet of LVCC show floor and features 350-plus exhibitors attracted more than 241,000 visitors in 2021.

In November 2021, the car industry came to Vegas for Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week, featuring the simultaneous Specialty Equipment Market Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Product Exposition shows.

Early in 2023, the National Hardware Show (NHS), the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) International Builders’ Show (IBS), and NKBA’s (National Kitchen & Bath Association) Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) will converge in Las Vegas from January 31-February 2 for Design and Construction Week.

“NHS creates synergy with the International Builders Show and NKBA’s Kitchen and Bath Show,” said NAHB CEO Jerry Howard in a release. “Co-locating NHS with IBS and KBIS will allow attendees to explore additional products and opportunities to grow their businesses, and maintain a competitive edge in the market.”

LVCVA Vice President of Business Sales John Schreiber sees growth potential in this emerging model.

“The last couple of years have motivated organizers to become more creative and open to opportunities that allow for collaboration and synergy like Las Vegas Food & Beverage Industry Week,” he said. “Not only does hosting similar-themed shows at the same time allow for the potential of increased attendance by combining like-minded audiences, but allows an industry to better showcase its breadth and depth.”

He added that, “convenience, increased access to products and services, as well as additional business and cross-promotional opportunities, make these co-locating shows very appealing to both attendees and exhibitors. If they find value in aligning dates, we can see these types of themed events gaining traction.”

Reach John Schreiber at 702-892-0711