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International CES Tops Gold 100 Ranking of Largest Trade Shows of 2009


Oceanside, CA – The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) regained bragging rights as the largest show in the U.S. in 2009, according to Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 annual ranking released today. CES spanned 1,709,000 net square feet (nsf) of exhibit space in 2009, down (7.7)% from the 1,853,000 nsf CES sold in 2008, but comfortably ahead of the biennial International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE), with 1,089,807 nsf. The year before, CES took second place to the triennial CONEXPO-CON/AGG with 2.3 million nsf.


The Top Ten Shows
More than 20 industry sectors were represented among TSE’s Gold 100. The top ten shows tended to be those featuring heavy and large products such as those serving the automotive, aviation, building/construction, furniture and manufacturing industries. Here are the top ten:

  • #1  International Consumer Electronics  Show (CES) (1,709,000 nsf)
  • #2  International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE), with 1,089,807 nsf
  • #3  NPE2009 – The International Plastics Showcase in Chicago (977,000 nsf)
  • #4  National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) 2009 Annual Meeting & Convention in Orlando (873,800 nsf)
  • #5  World of Concrete in Las Vegas (870,102 nsf)
  • #6  International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas (863,637 nsf)
  • #7  Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa (861,680)
  • #8  National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas (810,000 nsf)
  • #9  RECon, The Global Retail Real Estate Convention in Las Vegas (806,052 nsf)
  • #10  Las Vegas Market – Fall in Las Vegas (759,674 nsf)

Time to Shine
These ten shows, plus 90 more leading events, have set the Gold Standard for the exposition industry and will be honored at a formal banquet at Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 Awards & Summit September 22-24 at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, CA. In addition to the award gala honoring the 100 largest shows, the event also features TSE’s Gold Summit. “Over the course of eight hours, the Summit will pack in a wealth of clever new ideas and discussion on the most pressing economic, social and tech trends reshaping our industry,” said Darlene Gudea, president, Trade Show Executive Media Group.

New to the List
Shows that made the 2009 Gold 100 list this year included non-annual shows that cycled in as well as others that grew at a faster pace. They included:

  • # 2  ICUEE (1,089,807 nsf)
  • # 3  NPE, The International Plastics Showcase  (977,000 nsf)
  • # 61  ProMat 2009 (310,000 nsf)
  • # 69  Solar Power International ‘09 (261,000 nsf)
  • # 72  AWFS Fair, The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers (254,505 nsf)
  • # 74  Nightclub & Bar Show (250,000 nsf)
  • # 76  AMI International Meat Poultry & Seafood Expo (249,435 nsf)
  • # 87  The Work Truck Show (200,500 nsf)
  • # 89  Triumph of Ag Expo (200,000 nsf)
  • # 91  International Workboat Show (188,899 nsf)
  • # 92  Waste Expo (188,500 nsf)
  • # 93  Greenbuild International Conference & Expo (188,000 nsf)
  • # 94  Greater New York Dental Meeting (185,575 nsf)
  • # 97  Sign World USA (160,000 nsf)
  • # 98  ATA Trade Show – Archery Trade Association (152,950 nsf)

Scheduling accounted for a good share of the trade shows that made last year’s Gold 100 but were missing from this year’s list. Along with the triennial CONEXPO-CON/AGG, the biennial International Manufacturing Technology Show and International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair – USA were not held in 2009 and thus are not on the roster. Also absent was the quadrennial MINExpo International, which was ranked # 31 on the list of 2008 shows. In addition, Print Expo is held every fourth year in place of Graph Expo.

Shows connected to the home building and improvement industries saw a decline in representation on the Gold 100. Shows that fell off the list included: the International Pool Spa Patio Expo; Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo; and Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Expo.

Also impacted and falling below the cutoff point were SEMICON West and ASIS International as other shows leapfrogged over them with stronger growth or lower declines.

Show management for several large shows “were not comfortable releasing show performance data” and thus were left off the list. These include the Winter and Summer editions of The WSA Show & The Collections at WSA, the International Home + Housewares Show, the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference, Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo and PMA International Convention & Trade Show.

Register Early and Win an IPad®
Invitations to the Gold 100 honorees are being sent in the mail now. However, online registration is officially open for the Gold honorees as well as CEOs, presidents, executive vice presidents, group show managers and other senior level executives. To register now, click here.

Attendance is capped at 200, so register early. And TSE’s Diane Bjorklund is offering an incentive to early birds: the first 50 to register will be entered into a drawing for an Apple IPad®.

Reach Darlene Gudea, president, Trade Show Executive Media Group, at (760) 630-9111 or; Carol Andrews, editor-at-large, at (562) 505-7903 or;  Diane Bjorklund, TSE vice president of events, at (630) 312-8915 or

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