This Just In

Numbers Show a September Slump


The fall season of 2018 began with falling numbers. September’s trade show metrics dropped roughly 3-4% in September, worsening an already flat third quarter.

The Trade Show Executive Dashboard of Monthly Trade Show Metrics reported drops of 2.9% in exhibit space compared to September 2017. The decreases were higher in exhibitors and attendance numbers, which slumped by 3.5% and 3.8% respectively.

These across-the-board declines were attributed, in part, to show rotations. Of the 18 shows in September, only eight featured 100,000 nsf or more of exhibit space. Three shows were down in all three metrics, according to the Dashboard.

Yet there was still some positive news within the data, and a few shows that reported their highest numbers ever. Some of the highlights were:

  • The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago posted record numbers. Manufacturer participation increased, which fueled the 6.5% increase in exhibitors. Exhibit space soared 3.9% to 1,424,323 nsf, and attendance skyrocketed by 11.9% to 129,415.
  • Posting record-setting numbers for the second straight year was the ACI-NA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Nashville. Exhibit space grew by 6.9% (31,050 nsf), exhibitors rose by 11.7% (191) and attendance grew by 9.9% (2,326).
  • Natural Products Expo East/Biofac America had solid numbers at its Baltimore show. Brands showcasing new products for health sustainability helped boost exhibitors by 0.4% to 1,508. Exhibit space also grew by 2.0% to 200,402 nsf. However, attendance slid by 4.3%, to 27, 743, but it was still above the adjusted September average.
  • Solar Power International (SPI), a recent addition to the Fastest 50 and TSE Gold 100 shows, saw across-the-board declines but still contributed to the month’s total with 248,400 nsf of exhibit space.

September’s top three host cities were Chicago, Hershey, Pennsylvania (site of America’s Largest RV show, with 1,047,866 nsf of exhibit space), and Las Vegas, respectively.

The year will close out with a typically light holiday schedule, but still some sizeable, Gold 100 shows. Among them: Clarion Events’ POWER-GEN International, expected to bring more than 15,000 attendees and 222,000 nsf to Orlando; the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis, projected to top 350,000 nsf with more overseas buyers and media.

Medical shows still to finish up 2018 include the Diversified Communications’ Pri-Med East in Boston, the World Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine in Las Vegas, and the 60th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego.

Read the full report:

TSE Data Center