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Questex Events Reports Record-Breaking Attendance, Number of Exhibitors and Revenue in Q1 of 2023

crowded show floor at Questex's Bar & Restaurant Expo

CHICAGO — Questex reported a record-breaking first quarter in 2023 for its events in numbers of exhibitors, attendees and revenue, pushing the company’s events past pre-pandemic levels. 

Questex events grew significantly in Q1, including the co-located International Beauty Show (IBS) New York and International Esthetics Cosmetics & Spa Conference (IECSC) New York, which combined grew 22% in attendees compared to 2022. IECSC grew 10% when compared to 2019 and grew revenue by 25% compared to the 2022 event.  

“We developed a multi-level marketing plan, as we do every year, to reach our target audience down to the job function level, through various touchpoints,” Jennifer Rosen, Group Marketing Director, Travel & Wellness Group, Questex, said. “But this year we changed our messaging to reach our audience on an emotional level.” 

The beauty and spa industries were significantly impacted in the last few years, and Rosen explained that by using more emotional messaging, Questex was able to recognize the hard work and dedication of the industry’s professionals. 

“So, this year, instead of focusing our event and our campaign in the beauty and spa industries, we turned our attention to our attendees, to make them feel like the ones in the chair and we allowed them to say ‘yes’ to themselves! We introduced the “Say Yes to You” campaign, so attendees would come to IBS and IECSC and feel appreciated. We brought them premier education, leading companies to connect with, and developed new show floor activations to empower them – all to help them become their best selves and finally Say Yes to You!” 

Related. New Onsite Experiences Drive Engagement at Co-located IBS New York and IECSC New York 

Compared to 2019, the 2023 Bar & Restaurant Expo grew 42% and was the largest edition in five years, and when combined with World Tea Expo, attendance grew 19% over 2022.  

“The growth has come from a combination of significant exhibit demand, plus existing exhibitor upsizing, in addition to delivering a first-class conference program and unique activations in the food & beverage space,” Tim McLucas, Vice President and Market Leader, Bar & Restaurant Group, Questex, said. “Marketing tactics included a high-profile social media influencer campaign, extensive email campaigns to all industry categories, digital ads, text message campaigns, Google Ads and YouTube bumper video ads. 2023 introduced major enhancements to the conference program, plus launched new on floor customer engagement experiences including a Tea Bar and created new upgraded attendee networking opportunities.” 

Another high-growth event, Vibe Conference, saw 30% growth over 2019 and increased revenue by 20% when compared to 2022. The 2023 Vibe Conference was the largest edition in the history of the conference.  

Questex’s Fierce Pharma events also saw growth, with Fierce JPM Week raking in the highest revenue generated in the history of the event, Business Development and Licensing Summit’s attendance growing 13% over 2022 and Fierce Pharma PR & Communications West increasing 30% using a year-over-year comparison.  

The first quarter of 2023 builds upon Questex’s strong performance in 2022, which saw IBS Las Vegas and Live Design International (LDI) make the Trade Show Executive (TSE) Fastest 50 Class of 2022 in all three metrics, and IECSC Las Vegas make the Fastest 50 by net square feet and number of exhibiting companies. Sensors Converge was ranked in the Next 50 by net square feet and number of exhibiting companies, and Bar & Restaurant Expo and IECSC Las Vegas made the ranks of the Next 50 by total attendance.  

Reach Jennifer Rosen at (212) 400-6233 or; Tim McLucas at (617) 219-8348 or 

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