The Show Must Go On: Many Early 2022 Shows Moving Forward

Frances Ferrante, Senior Editor
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Last year’s World of Concrete paved the way for the opening of trade shows.

LAS VEGAS — Since the emergence of the Omicron variant, show organizers have been closely eyeing the early 2022 shows for indications of what’s to come. So far, the news is mostly positive, with some shows going on as planned, others moving their dates to the spring and a few being canceled.

CES led the pack and was followed by PCMA’s Convening Leaders, which kicks off January 9 at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas. More than 3,000 attendees are expected, and a digital experience with 45 sessions and the keynotes is expected to draw another 1,000 people. In a statement to members, President and CEO Sheriff Karamat, CAE, said, “Volatility is not new to us. In life, we should always respond and never react. These circumstances are what we have all prepared for. It’s where we excel.

“Our industry and our businesses can and will move forward. How this happens is up to us. Our audiences need us more than ever.”

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Las Vegas will have another milestone on January 18 with the opening of World of Concrete, which — like the other two shows — is moving forward with a carefully crafted safety plan. Charlie McCurdy, President and CEO of Informa Markets, said he is “thrilled” for the company’s shows to be in person again. “We’re moving forward with that event and many others in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere based on our communities’ enduring belief in the value of the platforms we provide, and need to reconnect and recover together,” he said. “Our industry has a big responsibility. We play an important role in stimulating the vitality of the global industries we serve and the regional economies that host our events. Trade shows traditionally generate $325 billion in business sales annually for a wide variety of industries, and World of Concrete — one of our 400 market-defining events around the world — delivered an economic impact of an estimated $109 million to Las Vegas in January 2020.”

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The World of Concrete isn’t the only trade show opening in Las Vegas on January 18. This is also the day the SHOT Show will swing open its doors. The show is on track to attract 75 to 80 percent of its 2020 attendance and over 2400 exhibitors.

“With the most exhibitors in show history, our expansion to the new Caesars Forum, attendance numbers climbing by more than 1,000 every day since the new year, and finally welcoming everyone back to Las Vegas, to say we’re excited would be an understatement. This is a show two years in the making, and we can’t wait to welcome our industry back together,” Chris Dolnack, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, NSSF – The Firearm Industry Trade Association, said. “We’ll have more than 2,400 exhibitors in both The Venetian Expo and Caesars Forum covering over 800,000 net square feet, making this the largest SHOT Show ever. And despite some people choosing not to travel this year, we are still expecting a great turnout with estimates right now at more than 40,000 attendees.”

In New York,  the National Retail Federation is moving forward January 16-18 at the Javits Center. Senior Vice President of Conferences Susan Newman is enthusiastic about the show’s pivotal role in its industry. “Retailers have been safely navigating the pandemic for 21 months while keeping their doors open. On behalf of the industry we represent, NRF is keeping our doors open and proceeding with hosting NRF 2022: Retail’s Big Show in person,” she said. “NRF is confident we can deliver a safe and successful annual convention for all of our attendees who come seeking personal and professional development through networking, educational content and the opportunity to see and experience the latest innovations exhibited by top global businesses.”

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Later this spring, another show with great significance to the business events industry, IMEX Frankfurt, will put a new stake in the ground, announcing  it will move forward live on May 31 after two years of cancellations. The show was moved moved from its originally scheduled date in late April. “We strongly believe that a late-May edition of IMEX in Frankfurt will allow everyone to move ahead and plan with certainty and confidence,” IMEX CEO Carina Bauer said. “Having recently come off a highly successful IMEX America, we’re completely focused on building a strong return for IMEX in Frankfurt; and we’re also keenly aware of how much our industry needs IMEX to bring everyone together, and prove that business regeneration and good lead flow is not only viable but closer than some may think.”

Reach Sheriff Karamat at skaramat@pcma.org; Charlie McCurdy at charlie.mccurdy@informa.com; Susan Newman at NewmanS@nrf.com; Carina Bauer at carina.bauer@imexexhibitions.com; and Chris Dolnack at cdolnack@nssf.org