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Trade Show Executive Dashboard Preview: Q1 Growth Slowing, Yet Still Strong

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 CHICAGO — Trade Show Executive’s (TSE) Q1 Dashboard reflects a slight slowdown in growth from the explosive pandemic rebound, however rates remain robust. The Dashboard chronicles trade show metrics across each quarter, detailing traditional metrics like net square footage (nsf), quantity of exhibitors, overall attendance as well as other highlights for each show.

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In total, 80 shows are represented in the Q1 Dashboard. Net square footage grew at 63 of these events, while 30 experienced double-digit growth. The number of exhibitors was on the rise as well, with 56 gatherings recording an uptick in that metric and 32 reaching double-digit improvements. Total attendance climbed at 56 shows, 30 of which recorded double-digit gains. Forty-three events advanced in professional attendance, with 20 of those growing by double-digits.

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When combined, the growth for all Q1 shows indicates a 7.0% rate of upward mobility for nsf, a 4.3% jump in exhibitors, a 4.7% increase in total attendees and a 2.4% rise in professional attendees. For context, those growth figures for Q4 of 2023 are 7.8% for nsf, 7.6% for exhibitors, 6.7% for attendance and 5.3% for professional attendance. While nsf growth remains strong throughout the beginning of 2024, growth in the exhibitor and attendee metrics have begun to taper off from the unprecedented highs of the post-COVID era. In totality, Q1 shows filled 13,793,779 nsf, assembled 35,435 exhibitors and brought together 1,201,098 total attendees, 655,450 of whom were professional attendees. TSE reached these metrics after adjusting for outliers and shows without a consecutive two-year comparison.

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Several events emerged from Q1 as standouts, displaying remarkable growth. Indoor Ag-Con led the way in the exhibitor metric with a 54.5% bump. World of Asphalt Show & Conference, organized by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, had the largest jump in attendance, with 38.6% more people at the 2024 event than the previous edition in 2022. RE+ Northeast expanded its show floor nsf by 74.2%, making the gathering the leader in this category. In terms of overall numbers, CES® was the largest show by nsf with 2,560,844 and also had the largest turnout 138,789 attendees.

Check out the full Dashboard in the June issue of TSE Magazine. Subscribe to receive TSE magazine today at

To submit show data to be included in TSE’s quarterly analysis, use this link:

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