What: Annual trade show and conference for the catering industry
Where: Las Vegas Convention Center
Date: Feb. 24-28
Date next year: Feb. 22-26
Floor space: 91,100 net sq. ft.
Floor space last year: 54,000 net sq. ft.
No. of attendees: 5,561
No. of attendees last year: 3,246
No. of exhibitors: 368
No. of exhibitors last year: 354
Producer comment: “We're growing the market that we communicate with,” said Pauline Hoogmoed, conference director and CEO. “[Catersource] Magazine (launched in October 2004) has helped develop our audience. We've added more education. We're constantly reshaping our program.”
Exhibitor comment: “We're able to get our product featured at events going on throughout the conference,” said Amy Garrard, director of marketing at longtime exhibitor TableCraft. “We're also in some of the sessions. We're very visible from a logo standpoint, and that's key.”
Breakdown: The show addresses a rapidly growing segment of the food industry. It experienced a 71% jump in attendance last year and floor space expanded almost 69%, growth in part fueled by a partnership with Event Solutions that brought meeting planners and show organizers to the event. The show will co-locate with Event Solutions for the second year in 2009 and be called the Catersource & Events Solutions Conference & Tradeshow. Organizers project that attendance will grow to 7,000 despite the down economy. Conference tracts will address the strain of tightening budgets. The show will introduce pavilions focused on sustainable products, as well as entertainment and event production. —C.W.