Show Spotlight: Expo! Expo!

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Producer/Owner: International Association of Exhibitions and Events

What: Annual meeting bringing together the exhibitions and events industry

Where: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans

Date 2011: Aug. 22-24

Date 2010: Dec. 7-9

2010 floor space: 38,000 net sq. ft.

2009 floor space: 39,000 net sq. ft.

No. of attendees in 2010: 1,919

No. of attendees in 2009: 1,800

No. of exhibitors 2010: 272

No. of exhibitors 2009: 269

Producer comment: “We were very conservative about our expectations and budgeting because we did all of this a year ago,” said Steven Hacker, president of IAEE. “We hit all of our numbers substantially well.”

Exhibitor comment: “A customer brought a prospect that I've been chasing for a long time to our booth,” said Evan Shubin, president of Exhibit Invites. “It's the type of thing that could only happen at a show where there is a critical mass of our industry.”

Breakdown: The number of organizers who attended the event jumped by more than 25%, contributing to an overall increase in attendance that exceeded expectations, even as exhibitors cut the number of personnel they brought to the show. The event gained exhibitors, and its sponsorship program demonstrated strength. Hacker attributed the success to pent-up demand after a dismal 2009 turnout and said attendees came looking for an accurate picture of an evolving industry, as well as insights to keep their own events on course. “If there is such a thing as a must-attend event in the industry, ours is it,” he said.

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