Show Spotlight

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Firehouse World Exposition & Conference

Producer: Cygnus Expositions, a unit of Cygnus Business Media

What: Event for firefighters about the latest in fire technology, fire prevention and fire-fighting techniques.

Date: Feb. 2-4, 2005

Where: San Diego Convention Center, San Diego

No. of attendees: 6,000

No. of exhibitors: 850

No. of attendees in 2004: 5,460

No. of exhibitors in 2004: 304

Producer comment: "We've been building on our success over the last three years [since the company rebranded the show and moved it from San Jose to San Diego], and we really came into our own with this year's event," said Rob Brice, president, Cygnus Expositions Division. "This year we were able to offer college credits in California. ... We were able to establish a curriculum that was specific to our attendees. Those were major gains for us."

Exhibitor comment: "It was a great show," said Rob Puhalovich, marketing manager at International Truck & Engine Corp., a truck chassis manufacturer. "The mix of equipment that is typically sold in the West is a little different from the rest of the U.S. ... Building relationships for the future with other exhibitors at that event [was important]. The big players are everywhere, but there are some specific fire and emergency apparatus managers that concentrate on building a certain type of unit for the West Coast, so they tend to exhibit on the West Coast.

Breakdown: The show exceeded Cygnus' projected number of attendees. "We have competitors starting and relaunching shows," Brice said. "Reed just launched a show in Las Vegas this past year. [PennWell] had a Sacramento show ... but they canceled [it], and this summer they'll launch a show in L.A. It was ours to make or break this show. We had a free year to establish ourselves without direct competitors."

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