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Yet Another Rosy Outlook / Perception or Reality?

The tradeshow for people in the tradeshow business is barely underway in Vegas, and already “they” are saying that it means great things for the industry. (Never mind that every time any show exceeds the attendance of the previous year, the entire economy has been saved.)

I just read that, “If EXHIBITOR2012 holds true to form, the Las Vegas convention industry is in for an outstanding year. For several years, the show, which runs March 4-8 … has been a harbinger of what the upcoming year will bring for the city’s convention industry.

“After several years of struggle, EXHIBITOR2011 featured 54 new exhibitors, preregistration was up 12 percent and the show was rated one of the Top 5 Buying Shows in America by Exhibit Surveys, Inc.

“The Las Vegas convention industry, after several years of struggle, had more than 4.8 million people attend trade shows in 2011, an increase of 8.8 percent when compared to 2010. This year promises even more for both EXHIBITOR2012 and Las Vegas.

“The EXHIBITOR2012 exhibit hall was expanded twice to hold 271 exhibitors, an increase of 12 percent when compared to last year. More importantly, the exhibitors are building larger exhibits. For 2012, there are 65 exhibit spaces larger than 20’x30’, many of them with a large presence in Las Vegas. This is up from 53 in 2011. Conference and exhibit hall attendees also are ahead of last year.”

That’s all well and good, but does it actually predict economic improvements? It’s just one show among hundreds, and not even the largest in Vegas.

Advance Poster for Exhibitor2012

“’The reason our show works as an indicator of the future is that an audit of EXHIBITOR2011 by Exhibit Surveys found that 70 percent of our buyers participate in a trade show held in Las Vegas at least once each year, with the average being three shows,’ said Lee Knight, founder and CEO of Exhibitor Media Group, which produces the event. ‘Twenty-three percent exhibit more than five times per year in Las Vegas, which is by far the most frequent show city used by EXHIBITOR2011 conference attendees. So when the buyers come to EXHIBITOR Shows, you know they will be back to spur Las Vegas’ economy,’ he added.”

Gee, that clears up everything. (Oh, and you’re welcome for correcting the typo.) This rosy outlook, like most rosy outlooks in recent years, is based more so on speculation and perception than on facts. But, if you’re a romantic, maybe that’s good enough. Sometimes perception leads to reality. Let’s hope this is one of those times.




About Joan Weis