The Midwest Propane Gas Association announced it no longer plans to host the Midwest Propane Gas Convention & Trade Show. According to the association, the 2015 Midwest Convention in May was the association’s final show.
David Lowe, chairman for the Midwest Convention’s board, says the association thought the Midwest Convention might have had difficulty planning an event in the next couple years, as the NPGA Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo, which takes place about the same time as the Midwest Convention, moved closer to the Midwest region. The Southeastern Convention is relocating from Atlanta to Nashville, Tenn., for the next two years and takes place there April 8-10, 2016.
“We would have had difficulties finding a good time for the show with the Southeastern Convention so close in location and time to us,” Lowe says. “For the board, it didn’t make economic sense to host a show that close to the Southeastern Convention, even if we found a date that didn’t conflict.”
Lowe says the association hosted its first show in 1995 in Indianapolis. He adds the show has been hosted every year since then, sometime in spring, in Indianapolis or Columbus, Ohio.
“It was always a well-run show,” he says. “A lot of people attended it on an annual basis. It was regional, and not a gaudy or international event where nobody knew anybody. We always had enough educational seminars that were attended, too.”
In its first couple years, Lowe says, nearly 3,000 people attended the event. This past year, he says, about 100 people attended the show. He says decreasing attendance has been an issue for many propane-related trade shows.
Even with the show’s falling attendance numbers, Derek Dalling, executive director of the Michigan Propane Gas Association, says the event generated more than $1 million in revenue over the past 20 years. He says the revenue will be split between the show’s three owners – from Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.
Dalling adds that help from volunteer industry leaders kept the show going for the past two decades.
“Volunteer leaders in Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio all deserve credit for keeping the Midwest Convention such a successful event for so long,” he says. “The volunteer leaders in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri who first envisioned [the event] also deserve a lot of gratitude for making the vision a reality.”