Winter warmup one factor contributing to attendance cooldown at trade shows

June 2, 2012 By    

Coming off one of the mildest winters on record, the propane industry saw attendance decline at its three primary trade shows this spring, with many saying the poor winter heating season contributed. This comes despite the industry’s centennial-year celebration.

NPGA’s Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo, the industry’s biggest annual show, was held April 14-16 in Atlanta, drawing 1,109 attendees and 212 exhibiting companies to the Georgia World Congress Center. Those numbers declined from the 1,307 attendees and 216 exhibitors in 2011. Total attendance, including attendees, exhibitors, speakers, staff and spouses, was 2,559, compared to 2,838 in 2011. The show covered 52,500 net square feet (54,500 last year).

Later in April, the Midwest Propane Gas Convention & Trade Show (pictured above), held in Indianapolis with the Michigan, Kentucky and Ohio propane associations supporting it, attracted 320 attendees and 63 exhibiting companies to the Indiana Convention Center, compared to 492 and 91, respectively, in the prior year. Total attendance was 612, compared to 900 in 2011.

Midwest convention organizers say they expected less attendance this year because the Indiana and Illinois propane associations moved to the Midwest Petroleum and Convenience Trade Show in March. The Midwest propane show had drawn 600 attendees in 2010 and more than 800 in 2008.

And on May 17-19, the Western Propane Trade Show & Convention hosted 576 attendees and 125 exhibiting companies at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nev., compared to 637 attendees and 151 exhibitors in 2011. Total attendance was 1,050, compared to 1,087 in 2011.

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik was a senior editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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