The 2019 edition of World of Asphalt Show & Conference and AGG1 Academy and Expo, held Feb. 12-14 at Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, was a smashing success by all accounts. Attendance was at an all-time high, according to show officials — this year’s 10,063 attendees accounted for a 28 increase over the 2018 show in Houston.
All 50 states were represented in delegation and international attendance also grew, with professionals from all 10 Canadian provinces and 52 other countries worldwide. Combined, WOA and AGG1 achieved record exhibit size, spanning a combined 201,450 net square feet of expo space and 500 exhibitors (including 145 first-timers).
Megan Tanel, WOA show director, attributes this positive growth to a few things: stronger industry partnerships overall; increased digital marketing efforts that paid off in registrations, and targeted direct-mail campaigns to surrounding states to increase drive-in traffic. The latter tactic worked especially well, with state of Indiana attendance up a whopping 797 percent over last year’s show, according to Tanel.
More than 43,000 attendees from 90 countries convened at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Feb. 11-15, for the HIMSS19 Global Conference & Exhibition. Known as a global advisor and thought leader in the area of health information and technology, HIMSS is a non-profit with more than 72,000 individual members worldwide.
More than 500 education sessions were on the agenda and major themes of the show this year included interoperability and patient engagement (which was covered in depth in a pre-conference specialty program called HIMSS Patient Engagement & Experience Summit).
These focus areas marked a shift in the conversation led by HIMSS in years past, moving from technology to improving patient care, according to show officials. The show also created space for more venture capital firms and emerging technology companies to engage with its audience.
The Las Vegas Convention Center was abuzz with more than 67,000 homebuilding professionals from around the world on Feb. 19-21 for the 75th anniversary of the NAHB International Builders’ Show. It, too, set record attendance this year.
“With the largest attendance in 10 years, we’re proving once again that IBS is the only place to experience such a diverse collection of innovative products, education sessions and networking opportunities all in one place,” said Geoff Cassidy, NAHB’s senior vice president of exhibitions and meetings.
Exhibit space at IBS grew to 608,000 sq. ft. (up from 583,000 in 2018) and included nearly 1,500 exhibiting companies displaying the latest in building products and technology. Many exhibitors noted increased foot traffic to their booths this year, according to show officials.
Once again, the show colocated with Kitchen & Bath Industry Show for the annual Design & Construction Week, which attracted more than 100,000 attendees.
This year’s KBIS had more than 600 exhibitors, and when combined with IBS, the show floor occupied 1 million square feet.
Salon by KBIS, a tented area behind South Hall that featured primarily European brand exhibits and DMM Talks, was new this year. The area had its own hashtag (#IntheSALON), and attendees had the ability to win swag by using it when posting about their favorite products in this area. The Salon also featured the Lightovation Lounge, with experts in illumination, resources from the American Lighting Association and a virtual reality experience.
Conversation platform Design Milk X Modernus Talks Lounge proved to be popular again this year, designed for talks about business and current events among industry insiders, influencers and design VIPS. The first-ever New Modernist Mixer social event was also hosted in this space.
Another new addition to the 2019 show was KBIS Think, an adapted education format where event attendees had the chance to create a topic, post it and invite others to join the conversation.