McLEAN, VA (March 22, 2000) — By all accounts that matter, the SIA Vegas 2000 show was a success. Retailers met and talked with suppliers; orders were written; business was transacted; and most show attendees came away feeling confident about the industry and looking forward to a great year in 2000-01.
“Now that all is said and done, we can say that the SIA Vegas 2000 Show was a success for most of our exhibitors, the retailers who came and anyone else that attended the show,” said SIA President David Ingemie.
The two critical areas of comparison — number of buyers and total attendance — were down slightly from 1999. This year SIA Vegas attracted 5,857 buyers, compared to 6,139 in 1999, down 4.6 percent. Total attendance this year was 18,926 compared to 21,772 in 1999. The number of 10 X 10 booth spaces, a standard trade show measurement, was up 3,853 vs. 3,839 in 1999.
The number of shops represented at the show was virtually the same — 2,341 to last year’s 2,353. In addition, the buying power of the SIA Vegas 2000 show remained extremely high at 88 percent, a small drop from last year’s 89 percent, which was the all-time high point.
Ingemie took issue with comments that there were fewer people at this year’s version of the annual trade show. “We don’t agree that there was lighter foot traffic,” said Ingemie. “We may have been down slightly in actual bodies at the show, but the number of people attending compare favorably to previous years. We allowed for more free space and designed the floor so we would have more room and an open feel. We also created more writing spaces, which allowed retailers to work on their orders on the show floor, rather than wander around or go back to their hotel. So, while it seemed there wasn’t as much traffic, the buyers were there and they were working.”
“With the consolidation taking place in every segment of our industry, you have to expect slippage in attendance across the board,” said Ingemie. “There simply aren’t as many shops or buyers or suppliers as there were a few years ago. For a trade show to even approach the attendance numbers of a previous year is an accomplishment. To be as close as we are to last year’s attendance is a testament to the prestige and importance of the SIA show. Our member exhibitors remain committed to the Vegas Show, our retailers realize that Vegas is where they need to be to see and order all the products, and other snow sports organizations recognize the Vegas Show as the annual gathering place for the entire industry.”
Exhibitors at this year’s show were kept busy. “We’re got the commitment we wanted. Response was great,” said Dolomite’s Dan McKenna. “We don’t get a lot of paper at the show, maybe 15 to 20 percent. But 80 percent of the people we see in Vegas will go back and finish up in two weeks,” said Gerry’s Al Zindel.”
“By the end of the show we had about 90 percent of our orders,” said Burton’s Russ Rowan. “We had appointments every hour on the hour. The show has done everything we wanted it to,” said Larry Hart of Rip Curl.
“Everyone — manufacturers and retailers alike — are saying they’ve had a great first quarter,” said Swix president Dave Lampert. “That had a positive affect on the show. We were busy. The people at the show were focused and prepared. They have to do business and get rolling.”Retailers also found the show was productive.”Certainly the prices of the products have gone up, and probably the quality too. But either way, we are buying,” said Bob Dinwiddie of MCU Sports Shop, Boise, Idaho.A two-year comparison of attendance figures for the SIA Vegas Show in a number of categories:
SIA Vegas 2000 SIA Vegas 1999Total attendance 18,926 21,772Buyers 5,857 6,139Buyers per shop 2.5 2.6Shops 2,341 2,353Buying power 88 peercent 89 percentExhibitors 524 (including 20 comp exhibitors) 570 (including 22 comp exhibitors)Booths (10X10 booth spaces) 3,853 3,839Exhibitor personnel 8,865 8,359Press 522 388
Planning for the 2001 show has already begun. The SIA Trade Show Committee will meet in mid-April to discuss preliminary plans for SIA Vegas 2001.
SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is the national, nonprofit, member-owned trade association of competing on-snow product manufacturers, suppliers and distributors working together to promote and develop the winter sports industry.