Welcome to EXPO’s second-annual, exclusive survey of the Top 25 Fast-Growth Shows of 2011.
Judging from the 2011 entry metrics, many shows around the nation beat their own expectations, by far.
Take PROCESS EXPO, at the number-one slot. Run by the Food Processing Suppliers Association at Chicago’s McCormick Place, sponsor revenue growth rate was off the charts—at 576.43 percent. Exhibitor revenue growth rate surged 153.31 percent, and attendance nearly doubled, to 12,732.
At the American Occupational Therapy Association’s expo, the 7,640 people who came represented a 29 percent attendance boost.
The numbers tell only half the story. In 2011, conferences and expos used technology in a big way. From E3’s quick response code campaigns, “industry matchmaking” and a virtual gateway, to IFPE’s use of RFID technology to allow exhibitors to track attendee traffic—all to better understand attendee interests and product preferences through accurate, web-based reporting and analytics.
So how do we come up with the winners from such a vibrant and diverse group?
Concentrating on performance metrics, our survey assesses conferences and expos not just for their size, but also for new strategies, innovative ways of showcasing exhibitors, blockbuster growth and use of new media and IT. Based on reader submissions, EXPO ranked each entrant on eight metrics:
• Square foot size
• Square foot growth
• Attendee size
• Attendee growth
• Exhibitor size
• Exhibitor growth
• Revenue growth
• Attendees per square foot
THE TOP 25