With several years of growth under its belt, the ABC Kids Expo continued to defy the recessionary odds and broke even more records at the Oct. 10-13 show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Total attendance climbed to 14,655 - a 7.8-percent increase, compared with the prior year, and another all-time record for ABC Kids Expo. The number of exhibitors also rose to 3,670, compared with 3,306 the prior year, and media attendance soared more than 34 percent at this year's show.
He added there were a few factors he thought led to the show's success, including a rival show in Cologne, Germany, being scheduled a full month apart this year. "Normally, (the two shows) fall right on top of each other," Schur said. As a result, there were a lot more attendees from European countries this year, he added.
The 2010 show also was the first one that featured the "Maternity Square" pavilion, which Schur said drew 50 exhibitors. "(Maternity) was mixed in before," he added. Gift and apparel also saw increases, Schur said.
Also, in order to get exhibitors' attention during tough economic times, the show sent out an exhibitor prospectus for the very first time. "Before, we always got exhibitors through word of mouth," Schur said.
This year, though, he and his team decided not to take any chances, since last year's exhibitor numbers were flat, he added.
Bookings for booth space at the 2011 show are underway, with 469 exhibitors already registered, occupying 2,539 booths. Next year will be the true test of whether the show continues to grow when it makes a move away from Las Vegas, where it's always been held, to Louisville, Ky.
At the recent show, Schur said the buzz on the showfloor about the show's move was "mostly positive." Most of the complaints he has heard, he added, came from people in California who always have been able to drive to the show in Las Vegas. "Now, the Midwest and East Coast attendees can drive to Louisville," Schur said.
The current mix of attendees is 60 percent West Coast and 40 percent East Coast, but he added that he sees this mix changing next year to 40 percent West Coast and 60 percent East Coast.
"This is the largest juvenile show in North America," Schur said. "If people decide not to go, they will miss out."