Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo Up in All Metrics at Atlanta Show
The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo (HPBExpo) 2012, which was held March 1-3 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, was up in not only total attendance and buyers but also number of exhibiting companies and new special events, compared with last year’s show.
Total registration was 14 percent higher, the number of exhibiting companies increased 10 percent and the number of net square feet of exhibits was up five percent, compared with the 2011 show held in Salt Lake City.
“Atlanta is a great location for the HPBExpo,” said Jack Goldman, president & CEO of the HPBA and the management of the HPBExpo.
He added, “We have had some of our best shows there and this year’s show brought excitement and energy to our industries.
Also for the first time at the 2012 event, was the Outdoor Burn exhibit area that hosted the inaugural Tailgate and Celebrity Chef Cook-off, as well as the outdoor New Product Pavilion.
The Tailgate and Celebrity Chef Cook-off were sponsored by Big Green Egg, manufacturers of kamado-style smoker grills.
The cook-off featured five chefs from local Atlanta restaurants who cooked on the egg-shaped smokers. The event was emceed by barbecue guru Ted Reader, who provided commentary and interviews throughout the cook-off and announced the winning chef from Serpas Restaurant.
The outdoor exhibit area, where fireplaces and stoves can burn gas, wood or wood pellets and grills and smokers are in operation, also featured a demonstration area for new products coming into the market.
The indoor exhibition featured hundreds of new products throughout the halls and several natural gas-burning fireplaces and stoves in traditional and new contemporary styles.
The barbecue industry’s line of grilling and smoking accessories, including tools, gauges and spices, continues to grow, according to HPBA show officials.
The HPBExpo is the annual trade show for the fireplace and outdoor cooking and living industries that attracts exhibitors from North America and overseas.
The attendees to the show primarily are North American retailers of the products. Next year’s show will be held March 13-16 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.