Natural Products Expo East, Surf Expo, Interbike, SuperZoo All Score Increases

September 30, 2012

Whether its natural products, surf gear, bikes or anything and everything having to do with pets, all four industries are thriving, with their recent shows scoring impressive increases in several metrics.

New Hope Natural Media’s Natural Products Expo East, held Sept. 19-22 at the Baltimore Convention Center, had upticks across the board, including a 9-percent increase in not only attendees to 21,590 and exhibitors, which scored another 8-percent increase to 1,195, but also a bigger showfloor from 145,180 net square feet last year to 154,520 net sq. ft. this year.

“A lot of it has to do with the market,” said Erica Stone, the show’s director. “The natural products market is still growing.”

Another boost on the showfloor came from a 36-percent increase in more than 400 new exhibitors, she added.

“There are a lot of entrepreneurs in this industry,” Stone said. The downturn in the economy hurt everyone, but it also gave some people who found their job situations had changed the extra push to break out on their own and pursue their passions, she added.

Stone pointed to the location of the show as being another factor for the strong numbers. “We were in Boston a few years, and now we are back in Baltimore as of last year and this year,” she added. “Our community really likes it here.”

Surf enthusiasts also flocked to George Little Management’s Surf Expo Sept. 5-8 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

According to Surf Expo show officials, attendance was up both on the exhibitor and buyer front.

"Surf Expo enjoyed a 9-percent increase in buyer attendance compared to September 2011, which in itself was a very successful show," said Steven Fisher, senior buyer relations manager.

He added, "Cumulative attendance over the three-day show topped 24,200 retailers, exhibitors, media and industry guests. Retail representation included 47 states and 67 countries, with strong growth from both the international and Western states markets.”

The September show featured 925 first-time companies at Surf Expo, alongside the largest and most established mainstays.

"First and foremost, Surf Expo provides an unrivaled opportunity to meet face to face with all the brands retailers need to compete and succeed in this dynamic marketplace," said Roy Turner, the show’s director.

He added, "But we also understand our role of being a gathering place not only for new products and new ideas, but a place where the fun and love of the industries we serve is propagated out to the larger market around the world."

The bicycle industry is another healthy sports retail-oriented sector represented at a recent show. Nielsen Expositions’ Interbike, held at the Sand Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, posted impressive numbers.

Total attendance was 25,536, compared with 23,270 in 2011, resulting in an increase of 2,266 or approximately 10 percent.

Total number of physical retail store locations (store count) was 4,160, compared with 3,975 in 2011, resulting in an increase of 185 or approximately 5 percent.

Attendance from buyers - comprising of retail buyers distributors and importers – increased 6 percent, compared with 2011 numbers.

“To say we’re pleased with the 2012 show is an understatement,” said Pat Hus, managing director of Interbike. “Our goal was to create an ideal environment where decision makers can get educated on 2013 product, learn new business practices through our seminars and panel discussions, network and ultimately conduct the business of cycling among the best and the brightest in our industry – and I believe we accomplished that goal.”

Next year’s show will move to the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Sept. 18-20.

Everyone loves their pets and recession or not, people also love to pamper them, which translated to a busy show for the World Pet Association’s SuperZoo, held in September at the Mandalay.

In fact, the show broke attendance records, drawing a 12-percent increase, compared with the 2011 event. Participants hailed from 53 countries including, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Australia and Mexico.

"We are thrilled with the continued success of the show - especially in terms of
the quality of buyers present," said Doug Poindexter, World Pet Association’s president.
"This is a testament to the strength and vitality of the pet industry in North America."

The show has grown for the fourth consecutive year in size and scope, with this year’s show attracting 871 exhibiting companies to 160,000 net square feet of sold out exhibit space.

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