Report: Las Vegas Tradeshows Remain Country’s Largest

A new study from the Trade Show News Network puts two Las Vegas expos—CONEXPO-CON/AGG and the Consumer Electronics Show—atop the events space based on net square footage. The city remains the most prominent on TSNN's top tradeshow list for the 21st straight year.

When it comes to tradeshows, heavy construction beat out tech last year—but only by a little bit.

The CONEXPO-CON/AGG conference, put on by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers every three years, was the country’s largest business-to-business event last year, according to the Trade Show News Network’s list of the top 250 tradeshows in the country. The 2014 edition of the event, which brought more than 2,100 exhibitors to Las Vegas, took up 2.36 million net square feet of exhibit space. Those numbers smashed records for AEM.

“We are honored to receive this recognition. CONEXPO-CON/AGG could not have achieved the number-one spot without the support of our membership and the industry, and their affirmation of our value and return on participation for all stakeholders,” AEM’s vice president of exhibitions and events, Megan Tanel, told TSNN.

Not far behind was the Consumer Electronics Show, the annual event that highlights some of the technology world’s hottest trends. The Consumer Electronics Association‘s Las Vegas-based annual event took up a not-too-shabby 2.06 million net square feet of space. But while it was slightly smaller than CONEXPO, CES drew 160,498 attendees—surpassing the construction event by more than 60,000.

The two shows highlight Vegas’ continuing strength in drawing wide-scale tradeshows. Four of the 10 largest shows were held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The rest of the top-10 list was a mixed bag, with two events at Chicago’s McCormick Place, two at Atlanta’s AmericasMart, and one each at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center and Hershey, Pennsylvania’s Giant Center.

(The third-place International Manufacturing Technology Show, held in Chicago, is of particular note—the event featured the live creation of a 3D-printed car, which we’re assuming didn’t happen at any other event in 2014—or, well, ever.)

But looking further down the list, it’s not even close: Vegas’ 60 tradeshows represent nearly a quarter of the total list, drawing more shows than runners-up Orlando and Chicago combined.

“Las Vegas is proud to maintain its ranking as the No. 1 trade show destination for the 21st consecutive year,” Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority president and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter said in comments to TSNN.

The full list—complete with attendance and exhibitor levels—is available on TSNN‘s website.

A scene from last year's CONEXPO event. (Peter Craven/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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