Tradeshow Thoughts: By the numbers at AIA 2009

The 2009 American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2009 National Convention and Design Exposition reported:

  • 22,400 registered attendees
  • 10,000 virtual attendees
  • 900 exhibitors, spread across three expo halls

Most exhibitors commented that show floor traffic was slower than the year before in Boston, where 25,000 people were in one building. Many exhibitors expressed that attendance was better than they expected given the current, economic climate. Some were confused by the AIA’s willingness to simulcast educational seminars online and worried that this may have contributed to lower attendance. Others applauded the move to digital presentations and downloads, which allowed more architects to learn from the presenters.

While the numbers indicate slightly more exhibitors than the 875 in 2008, several exhibiting companies noted that booths were smaller in size and due to the larger floorplan, still presented many vacant spaces. The AIA expo coordinators were quick to re-purpose the empty booth space. Some reported that exhibitors were informed if an adjacent space was vacant and were allowed to annex the area. In other areas, available spots were filled with couches, cafe tables and even outlet strips for recharging laptops and mobile phones.

The AIA 2010 expo will be held June 10 – 12, 2010, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The venue offers a more traditional floor plan in four halls and two levels in one building. Thousands of architects already have reserved their spot on the beach, anticipating better times ahead.

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