NEW ORLEANS — Attendee registrations stood at approximately 10,200 as this year’s Clean Show opened for its final day, show planners Riddle & Associates announced this morning. But exhibitors were nearly unanimous in praising the quality of the attendees and exhibition services in New Orleans.
Not surprisingly, preliminary numbers indicate that show attendance is down significantly from Clean ’07’s 14,667. “My best guess is that we’re probably going to be down about 2,000” when Sunday’s on-site registrations are added, said John Riddle, chief executive officer of Clean’s longtime exhibition-management firm.
When preregistration ended for Clean ’07, he noted, the show had logged 11,302 attendees; preregistered attendees for this year’s show totaled about 8,400, or 25.7% fewer than the Las Vegas show. Part of that decrease could be the fact that many exhibitors cut down on booth space and staffing to save money in response to the current economic downturn, he said.
But the quality of the visitors more than made up for the loss in traffic, Riddle added, echoing what many industry suppliers are saying on the show floor. “Yes, we were down, but I think that nobody came to New Orleans in June just to eat shrimp étouffée,” he said. “The numbers were down, but the quality was great. They came here and spent money.”
Riddle also announced that the Clean Show will return to Las Vegas for its next appearance, with dates set for June 6-9, 2011.