January Trade Show Wrap-Up: World of Concrete, NAIAS, Shot Show and More

February 6, 2019

This year has already been a busy one for trade shows, with five major events wrapping up in January. Take a look at some of the highlights, each indicators that the industry looks strong for 2019 and beyond.

World of Concrete

This signature event for the international concrete and mason industries marked its largest show in a decade, drawing 60,511 attendees and more than 1,500 companies—including 259 brand-new ones—exhibiting across nearly 777,000 net square feet of exhibit space at Las Vegas Convention Center. The show’s educational component enjoyed a 5 percent increase in attendance.

“The positive energy indicates a strong year ahead,” said Kevin Archibald, WOC show manager. “This year brought in record-breaking attendees, exceptional exhibits and a very solid rebook rate of just over 538,000 net sq. ft. of exhibit space, rebooking 70 percent of the total 2019 square footage onsite for next year’s show.”

An entertaining highlight of the show was the 17th annual bricklayer world championship, in which 27 teams competed for the title of world’s best bricklayer, as well as a 2019 Ford F-250 and cash prizes.


The 41st annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, otherwise known as SHOT Show and operated by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, brought in more than 58,000 industry professionals. The show also set a new record for exhibiting companies, with 2,400 covering more than 692,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space at Sands Expo Center, which has served as the show’s venue for the last 10 years, and amounted to 12.5 miles of display aisles.

Highlights included a Supplier Showcase that’s doubled in size since it began two years ago, with 540 equipment manufacturers. The growth of this section is expected to continue, leading the show to move it into the MGM Grand Conference Center in 2020 so it can expand.

“This SHOT Show was marked by innovative strategies to provide opportunities to new exhibitors while maintaining the quality experience for longtime exhibitors,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF senior vice president and chief marketing officer.


The 16-day North American International Auto Show, held once again at Cobo Center, enjoyed a total ticketed attendance of 774,179 this year, contributing an estimated $430 million to the regional economy around Detroit. This year’s massive event, celebrating its 30th anniversary as an international show, opened with a show called The Gallery, which attracted 500 attendees and featured a $10 million collection of exclusive automobiles.

Another component of NAIAS, AutoMobili-D, experienced a 46 percent increase in international exhibitors this year, with 215 brands and 65 startups. It occupied a 150,000 sq. ft. expo and featured mobility-themed content.

“From startups showcasing their innovative technologies to executive discussions on a driverless future to industry giants standing on the world stage revealing brand-defining products and technologies, NAIAS was an incredible platform for one of the most exciting times in the history of our industry,” said 2019 NAIAS Chairman Bill Golling.


Hosted at the newly expanded Anaheim Convention Center the last week of January, NAMM Show — the global trade show for the music products, pro audio and event technology industries — attracted more than 115,000 industry professionals and 2,000 exhibiting member companies, representing 7,000 brands. The show achieved a slight increase in attendees and achieved a 14 percent year-over-year increase in international participants, thanks to a more business-focused experience and realigned member badge allocations.

“From the exciting innovations of our exhibiting members; the creativity of our retail members in finding enhanced ways to serve their communities, especially music educators; to the expanded live sound, lighting and event tech professionals and companies who made the trip to Anaheim, the connections, business opportunities and education offered each the tools needed to succeed in the year ahead,” said NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond.

Texworld USA

More than 4,100 buyers representing 70 countries convened at Javits Convention Center in New York for the three-day Texworld USA and Apparel Sourcing USA Winter 2019. Combined, the two shows brought together 330 suppliers. New this year were guided floor tours, an opportunity for attendees to walk the showfloor with seasoned industry experts to gain insights on exhibitors most relevant to their business.

One major theme this year was sustainability, with exhibitors putting the spotlight on fashion’s impact on global carbon emissions, water and chemical pollution.

“More and more of our attendees are requesting sustainable textiles, and this year we increased our efforts to place a higher focus on those companies, making it easier for the buyers to locate them,” said Jennifer Bacon, show director for Texworld USA.


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