Trade show attendance static; consumer show attendance up

Attendance at B.C.’s largest trade shows has flatlined after five years of steady growth.

The total average attendance at B.C.’s five largest trade shows was down 1% in 2017 compared with 2016.  This year’s attendance drop follows a year of slowing attendance growth in 2016. Total average attendance at the province’s five largest trade shows grew by less than 0.1% in 2016 compared with 2015. That was significantly less than the 3% attendance growth in 2015 compared with 2014.

However, not all shows have suffered the same fate.

The Pacific Agriculture Show has been the only trade show in the top five to see consistent attendance growth every year since 2013. The Pacific Dental Conference has had the second most consistent growth. Its attendance has dropped during the same period.

B.C. consumer shows, which target the general public, have fared far better than their trade-show counterparts, which are designed for industry professionals.

Their total average attendance growth was just under 6% in 2017 compared with 2016 – six times the growth rate of B.C.’s trade shows.

In 2017, B.C.’s consumer showsdrew a combined total attendance of 546,000; the province’s trade shows drew 63,000.