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ABC Expo attendance down in 2012

Attendance was down overall among both exhibitors and retailers at the recent ABC Expo held last month, but show organizers said international attendance received a boost.

This year's event drew almost 800 manufacturers in just under 3,000 booths, down from 3,500 booths in 2011. This year, 4,343 buyers from 1,871 stores attended, a drop from 5,034 buyers from 2,102 stores. But the 2012 show also drew visitors from 66 countries — the most countries ever — with large groups from China, the United Kingdom, India and Canada in particular.

ABC organizers added that several new events this year, including two evening hospitality events, a breakfast to announce winners of the JPMA Innovation Awards, and the first-ever "Tweet Up," were popular with attendees.

In related news, the ABC Kids Expo has once again been named to Trade Show Executive magazine's Gold 100 Honorees, a ranking of the largest trade shows in North America. The expo was ranked No. 44 and has made the list ever since the award's inception in 2008.

The ABC Spring Educational Conference & Trade Show was ranked No. 42 on TSE's Fastest 50 list for 2012.

The spring show is set for May 7-9 at the South Point Resort, Spa & Casino in Las Vegas. The 2013 ABC Expo is set for Oct. 15-18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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