ABC Kids Expo heads back to Las Vegas in 2013
Tanya Merritte -- Kids Today, 2/1/2012 2:00:00 AM
SAN ANTONIO , Texas - The annual ABC Kids Expo is moving back to Las Vegas in 2013, based in part on the results of surveys completed by attendees of last year's show in September, said an executive with All Baby & Child, parent company and organizer of the show.
Larry Schur, president and show director of ABC, said the 2013 show is tentatively set for Oct. 15-18, in the Las Vegas Convention Center's South Hall, which hosted the show for several years up until 2011. Last year, the show switched coasts to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ken., which is where the 2012 show will also be held. That show is scheduled for Oct. 14-17.
"We had dates on hold in Las Vegas for 2013 and Louisville for 2013," Schur said. The decision to return to Las Vegas was based on feedback gathered from retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives, he continued.
Schur said that even though many manufacturers had a good show in September, "attendance was down overall." Schur said factors included the economy in general, citing that out of 28,000 juvenile stores in ABC's database, 4,000 have gone out of business. He also said attendance by European companies was down in 2011, possibly because of the near overlap of dates with the Kind & Jugend juvenile fair in Cologne, Germany.
Some attendees interviewed by Kids Today during the 2011 ABC show named travel as a huge issue concerning the move to Louisville, citing the number of flights required to get to Louisville along with other airport issues.
Schur explained that because the show is so large - requiring 1 million square feet of space over 10 days including setup and breakdown - there are only six cities in the United States that can host the event. He said Chicago can be expensive, space in Atlanta is very segmented, and there are weather/hurricane concerns about New Orleans and Orlando, given the time of year the ABC show is held.
Schur said early response to the move back to Las Vegas has been mostly positive, although a couple of people have pointed out the new dates overlap with Canadian Thanksgiving. He said ABC realized that, but the group has limited options as it tries to juggle Jewish holidays and High Point Market and Kind & Jugend dates while finding availability in convention centers.
Looking ahead, Schur said ABC has held dates for 2014 in both Louisville and Las Vegas once again and will make a decision after this fall's show. ABC says it is working to address some of the concerns raised about Louisville, including improving food options and wait times and upgrading the Wi-Fi system.
"We want to see how the 2012 show goes," Schur said.
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