ABC Expo kicks off 10th show
Tanya Merritte -- Kids Today, 10/16/2012 11:14:30 AM
The 2012 ABC Kids Expo got under way Sunday, marking its 10th year in business.
Larry Schur, executive director of All Baby & Child, the parent company of the show, said about 10,000 people had preregistered for the 2012 show, a number consistent with 2011 preregistrations.
About half of those are exhibitors and the other half are retailers. He said overall there are fewer exhibitors when compared to last year but an uptick in retailers. Schur said some of the drop in exhibitors - there are 300 fewer booths this year - can be contributed to consolidation in the industry.
As part of the 10th anniversary celebration, ABC held a breakfast Tuesday morning to recognize the 75 exhibitors that have attended every ABC show.
"We are honoring those exhibitors who have been loyal in supporting the show and the industry," Schur said.
Schur spoke at the breakfast along with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
Attendees at the show might notice some changes in the Kentucky Expo Center since last year. Schur said ABC addressed some issues with the city following the show in 2011, which led to some improvements. The biggest, Schur said, is the upgrade in concessions.
"The menus now have many more healthy options," Schur said, noting a new soup and salad buffet on the second floor.
Another revamped area is the South C food court, which includes a large sectioned-off buffet area.
Other changes include more and clearer signage and a completed reworked Wi-Fi system. All together, upgrades totaled about $1.2 million, Schur said.
Schur added that ABC also addressed issues outside of the convention center, such as requesting more flights and in some cases bigger planes for attendees flying into Louisville. They have also worked with city police to better coordinate officer traffic downtown after show hours. And more restaurants were open on Sunday, an issue from last year when many restaurants were closed on that day.
All in all, Schur said he was pleased with the changes.
"The city stepped up its efforts," he said.
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