Global Fastener News

1997 FIN – Las Vegas Show Gamble Pays Off

June 22
00:00 2015
Bannister and McGuire photographed in 2015 (courtesy LINK Magazine)

Bannister and McGuire photographed in 2015 (courtesy LINK Magazine)

November 21,1997 FIN – The owners of the National Industrial Fastener Show & Conference, held annually in Columbus, OH, since 1981, gambled that a western version of their show would be a winner in Las Vegas.

At least for a first time event, Jim Bannister and Mike McGuire believe they hit the jackpot.

The National Industrial Fastener Show/West held November 14, 1997, drew more than 1,400 attendee registrations, according to show management’s preliminary figures.

“I had said all along that if we had 1,200 to 1,500 the first year I would be delighted,” Bannister told FIN. “And we came closer to the top end of that range. I am very pleased.”

The 1997 Columbus show reported 3,007 advance and on-site attendee registrations.

“We noticed distributors from western states and the western provinces of Canada and even Mexico who we’ve never seen in Columbus,” Bannister noted. “In Columbus we see a good influx of folks from Quebec, Ontario and other eastern provinces.”

“Exhibitors told me it was nice to meet the principals who were attendees,” Bannister said. “Those companies may have sent buyers to Columbus, but the principals from western states came to a show for the first time.

“In talking to exhibitors several mentioned that they learned from the Mexican attendees they had been selling fasteners to Mexico without knowing it.”

All 228 booths were sold out well in advance of the show.

The 1998 show will have 350 booths and is scheduled for November 6 at Bally’s Hotel in Las Vegas.

More than 50 booths are reserved for 1998, Bannister said.

Prior to the show many questioned whether western distributors would come to Las Vegas and whether they would be at the show or be in the casinos.

“They showed up,” Bannister declared.

However, after the show several exhibitors were speculating that the Las Vegas event could exceed Columbus numbers within the next few years. ©1997/2009 Fastener Industry News.

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