Global Fastener News

2009 FIN – ‘World’s Largest’ Title Goes to Fastener Fair Stuttgart

October 08
00:00 2012

For decades the National Industrial Fastener Show has proclaimed itself the “World’s Largest Fastener Show.” The cover of the 2009 NIFS Show Directory even featured the “World’s Largest” title. But just a month earlier Fastener Fair Stuttgart had outgrown NIFS/West.

• In October a total of 5,993 people entered the doors at the 2009 Fastener Fair Stuttgart. There were 3,943 registrations for the November NIFS/West.

FFS even topped NIFS’ total registration record of 5,620 set in 2007.

NIFS provides registration numbers including advance and onsite rather than actual attendance figures so the gap in the number of people participating at the shows is likely to be larger than the 2,050 difference between FFS attendance and NIFS registration.

• There were 625 exhibiting companies at the show in Germany vs. 497 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

• Stuttgart exhibit space totaled at least 107,600 net sq ft. (226,044 gross sq ft) vs. 60,200 net sq ft for the 2009 NIFS/West.

NIFS’ largest booth total was 829 in 2007 – or 82,900 net sq ft.

NIFS general partner Jim Bannister initially disputed the FFS space.

“A show of that size would have the equivalent of 1,076 10 X 10 exhibit booths and we know it was not that large,” Bannister wrote.

However, Bannister did not travel to Stuttgart to see the difference and FFS confirmed the square footage.

The following day Bannister retracted his claim: “I questioned the statistics regarding Fastener Fair 2009 held in Stuttgart as published in a Global Fastener News article sent to me and want to retract that portion of the article. I have since communicated with Jerry Ramsdale, organizer of the Stuttgart Fastener Fair. He has assured me that the statistics published regarding the size of that event are accurate and I accept Jerry’s word on this. I regret that I did not first check with him before questioning the statistics.”

In the U.S. another measurement is total number of “booths.” However, since “stands” in Europe vary in dimensions rather than being based on the 10 x10 foot spaces of the U.S. the easiest comparison is calculating total square feet of exhibit space.

• Exhibit staff entering Fastener Fair Stuttgart totaled 2,210 vs. 1,885 registering for NIFS/West.

• NIFS reported registrations from 36 countries vs. 70 for Fastener Fair Stuttgart. However, Europe totals many more countries than North America’s U.S., Canada and Mexico.

FFS reported 83% came from 27 European countries. Adding Russia and CIS countries the total is 89% from “Europe.” Direct comparisons to trade shows in China are difficult as many exhibitors have only “posters” instead of booths and co-located non-fastener shows increase numbers.

FFS registration is handled by Showdate Systems – an independent company – and reports attendance numbers to show management.

There is a separate analysis of those register in advance but do not actually walk through the show entrance. That number was about 500 this year and is not included in the FFS published figures. ©2009/2012 Fastener Industry News

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Scroll down for the 2000 FIN article on Columbus trade show numbers falling below Las Vegas.

2000 FIN: Columbus Registration Drops 33.9%; Las Vegas Now the Larger Show
May 31, 2000 FIN – Total registration for the 2000 National Industrial Fastener Show & Conference in Columbus, OH, dropped by more than one-third from 4,899 in 1999 to 3,240 this year, according to numbers released by show management.

NIFS management has long proclaimed its 20-year-old Columbus event the “World’s Largest Fastener Show.”

Show management’s total for the third West version of the show last November in Las Vegas was 3,800. Show principal Jim Bannister has predicted attendance would be 4,500 this November.

Las Vegas also is approaching a sellout of its 500 available booths for the November 17, 2000, show, which would eclipse the 475 booths at Columbus this year. Exhibitor staff registration for the May 9, 2000, Columbus show again outnumbered the total of advance and on-site registered attendees. According to show management, exhibit personnel registration totaled 1,670 vs. 1,570 attendee registrations. The breakdown of attendee registrations listed 910 distributors, 26 importers, 197 manufacturers, 234 manufacturer reps, 3 from the media and 177 “other.”

Show management’s numbers for both the Columbus and Las Vegas events include advance and on-site registrations. Trade show experts find that a majority of those registering in advance may not actually attend. Neither show uses a verified attendance system to determine actual attendance figures, and neither has been audited by an independent trade show quality assurance program.

Both shows are owned by Bannister and Mike McGuire and managed by Bannister & Associates.

Distributor attendance at Columbus peaked in 1995 at 1,753, and the highest total attendance was 5,326 in 1998.

The 4th annual West show will be held on Friday, November 17, 2000, at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

The National Fastener Distributors Association will hold its fall conference November 15-16. The NFDA program includes a keynote address by Colin Powell. The Western Association of Fastener Distributors will conduct educational conference sessions on November 16. The 21st annual Columbus events are scheduled May 21-23, 2001, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. ©2000/2012 Fastener Industry News

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