Las Vegas remains top dog in network’s rankings of trade show sites

Las Vegas maintained its grip on the unofficial title of top convention and meetings host in the United States in 2011 as home to 55 of the nation’s top 250 trade shows.

Trade Show News Network, produced by London-based Tarsus Group, ranks the top trade shows by square footage and on 2011’s list, shows in Las Vegas held seven of the top 10 positions.

The largest show of the year was the triennial ConExpo-Con/Agg show, an international construction equipment show that had 2.4 million square feet of exhibition space when it was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in March. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers said more than 86,000 people attended that show.

Other shows listed in the top 10: No. 2 — International Consumer Electronics Show, January, 1.6 million square feet at the Convention Center, No. 6 — Winter Las Vegas Market, late January and early February, 1.1 million square feet, at the World Market Center, No. 7 — Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), November, 935,000 square feet at the Convention Center, No. 8 — National Business Aviation Association Annual Meeting and Convention, October, 935,000 square feet at the Convention Center, No. 9 — RECon 2011 (International Council of Shopping Centers), May, 900,000 square feet at the Convention Center, and No. 10 — MAGIC Marketplace fashion exhibition, February, 873,140 square feet at the Convention Center.

The largest show at the Sands Expo and Convention Center was listed at No. 21 — the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, 660,671 square feet, in January. The largest show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center was No. 37, JCK Las Vegas, a jewelry exhibition, 501,282 square feet, in June.

Las Vegas’ biggest rivals for shows are Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center and Chicago’s McCormick Place. Elsewhere in the top 10, two of the three shows not in Las Vegas were staged in Atlanta.

For a complete list of the show database, clickhere.

“We share this success with our resort partners along with every meeting, convention and trade show that comes to Las Vegas,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in a release issued after the rankings were announced. “Our No. 1 ranking year after year shows clients and customers see exceptional value in Las Vegas as a meetings destination.”

More than 19,000 shows are staged in Las Vegas every year, producing an estimated economic impact of $6.3 billion on the local economy. The LVCVA said the trade show industry supports 58,000 local jobs.

Ralenkotter said several shows already have broken records for attendance, exhibitors and floor space in 2012.