Las Vegas continues to dominate list of top convention towns

Showgoers navigate an aisle on the tradeshow floor during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 11, 2012. CES, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow, runs through Friday.

Las Vegas has again topped TradeShow News Network’s list of the top conventions and trade show hosts in the United States in 2012 with 53 shows in the top 250.

The Las Vegas Convention Center had four of the top 10 shows, ranked by square footage, including the largest show in the country, the Consumer Electronics Show.

It’s the 19th straight year that Las Vegas has retained the No. 1 ranking. Last year, Las Vegas had 55 of the top 250, but that list included the ConExpo-Con/Agg show, which meets once every three years.

The list, published by Tarsus Group, said CES had 1.86 million square feet of exhibits, well ahead of the International Manufacturing Technology Show (1.24 million square feet) staged in Chicago.

Other Las Vegas shows in the top 10 were No. 7 Specialty Equipment Market Association, an automotive trade show, 998,000 square feet; No. 8 summer MAGIC fashion show, 950,860 square feet; and No. 10 RECon 2012, a shopping center exhibition, 900,000 square feet.

The top Southern Nevada events not staged at the Las Vegas Convention Center included the Winter Las Vegas Market at the World Market Center (No. 17); the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show at the Sands Exposition Center (No. 24); and JCK Las Vegas, a luxury jewelry show at Mandalay Bay (No. 35).

“Las Vegas proves year after year the tremendous value it has to offer trade shows that are held there,” said TSNN president and editor-in-chief Rachel Wimberly, noting that the two closest competitors, Orlando and Chicago, hosted 47 shows combined.