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ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Attendance at this year's NACS Show in Atlanta suffered a year-over-year decline to 22,263, compared to 24,056 who walked through the doors in Las Vegas last year. However, this year's figure trumps the 21,983 who attended when the NACS Show last took place in Georgia's capital city in 2010.
Of the 22,263 who attended this year's trade show, which took place Oct. 12-15 at the Georgia World Congress Center, 7,874 were classified as "buyers"(retailers, wholesalers and distributors) by NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing.
On the rise on a year-over-year basis were net square footage, which increased by 4 percent to more than 396,000 this year; and overall booth space, which saw a 5-percent rise vs. 2012.
New to the NACS Show this year were three networking events that took place in the early evening hours. According to NACS, more than 2,000 show attendees took part in the NACS Show Kick-Off Party in Atlanta's Restaurant Row on Oct. 12. The NACS Show Tailgate Party on Oct. 13 and Convenience in Motion -- 2013 NACS Show Launch Party on Oct. 14 both drew 2,000-plus attendees each.
Also well attended were NACS' three general sessions and 58 educational sessions. More than 12,000 people attended these sessions, averaging more than 200 per session -- a record -- reported NACS.
"The strong exhibitor commitment to the NACS Show demonstrates that this event is an essential part of annual plans for both retailers and suppliers," said NACS Vice President of Convention Jack Kofdarali, president of Corona, Calif.-based J & T Management Co. Inc. "The record-setting expo, combined with our motivation and inspiring keynote speakers, leading content experts in the educational sessions and our new networking events prove to me that each year the NACS Show is an indispensible event I cannot afford to miss."
The NACS Show returns to Las Vegas next year, from Oct. 7-10. The 24,000-plus attendance for the NACS Show last year set an all-time record for the trade show, which first took place in New Orleans in 1986.
Alexandria, Va.-based NACS, founded in 1961, has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in 50 countries.