Speaking at a press conference hours before the convention ended Sept. 13, IBC chief operating officer Michael Crimp said that while the organization was pleased to set an attendance record, success has as much or more to do with the quality of the conference program, exhibition and special features than mere numbers. Members of the show organizing team in turn built the case during the press conference that by all measures the show was a success.
In terms of attendance, this year’s figure tops the previous high of 48,521 set in 2008, Crimp said. With the economic recession of late 2008 and 2009, IBC attendance slipped but has increased steadily to achieve this year’s record-breaking total, he said.
Describing the exhibition space at the RAI Convention Center as “filled” this year, Crimp announced that IBC had the option to occupy space to be built before the 2012 gathering if more room is needed. Crimp added there appears to be a trend of exhibitors requiring bigger booths.
In announcing the attendance figures, Crimp explained the organization is confident in the number because of the steps it has taken to ensure accuracy, including relying on RFID chips in attendee badges to measure the number of people entering the RAI Convention Center, accurate tallying and steps to remove duplicates, such as those arising from attendees with multiple badges.
Crimp emphasized that the attendance figure was of actually attendees, not a count of total registration, which stood at some 82,000 for this year’s IBC gathering.