Consumer Show Attendance Grows at Minneapolis Convention Center

So far, it's been a good year at the Minneapolis Convention Center, according to the city's convention and visitors bureau, Meet Minneapolis, which reported last month that the facility's five largest consumer trade shows posted year-over-year attendance gains in the first four months of 2011.

The shows — the Minneapolis Boat Show; Minneapolis RV, Vacation & Camping Show; Minneapolis Home and Garden Show; Twin Cities Auto Show; and Northwest Sportshow — saw attendance increases ranging from 6 percent to 26 percent, and also reported increased buying activity on the trade show floor.

"Boat dealers at the Minneapolis Boat Show saw sales at the show that they hadn't seen in years," said Jennifer Thompson, show manager of the Minneapolis Boat Show and Northwest Sportshow. "At our recent Northwest Sportshow, attendees were booking trips with resort owners again, the fishing tackle retailers had one of their best shows in years and boats and RVs continued to sell."

Added Katie Smith, director of sales and marketing at the Minneapolis Convention Center, "After two to three years of staying in and saving, Minnesotans are ready to get out and do things. Consumer confidence is up, and attendance and sales numbers only reinforced this trend."