NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 8, 2000)—Even though total attendance at the 2000 World International Tire and Rubber Association Expo was down significantly from 1999, ITRA officials said they´re satisfied with the show´s second year at the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville.
This year´s total attendance of 2,731 was off 18.8 percent from last year and included 1,616 regular attendees, 15.3 percent fewer than last year. There also were 1,078 exhibitor attendees, a 25.9-percent drop from 1999.
Since the 1998 Expo in Louisville, Ky., attendance has fallen about 32 percent.
There were 194 booths in the show´s 56,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall, a 6.7-percent decline, and square footage was 11.1 percent less than a year ago.
In spite of the decline in attendance, outgoing ITRA president Randy Drake was upbeat. "I felt we had a great show," he said.
Rita Shourds, director of the ITRA Educational Foundation, said 24 workshops drew 1,800 attendees, the largest total attendance since 1983. "We´re pleased and ecstatic," Ms. Shourds said. "The show met our expectations."
Of the decline in attendance, she said she is "not so concerned with numbers as the quality (of attendees)."
"We´re pleased as punch," said ITRA Director Bill Babek.
Marvin Bozarth, ITRA executive director, noted this year´s Expo had a large number of late registrants.
Next year´s Expo is planned for April 19-21 at the Opryland Hotel.