Local trade show producer acquires two Cincinnati events

Local trade show producer Renfro Productions & Management Inc. has expanded its reach into Ohio by acquiring two longtime outdoor-sports trade shows in Cincinnati.

Anderson-based Renfro—which produces several trade shows in Indianapolis, including the annual Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport, and Travel Show—is taking over ownership and operation of the Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show and the Cincinnati Golf Show from Hart Productions Inc.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hart Productions has owned and produced the Cincinnati Travel, Sports Boat Show for 62 years. The Cincinnati Golf Show will celebrate its 25th year in January.

Created by company founder Robert S. Hart Jr. and originally held at the Cincinnati Gardens, the Cincinnati Travel, Sports Boat Show was moved in 1967 to the Cincinnati Convention Exposition Center (now the Duke Energy Convention Center). It has been Cincinnati’s only boat show for more than six decades and draws more than 400 exhibitors annually.

Hart Productions said Renfro was the ideal company to take over the shows because both companies are in their second generation of family ownership and have been managing similar trade shows for more than five decades.

“Our decision to transfer ownership to Renfro Productions was not at all taken likely,” Hart Productions President Chip Hart said in written comments. “We firmly believe that with their experience, talents, contacts, and ability to drive qualified attendees, the Cincinnati shows can grow well beyond their current range. Renfro Productions was the perfect choice given their historical association with us and the industry. The phenomenal success of their similar event in Indianapolis and their Midwest knowledge of the business, industries and visitors made perfect sense.”

The Indianapolis Boat, Sport, and Travel Show dates to 1953 and has been produced by the Renfro family since 1963. The 10-day event uses 700,000 square feet of space at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and is considered the largest consumer trade show of its kind in the nation.

Renfro Productions, founded by the late Harry Renfro and now led by his son, Kevin Renfro, also produces several other events at the fairgrounds, including the Deer, Turkey & Waterfowl Expo, the Indiana Motorcycle and Powersports Expo, and the Indianapolis Fall Boat & RV Show & Sale.

The next Indianapolis Boat, Sport, and Travel Show is scheduled for Feb. 14-23.

The Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show is scheduled for Jan. 17-19 and Jan. 22-26. The Cincinnati Golf Show is set for Jan. 17-19.

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