The event, typically one of the biggest annual conventions in Indy, was held virtually last year because of the pandemic.
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IBJ reporter Mickey Shuey talks with John Downs, the CEO of the National Confectioners Association, to find out why the group decided to host its signature trade show—The Sweets & Snacks Expo—in person this year and how it picked Indianapolis to be the event’s location.Read More
National FFA moving ahead with in-person convention in October
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Over the past few years, interest in hosting environmentally friendly, “sustainable” business meetings and conventions has risen as inexorably as sea levels and summer temperatures.
A lot is riding on the revival of in-person meetings. Prior to the pandemic, conferences and trade shows generated more than $1 trillion in direct spending and attracted 1.5 billion attendees annually around the world, according to the Events Industry Council, a trade group.
Indianapolis this week welcomed the Sweets & Snacks Expo at the Indiana Convention Center—its first major trade show since March 2020. John Downs, chief of the organization that organizes the event, said he’d like to see it return to Indianapolis in the future.
Watch ‘The Rebound: Indy’s bounce back,’ a mini-documentary about the pandemic and the city’s hospitality industry
IBJ reporter Mickey Shuey, who has been covering the Indianapolis hospitality industry from the start of the pandemic the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, interviewed dozens of people in an effort to piece together how the city is working to emerge from the pandemic.
In a statement on Gen Con’s website, event organizers said they believe the calendar change is the “best approach both to meet the many challenges of the moment and to explore possibilities for the future.”
Visit Indy plans to bring in a small group of “key decision-makers” from across the United States throughout the tournament, with the goal of letting major event executives safely see Indianapolis’ capabilities.
Like PopCon, the NCAA is in the business of “fun.” Fun will not be had if you are worried about yourself and the people in which you come into contact. It is just as important for the world to see that Indianapolis, and Indiana-at-large is taking this undertaking seriously.
Officials are hopeful new virus cases won’t ruin plans to host two dozen events in the first quarter of 2021—including efforts to bring the full NCAA men’s basketball tournament here.
Liability waivers, temperature checks, social distancing. They’re in the foreseeable future for groups that want to meet in person.
The Sweets & Snacks Expo is expected to attract more than 13,000 attendees and generate an economic impact of $10.2 million.
Overall, 340 groups, representing nearly 965,000 attendees, outright canceled their Indianapolis events this year because of the pandemic. The loss of business is taking a toll on the Capital Improvement Board’s revenue streams.
The trade show in a typical year brings upwards of 67,000 people to the Indiana Convention Center and generates an economic impact of $65 million. Last year’s event had 1,100 exhibitors and 3,300 booths.
Overall attendance at Indiana Convention Center events has stagnated, but annual major conventions have seen explosive growth.
The pandemic hasn’t stopped all hospitality business in Indianapolis. Nearly 40,000 people have visited downtown since the beginning of July for events at the Indiana Convention Center or at major hotels.
More than 940 exhibitors have already registered for the event, which could bring upwards of 67,000 people to the Indiana Convention Center and generate an economic impact of $65.2 million. But county health officials haven’t yet approved the event.
The $300 million hotel will be the most expensive and elaborate new lodging project built in the city since the $450 million JW Marriott complex was completed in 2011. And it will compete directly with the JW.
The CIB, which operates the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, on Friday said May income fell significantly short of both previous-year and budgeted totals because of the pandemic.
The agriculture-education group cited lingering concerns over the coronavirus pandemic for scuttling the four-day event, which last year brought more than 68,000 people downtown.