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.
Gen Con—the single-largest event the Indiana Convention Center hosts on an annual basis from an economic impact standpoint—will become an online event this year. Organizers said the social nature of the gaming event made it impossible to hold in-person.
Experts say hotels of all sizes are under tremendous stress as revenue for many falls below the levels needed for debt payments.
The local tourism industry is bracing for a “very tough” end to 2020, despite efforts to reopen the state by July 4.
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody announced Tuesday that avoiding a traditional in-person convention was “the safest way” to conduct the event.
The Capital Improvement Board of Marion County and Visit Indy said they are implementing several cost-cutting maneuvers ahead of expected drops in tax revenue over the next several months.
The tourism bureau’s 62 employees will see their work weeks cut to four days through at least April.
The head of the Capital Improvement Board of Marion County, which owns and manages the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, on Friday acknowledged there will be an “obvious impact” from the virus.
The Indiana House and Senate both passed a measure Tuesday night that would make panhandling illegal within 50 feet of any ATM; entrance or exit of a bank, business or restaurant; public monument; or place where any “financial transaction” occurs.
Officials say no events have been canceled locally, but groups—including the NCAA and Visit Indy—are watching the news and weighing their options.
The trade-only event scheduled for March 14-17 had been expected to draw 60,000 visitors and 2,200 exhibitors from 45 countries.
The American Society of Association Executives expects draw more than 6,000 people to Indianapolis for its four-day conference in August 2026, putting Indianapolis under the microscope of key decision-makers for their respective associations.