NAHB, Orlando-Area Vendors Pleased with Builders’ Show Turnout, Despite Decreased Attendance

Orlando, Fla.–Conference center owners and show organizers were pleased with the International Builders’ Show attendance this year, the Orlando Sentinel reports.Attendance at Orlando’s largest scheduled 2008 conference–organized by the National Association of Home Builders and held from Feb. 13 to 16 in Orlando, Fla.–declined just 11 percent due to the housing market slump. Approximately 92,089 builders, vendors and other construction-related visitors attended the show, NAHB said. The In 2007, more than 104,000 attended. “Actually, we’re quite happy that it was only down 11 percent,” Wayne Stetson, senior vice president for NAHB’s convention-and-meeting group, told the Sentinel. According to Stetson, attendance at other construction trade shows has fallen 20 to 25 percent.”The show [attendance] was down, but the exhibitors and the attendees were happy because the buyers came,” said Kathie Canning, deputy general manager for the Orange County Convention Center.Local restaurants also saw a boost in business due to the show–which brought thousands of hungry customers into town–and Valentine’s Day. “We had our best week ever,” said Dan Kirby, managing partner for Roy’s restaurant in Orlando.After four years in Orlando, the show moves next year to Las Vegas.