Another record year at MAATS

A slight change in location and a minor shift in timing helped the 2005 Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show draw a record number of exhibitors and buyers to its fifth-annual show July 20 - 22 in Las Vegas.

Among the nearly 2,400 attendees who walked the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center — home to MAATS for the first time after the event was moved from a space at the adjacent Hilton Hotel to accommodate more exhibitors — were 455 buyers. That total represented a 17 percent increase over the number of who attended the show in 2004.

And, with the move from the Hilton allowing for an increase of 125 units of exhibit space, the 368 exhibitors at MAATS 2005 were a record as well.

The number of buyer/supplier meetings, another key feature of the show, also increased significantly. In 2003, there were 1,070 meetings, last year 1,128 were held. But, at this year's show, the National Marine Manufacturers Association — which produces MAATS — said that more than 1,300 meetings took place.

The ease with which those meetings could occur, and with attendance in general, was aided greatly by the shift in dates for this year's event.

MAATS 2004 began with buyer/supplier meetings on July 8, days after the Fourth of July weekend and the observance of the national holiday on July 5.

That proximity to the holiday caused logistical problems for some, as far as travel or set up for the show. This year's dates made things much easier for many.

“I think just being away from the July 4 weekend just helped in general,” said MAATS manager Kathleen Clickett. “Retailers and distributors have different wants and needs as far as timing, obviously, so the third week in July is what we have committed to.”

That timeframe will not change through 2007. MAATS has already committed to dates in 2006 (July 19-21) and 2007 (July 18-20).

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