Atlanta Has a Banner Year in 2010

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By Rachel Wimberly
Published on January 3, 2011

There likely are a lot of cities across the United States that won’t mind seeing 2010 in a rear-view mirror, as they look forward to what they hope is a better year to come. But, one city that has reason to celebrate last year’s triumphs is Atlanta, with a record-breaking 19 citywide conventions.

Room night bookings also were up a whopping 33 percent, compared with 2009, according to Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau officials.

“2010 proved to be a banner year,” said William Pate, president and CEO of ACVB. “In partnership with the meeting planner, our staff was focused on getting people to the conventions through marketing and public relations efforts.”

He added. “Atlanta has the offerings that customers are looking for, and now that the economy is improving, we’re seeing convention travelers come back.”

Last year was a tough year to get attendees to events, but, according to ACVB officials, 25 of the 33 largest conventions that met in the city in 2010 met or exceeded their attendance goals.

Medical meetings, in particular, had a good year in 2010, with five medical meetings coming to Atlanta in November alone.

One of the November shows, Medtrade, which ran Nov. 15-18 at the Georgia World Congress Center, also had a strong year, attracting 11,756 attendees and exhibitors to the show – a 38-percent increase, compared with the 2009 show.

Medtrade’s success paid off for Atlanta since the show rebooked in 2014.

“We definitely feel Medtrade 2010 was successful,” said Kevin Gaffney, Medtrade’s group show director. “Medtrade attendees and exhibitors enjoy the business-focused environment that is present in Atlanta.”

He added, “Ease of travel, plentiful venues for entertaining and the support and efficiency of the Georgia World Congress Center staff all contributed to the overall success of the event.”

This year ended on a high note for Atlanta at the recent International Association of Exhibitions and Events’ Expo! Expo! held in December in New Orleans.

Messe Frankfurt USA’s Texprocess Americas, the leading international trade show for processing textile and flexible materials, which is collocated with Techtextil North America, signed a letter of intent at ACVB’s booth for 2014 and 2016. The collocated shows also will be held in 2012 in Atlanta.

Atlanta also expects a solid year in 2011, with 16 citywide conventions on the books, according to ACVB officials.