Orland Park, Ill. More than 107,000 business professionals attended AAPEX and the SEMA Shows during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week in Las Vegas in November, according to show owners. The total 2008 attendance figures reflect a decrease of nine percent.
“The final attendance numbers reflect the buzz we heard on the AAPEX show floor that while the traffic might have been down slightly, the quality of buyers were there in force,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. “In fact, two-thirds of the more than 9,000 international buyers at AAPEX were decision makers, while more than half of the more than 30,000 domestic buyers were decision makers.”
“We have heard very positive comments from our members, the leading North American aftermarket suppliers, about the amount of booth traffic and productive customer meetings at AAPEX 2008. We were pleased to have so many global aftermarket professionals in attendance at the Overseas Automotive Council (OAC)/AAIW International Reception again this year,” said Steve Handschuh, president and COO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). “During this economic downturn, AAPEX proved its worth to the industry, and we are already working on new AAPEX attractions for even greater ROI in 2009.”
“The 2008 SEMA Show is a great example of this industry’s strength and perseverance,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “One of the factors that makes this market unique is that it is made up of people with positive, can-do attitudes who are looking for opportunities. The high number of leaders and decision makers who attended the SEMA Show underscores that fact, and makes the event even more noteworthy and valuable.”