In the past year I have attended many conferences and trade shows and all but one have had one thing in common: attendance lower than in previous years. In fact, you would have had to be pretty brave to launch a new conference or trade show this year. The one trade show and conference that actually grew in the past year is Greenbuild. It is an annual event planned by the U.S. Green Building Council and focused on green design, construction and operations.
Greenbuild was just selected by Tradeshow Week magazine as one of the 50 fastest growing trade shows in the United States and Canada. Greenbuild has been one of the 50 fastest growing events the past four years. Greenbuild 2008, which I had the opportunity to attend, was held in Boston and drew more than 28,000 attendees. Attendance the previous year in Chicago: approximately 21,000. In Denver in 2006: 13,500. You get the idea. This event has been wildly successful. Event planners in our industry would love to have to worry about accommodating such growth.
This year's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo is scheduled November 11-13 and will be held in Phoenix. The event is immediately after the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York City (November 7-10).
What I wonder is why nobody in our industry has had the desire or capability to capitalize on the growth of green building and operations in the form of a national conference or trade show. Given the success of Greenbuild and our industry's gravitation toward LEED and other certifications, one would think it would be a no brainer. Any takers?