LOS ANGELES -- It was the sleeper hit of the summer. In the face of a dwindling number of video specialty retailers, fewer studio exhibitors and very little of the glitz and glamour of past events, the annual video show posted strong attendance numbers, including supermarket video executives.
Renamed National Video Week, the event included the convention of the Video Software Dealers Association, Encino, Calif., the exhibit floor called the West Coast Video Show, and an expanded adult video exposition. It was held here July 8 to 10 and surprised many by posting a total attendance of 11,273, 11% higher than last year. Expectations were low and some had predicted that attendance would be half of the 10,125 that came to Las Vegas last year.
Supermarkets were represented at least as well as at previous shows, and more than 100 people attended the annual supermarket video breakfast, about the same as past years. Among the supermarket companies seen making the rounds at the show were Giant Eagle, Wegmans Food Markets, Grand Union Co., Ingles Markets, Seaway Food Town, Albertson's, Raley's Supermarkets, Safeway, Schnuck Markets, Nash Finch Co., Hy-Vee, Coborn's, Hannaford Bros., Shop 'n Save, Roundy's and multiple Kroger divisions.
In a post-show press conference, Diane Stone, group show director of Advanstar Communications, Milford, Conn., attributed the increased attendance to an aggressive promotional outreach to retailers within driving distance of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
More than 200,000 promotional pieces were distributed, Stone added. Advanstar co-owns the show with the VSDA.
The exhibitor count was 325, down slightly from last year's 350, noted Stone. Although the main show floor was visibly smaller than in the past, the adult-video section was much larger. Two major studios, Disney and Fox, did not exhibit.
This year's show was characterized by a greater emphasis on business and fewer of the big parties and celebrity appearances that characterized past video shows, said Stone.