Indiana Convention Center exhibit hall will be filled to capacity for second straight year

Two months away from the 2016 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show in Indianapolis and it is already on track to be the biggest in the show’s 36-year history. For the second consecutive year, all 564,000 square feet of exhibit floor space in the Indiana Convention Center is sold out for the show, which will be held Feb. 17-20.

“Last year, it was sold out by the end of January, so this year we’re a month ahead,” says Brad Bisnette, show coordinator. “I think because last year it sold out, exhibitors knew to have their plans in place early.”

Bisnette says he and WWETT Show staff are still looking at ways that the hallway space in the convention center can be used to accommodate a few more booths, as well as seating for attendees since the exhibit hall is at capacity. There were 597 exhibitors at the 2015 WWETT Show, and the exhibitor count for 2016 is already at 585.

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“I expect it to surpass 600 once we’re done expanding into the hallways,” Bisnette says.

As exhibitor sign-up goes, so goes attendee registration.

“Registration is slightly ahead of last year’s pace as well,” says Bisnette. “It usually follows exhibitors. That’s the trend. Exhibitors help spread the word.”

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He attributes the early sell-out date in part to the return to a Wednesday-through-Saturday format for the show. The last time that schedule was used was 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky, the year before the show moved to Indianapolis. Bisnette says some exhibitors have returned after an absence of a few years.

“The larger exhibitors always come, but some of the smaller exhibitors perhaps thought (the Monday-through-Thursday schedule) didn’t work for their customers,” he says. “They’re coming back because they know their customers are coming back.”

A filled-to-capacity exhibit hall is not the only thing the WWETT Show has to offer. Education sessions are scheduled for the first three days, and so far 27 agencies covering 22 different states have approved classes for continuing education requirements. Those accreditations have been coming in earlier than usual as well, Bisnette says. And new for the 2016 show is the Kickoff Party, an additional networking event scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in Lucas Oil Stadium, which is connected to the convention center.

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“Companies know that they need to be at the show if they want to be a player in the industry and the fact that it was sold out last year has them planning in advance,” Bisnette says. “There was no hesitation. Exhibitors jumped right back in.”

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