Tradeshow Week Names the Hartford Boat and Fishing Show Its Fastest Growing U.S. Show for 2007

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For Immediate Release
November 19, 2007

Tradeshow Week Names the Hartford Boat and Fishing Show Its Fastest Growing U.S. Show for 2007

Connecticut Marine Trade Association Show Increases More Than 80% Since 2004, Takes Top Two Industry Awards

HARTFORD, CT – The Connecticut Marine Trade Association’s (CMTA) annual Hartford Boat and Fishing show – the state’s largest indoor boat show – has been named the nation’s overall fastest growing tradeshow by Tradeshow Week (TSW), a leading industry publication.

According to TSW, the show’s phenomenal growth – from 68,000 net square feet and 110 exhibiting companies in 2005, to 155,000 net sq. ft. in 2006 – qualified it for the first time as a TSW Fastest 50 show, and scored it two of the top honors at the event.

The CMTA Hartford Boat and Fishing Show also garnered TSW’s top award for the fastest growing hybrid-consumer show.

“We’re very excited for the CMTA Hartford Boat and Fishing Show,” said Jeanne O’Grady, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Connecticut Conven19ion Center (CTCC). “The TSW designation demonstrates how significantly Connecticut-based businesses can grow at the convention center. It also elevates Connecticut’s visibility with major tradeshow producers looking to launch new shows in the state.”

“The CMTA has been a fantastic partner and we’re proud of their success!” she added.

The annual TSW Fastest 50 list recognizes the achievement of trade, association or consumer shows that experience the greatest growth in net square footage in the past three consecutive years (2004-2006). Winners are evaluated evenly on their percentage of growth and their total net square footage of growth.

In 2004 and 2005, the Hartford Civic Center hosted the annual CMTA show. In January 2006, the CMTA show moved to the Connecticut Convention Center, where it increased in size more than 80 percent. In addition, the show’s attendance increased to more than 16,000 – a jump of 70 percent.

“We’re delighted to be recognized nationally,” said Grant Westerson, CMTA’s Executive Director. “I’ve been a supporter of building a convention center in Connecticut for a long time and I was very excited about it finally becoming a reality. The benefit of having a convention facility is that our shows can grow and prosper for years to come.”

In 2007, the show continued to grow, using all available exhibit and meeting space at the convention center. Next year’s event, set to take place Jan. 24-27 at the CTCC, is already 98 percent sold out.

“The Connecticut Convention Center (has been) beautiful for Hartford and for Connecticut. The staff is incredibly easy to work with. They also recognize and appreciate the complexity of our business needs,” Westerson added.

The nation’s 50 fastest growing consumer, trade and association shows were honored Nov. 2-4 in Atlanta during an executive-level conference held at the Georgia World Congress Center, an opening reception at the New World of Coca-Cola and a brunch prepared by Wolfgang Puck Executive Chef Gregg Brickman at the Georgia Aquarium.

Top awards, including the fastest-growing overall show, were announced Nov. 3 at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center. CNN’s news anchor, Erica Hill, was the guest announcer.

“This year’s list of winners is unique,” TSW Editor-in-Chief Michael Hart said. “With every kind of show from BIO to the CMTA Hartford Boat & Fishing Show to World of Concrete, it really demonstrates the great diversity of the tradeshow industry. Also, with so many different kinds of shows growing, it says something about the health of the business.”

About the Connecticut Convention Center
Newly opened in June 2005, the 540,000-square-foot Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford is the largest full-service convention facility in southern New England. Located exactly halfway between New York and Boston, the center overlooks the beautiful Connecticut River and features 140,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 40,000-square-foot ballroom and 25,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as ample sheltered and outside parking. The facility is served by more than 6,500 local area hotel rooms, including the 22-story Marriott Hartford Downtown, attached to the Convention Center. The state-owned property is privately managed by Waterford Venue Services, a subsidiary of Waterford Hotel Group. For more information, visit or

About the Connecticut Marine Trade Association
Founded in 1954, the CMTA promotes the interests of Connecticut’s recreational boating industry. It sports a current membership of 300, and for the past eight years, the annual boat and fishing show has been its primary event. The Association continually monitors legislation and regulations to ensure boating remains one of the top affordable family recreations available in Connecticut. From January 24-27, 2008 the CMTA will celebrate its 39th annual show at the Connecticut Convention Center with hundreds of boats in the sold out Exhibition Hall and well over 100 booths of boating accessories and marine services upstairs in the carpeted Ballroom. Admission is still $12 and children under 12 are always free.

“Boating is good clean fun, let’s keep it that way!”

Katie Blint, CTCC, 860-728-2605
Grant Westerson, CMTA, 860-767-2645