That’s the question raised by a just published article in Trade Show Week. In it, a senior executive for the LA Convention & Visitors Bureau says that IPC is biding its time before returning to Los Angeles. This despite a 12% falloff drop in show attendance from 2005 to 2006, a drop most observers attribute to the L.A. site, and a near-revolt led by some of the major equipment vendors that resulted in a move to Las Vegas, at a reported cost to IPC of $750,000.
But yet. In the article, Michael Krouse, vice president of sales for LA Inc. the Convention & Visitors Bureau, reportedly said, “[IPC has] been very upfront with us that they would come to Los Angeles when our new hotel is built.”
However, IPC spokeswoman Kim Sterling countered that the trade group has a deal in place with the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, and no changes are immediately forthcoming. “We have a contract we intend to honor with Mandalay Bay in 2008 and 2009,” she told me. “After that, L.A. has potential, and we learned ‘never say never,’ and we’ll always look at our options.”
My take is Krouse is putting the best face possible on the loss of a major show. A successful couple of years for Apex in Vegas, however, and the $10 billion in improvements the City of Lights is making to its downtown may be a moot (albeit expensive) point.