Last month's four-day event, held at Las Vegas's Sands Expo & Convention Centre, was attended by 9,163 delegates, an increase of 1 per cent on the 9,081 who attended in 2002.
The conference attendance decreased by 12 per cent from 3,942 (2002) to 3,464 this time. This fall was explained, the organisers stated, after the cancellation of the 2001 show increased the need for CE credits in the US last year.
Eileen Baird, show manager, was upbeat. 'Response to this year's event has been overwhelmingly positive,' she said. 'Our continuing education sessions were packed and broke records for the highest number of hours attended per person.
'There was also a significant spike in reported buying activity on the show floor.'
She said one of the new successes of this year's show was a visit-by-appointment-only 'Suites' area for exhibitors.
Optrafair exhibitor Face ˆ Face, which used the Suites arena to display its optical frames and sunglasses, applauded the innovation. Nadine Roth, marketing director, said: 'Everything was perfectly organised and customers seemed to be very pleased by this set-up.'
Next year's show will take place from September 8-11.
The Silmo show will take place from October 17-20 at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre in Paris, where 1,000 exhibitors will display their products in the 33,500m2 arena.