When the Green Industry and Equipment Expo returns to Louisville Wednesday, it is expected to bring in nearly $19.78 million in economic impact, according to numbers provided by the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
It’s neither the largest nor the most lucrative convention for Louisville, but it ranks in the top five conventions both this year and next year.
It is one of six conventions that are coming back to Louisville next year and rank among the top 10 in terms of estimated economic impact. The other five are the National Street Rod Association, SkillsUSA’s national conference, the National Farm Machinery Show, the North American International Livestock Exposition, and the Mid-America Trucking Show.
In 2016, the top 10 conventions are expected — two of the conventions have yet to take place — to generate $170.9 million in economic impact. That includes nights spent in hotel rooms, travel, souvenirs purchased, meals and other incidentals. The top 10 conventions in 2017 are expected to generate $144.8 million.
Two notable differences from year to year is the loss of the National Rifle Association of America’s annual meeting, which had an estimated $30.4 million impact, and the Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo, which had an estimated $19.8 million impact. Both conventions move locations every year.
The three-day Mid-America Trucking Show is the No. 1 convention in 2017 based on economic impact alone, but the National Farm Machinery Show, a four-day event, is supposed to attract the highest attendance, with 305,000 people, and result in the most hotel room nights, 36,757.
The Louisville CVB is in the process of changing how it “calculates economic impact to fall in line with industry standards,” Doris Sims, vice president of convention services for the CVB, told Insider Louisville. The numbers provided were totaled using the new formula.
During the next year and a half, CVB officials anticipate the total economic impact of conventions in Louisville will decline some because of the closure of the Kentucky International Convention Center, which hosts some of the city’s larger conventions. The convention center closed this year for a $207 million renovation and is expected to reopen in summer 2018.
Officials with the CVB and the Kentucky State Fair Board, which owns the convention center, have repeatedly stated that the upgrades, in concert with the addition of more than 1,500 new hotel rooms downtown, will allow the city to bring in even bigger conventions.
“Think of Louisville 2019 as a brand new destination,” Anthony Leachman, CFO and interim CEO of the fair board, said back in August.