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Despite Tough Economy, Exhibitors See AAPEX as a Good Investment


A recent analysis of booth space reservations for the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) shows that despite challenging economic times, exhibitors are bullish on the annual business-to-business trade show representing the global automotive aftermarket. AAPEX is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 3 through Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, NV.

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AAPEX space reservations to date show that 85 percent of exhibitors plan either to enlarge their booth space or maintain the same square footage as in 2008. While the majority of exhibitors are keeping the same booth size, 6.4 percent are expanding. In addition, 63 companies which didn’t participate in AAPEX 2008 are exhibiting at the 2009 event.

An interesting footnote, according to AAPEX organizers, is that 17 major aftermarket companies who have exhibited for more than 50 years are exhibiting at AAPEX 2009.  

AAPEX is tracking better than a number of other industry trade exhibitions, according to analysis completed recently by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). The CEIR report showed that, during economic downturns, many exhibitors adjust their show strategies: reusing or refurbishing exhibits rather than replacing; reducing show staff; and purchasing less space.

“The AAPEX exhibitor analysis reflects what we are hearing from our members, the North American aftermarket suppliers who exhibit at AAPEX,” said Steve Handschuh, president and COO, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). “While there is some belt tightening, our members are coming back to AAPEX and using this year’s event to focus on key products and customers.”


“The aftermarket typically votes with its feet and these numbers speak for themselves,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. “We are talking to exhibitors every single day and we clearly understand the financial challenges many of them are facing so we are encouraged by the results of the recent analysis.”

AAPEX will be held at the Sands Expo Center, Tuesday, Nov. 3 through Thursday, Nov. 5. For more information, visit



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