The 30th Annual American Supply Association trade show held in San Antonio featured 5% more booths than the previous off-year show in 1997, but wholesalers attending the show were 10% less.

The 30th annual American Supply Association trade show held Sept. 17 in San Antonio featured 340 exhibits by 279 manufacturers, which was up 5% from the 323 exhibits at the 1997 ASA show, said Inge Calderon, executive vice president.

Other attendees included 385 manufacturers reps and 560 wholesalers representing 240 companies, said Moe Desmarais, executive director at ASA.

The number of wholesalers was about 10% lower than the number that attended the 1997 convention, Calderon said, but they represented about 32% of ASA's membership, compared with about 30% of the membership that attended in 1997.

"Overall attendance of 2,105 was down about 10% compared with 1997," Desmarais said, "but that is consistent because our membership is down about 10% due to acquisitions and industry consolidation."

Traditionally ASA conventions attract 28% to 33% of the members, Calderon said. The number of manufacturers reps at the convention was down 13% from the 1997 ASA, she said. "The slight decline in attendance may be attributed to a combination of the time of year for the show - because ASA was significantly early this year - and the fact that more people are drawn to the product shows, such as NEX," Calderon said.

The '99 ASA convention is compared with the '97 version because both were off-year events, not tied in with NEX.