The council is trying to prohibit non-exhibiting companies from sending large numbers of people to the show and this year is limiting exhibitor participation to four admissions, Vorhees said.
Vorhees acknowledged the attendance restrictions could limit the annual attendance increases the show has traditionally seen, but said the expo aisles should be less crowded and allow for better supplier and customer interactions.
To better accommodate exhibitors after the expo ends, the council this year also plans to begin the farewell reception earlier than in the past.
In previous shows, that smaller and less formal reception started around 6:30 p.m.
To allow exhibitors who just finished the show to participate before leaving, the council plans to begin the final reception at 6 p.m., Vorhees said.
Some exhibitors asked the council to start the reception earlier so they could participate and say their farewells to the buyers and others that participated, he said.
“With these changes, I think we are continuing to add value to the attendees, whether those activities be through field trips or educational workshops,” said show chairman Bobby Creel, director of business development for Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc.
“We have to be adding value because they keep coming back.”