Dollars and Sense: How CONEXPO-CON/AGG Mitigated Exhibitor Costs for the Record-Breaking 2023 Show




By Dana Wuesthoff, CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show Director —

It’s hard to believe it’s been six months since we were last together in Las Vegas “Taking Construction to the Next Level” at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023.

This year’s record-breaking show was an experience none of us will soon forget. CONEXPO-CON/AGG truly lived up to the hype, and it reaffirmed the fact that it’s always been the place where major innovations in construction technology are announced and showcased. And to the 2,400 exhibitors from 36 countries that made the decision to participate in the show this past March, thank you for helping make the show such a success.

I also want to thank our talented and dedicated AEM staff, who worked very hard to prepare for a new, different and better edition of the show for 2023. And, as part of our ongoing commitment to provide a best-in-class level of service our exhibitors come to expect from CONEXPO-CON/AGG, I wanted to share some insights from our recently conducted research related to show costs, vendors, satisfaction and more.

Ultimately, we’re proud to say we worked to mitigate overall costs and provide added satisfaction for our exhibitors in the following ways:

Cost Mitigation:

  • Exhibitor vendor service rates were 10% less than the Las Vegas city average based on other shows. What’s more, this cost mitigation came at a time when vendor rates were increasing at an average of more than 9% show over show. Compared to CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, vendor rates increased only 2%.
  • Our negotiations with Freeman to upgrade the freight package plan, which included additional advance warehouse time, elimination of overtime and other add-on fees, resulted in a collective $1.5 million savings for show exhibitors.
  • The overall exhibitor spend on vendor expenses for general contractor services of all CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 exhibitors represented a 19% savings, compared to the 2020 show.
  • Edlen put into place an electrical pricing model that resulted in an overall 29% savings for exhibitors compared to electrical spent on the 2020 show.

Satisfaction Ratings:

  • Approximately 85% of 2023 exhibitors said they were satisfied with the general contractor services for material handling, decorations and electrical. This is up from 62% of exhibitors that said they were satisfied in these areas for the 2020 show.
  • Attendee satisfaction increased across the board compared to the 2020 show, including Net Promoter Score asking if attendees would recommend this show to their colleagues.
  • Roughly 98% of attendees rated the show as good to excellent, with 80% indicating they are equipment and product purchasing influencers. And 48% of attendees said they purchased or made a purchasing commitment as a result of attending the show.

The above numbers tell a story, and my purpose in sharing these data points with you is to reinforce how we are working to provide a greater ROI for your investment in CONEXPO-CON/AGG, and I encourage you to share above information with your fellow team members.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2026 is still a few years off, but it’ll be here before we know it. In the meantime, we’re putting plans in place to once again offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity for AEM members and their fellow exhibitors to showcase new products, gain insights and feedback directly from their customers, as well as learn about industry challenges and what potential solutions construction professionals seek.

There’s a lot of work ahead of us. But if one thing’s for certain, it’s that we’ll be ready to bring the construction industry back together again in March of 2026.

I look forward to seeing you there!

For more perspectives from AEM staff, subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor.  

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