Thanks to a weak economy and a challenging housing market, attendance for PCBC fell to a low of 14,000 people this year, a drop of 27% compared to last year.
“It’s our belief that we’ve pretty much hit bottom,” said John Frith, vice president of public affairs for PCBC and CBIA, the California Building Industry Association and leader of the event, which runs June 17-19 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. This isn’t the first time PCBC has felt the impact of the current downturn; last year’s attendance of 19,000 people was about 25% fewer than 2007.
The reason, of course, is economic. As builders struggle to survive, many have cut travel budgets, allowing only a few—if any—to attend trade shows, conferences, and other industry events. But Frith said PCBC organizers are pleased with the builders and others who were able to attend this year’s show.
“Traffic is down but we’re happy with the quality of the traffic because of the people that are here,” he said.
Frith believes that the California-based show will survive the current housing recession.
“PCBC has been around for 50 years,” he said. “It’s seen as a must-see show, a little bit more cutting-edge. It is definitely the place for buyers and builders in the West to learn and to network. … The fact that we still have 14,000 [attendees] is a testament to the value [that] builders place on the show.”
Monica Stern-Morales is an editorial intern at BUILDER magazine.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Francisco, CA.