Quilters’ show attendance of more than 21,500 fills Grand Rapids; Organization plans to return | Arts & Culture
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (Oct. 10, 2012) - Experience Grand Rapids and the American Quilter's Society today announced an attendance of more than 21,500 for the first American Quilter's Society Show & Contest held at the DeVos Place Convention Center, August 22-25, 2012. The 2012 show far outpaced its pre-event estimate of 15,000 attendees and AQS plans to return to Grand Rapids in 2013 for a show on Aug. 14-17.
"We received many very positive comments about DeVos Place, area hotels, parking, and restaurants," said Bonnie Browning, AQS executive show director. "Combined with the activities at the show, it was a tremendous experience for our attendees. We're excited to return next year."
In comparison, the society's long standing and largest show saw 28,000 attendees this year. That show is based in Paducah, Ky. - known as Quilt City USA and the home of the National Quilt Museum of the United States.
The Grand Rapids show had attendees from 42 states and four countries. Nearly one quarter of the attendees were out-of-state residents. The highest concentration of outstate residents came from neighboring states, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin. Noteworthy attendance also was attributed to residents from Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and Iowa. Quilters from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Netherlands also attended.
"The impact that conventions like this one have on our local economy is sizeable," said Doug Small, president of Experience Grand Rapids. "Our region provides a unique mix of plentiful entertainment opportunities and a community culture that is friendly and inviting. We believe this mix has a major impact on our ability to keep conventions here year after year."
More than 900 quilts were on display during the 2012 AQS Quilt Show & Contest, including nine international and domestic exhibits and more than 350 contest quilts from 40 states and six countries.
Founded in 1984, the American Quilter's Society has 50,000 members from every state in the U.S. and 80 other countries.