Attendance numbers are expected to increase at the Do it Best Fall Market in Indianapolis, which officially kicks off Oct. 13.
An early reading about five weeks ahead of the upcoming October market showed double-digit percentage increases in store attendance, and increases in total badges even higher.
“It’s a dramatic difference,” said CEO Bob Taylor. “We’ll have to see, but it’s a great early sign that maybe [the industry] turned a corner.”
Attendance at markets has been running flat or down in recent years. (“Keep in mind the years we went through,” Taylor said.) Attendance was down in May, even though actual business activity increased by about 8%, according to the co-op.
The October event will be the first without veteran executives Dave Dietz and Dave Haist, who retired officially over the summer, and who were replaced by new VP finance Doug Roth and new COO Dan Starr.
Taylor described the transfer as smooth.
“As much as you appreciate the contributions of guys like Dave Dietz and Dave Haist, the real tribute to both of them is that it’s a non-event,” he said. “They both have done such a great job in assisting with the transition. It’s been seamless.”