NFPA, Americas Fire & Security shows to merge

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

QUINCY, Mass.—The NFPA Conference and Exhibition will get a little bigger this year, as it will merge with the Americas Fire & Security Expo (AFSE).

“It will really provide a larger audience and more opportunity for people on the expo side,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for the NFPA.“It will also add a lot of benefit for the Latin American audience, there will be educational sessions in Spanish, a special Latin American networking event and an international business center.”

The NFPA conference is the largest fire and life-safety industry event in the United States. The show, which  rotates between Las Vegas, Boston, Orlando and Chicago, will take place in Las Vegas this year from June 7 through 10. The AFSE, previously held in Miami in July, has served primarily the Latin American distributors and integrators of fire and security products.

Did a decrease in attendance prompt the merger? Carli said there was a slight decline in attendance at the Miami show last year, but noted that that was typical of trade shows across the board in 2009. “It was really more of a business decision to open the show up to a larger market and a bigger venue, which the NFPA conference affords,” she said. “There’s a lot of international participation at the NFPA conference already,” Carli said.

 Organizers believe the new combined event will draw people from different parts of the country who are in the Latin American market.

“We think it’s a great way to integrate both shows and provide a broad audience all they things they want when they come to an NFPA show,” Carli said.

There is always a large crowd for the Las Vegas events, she said, and this year will feature “a very full slate of exhibitors and spotlight sessions.”

The sessions scheduled for this year include a seminar covering how Cowboy Stadium was built and an interesting study recently completed by the NFPA and FM that explores the environmental benefits of residential sprinklers. There are some preliminary findings available now that compare the environmental impact of water run off from sprinklers versus the pollutants released from household objects burned in a fire. The full findings will be available and presented in June.