Both the CSI Show & Convention, held April 21-24 in Chicago at McCormick Place, and the co-located TFM Show™, owned by Group C Communications, tallied respectable totals for registrants and exhibit booths. Amid a still-recovering nonresidential building design and construction market, The CSI Show totaled 5,000 registrants, 615 exhibit booths, and 337 exhibiting companies. The TFM Show attracted 1,838 registrants and 164 exhibitors.

The CSI Show & Convention is one of the nation's premier commercial building products shows. The TFM Show, which co-located with the CSI event for a second year, is the most comprehensive conference and exhibition for facility professionals.

"Our focus was on quality, not quantity, and the overwhelmingly positive feedback we've received from both attendees and exhibitors tells us that we achieved our goal of enhancing the value of The CSI Show & Convention this year," said CSI Executive Director Karl Borgstrom. "There was also lots of good chemistry among attendees and exhibitors, a key measure of success for this kind of event."

Borgstrom also noted that attendee traffic was steady throughout the three-day exhibit, and a notable percentage of registrants were high-level purchasing decision-makers.

Registration for one show included access to the exhibits of both The CSI Show and The TFM Show. Attendees opting for the complete registration package got admittance to both shows' continuing education sessions and general sessions as well as the exhibits.

Key elements of both shows' success were the two joint general sessions, which draw capacity crowds. Opening general session keynoter Patrick MacLeamy, CEO of Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum Inc., advanced a compelling case that the fragmented construction industry is not delivering overall value to end-users. Then a panel of prominent industry figures from a variety of design and construction disciplines joined MacLeamy to discuss his position.

Helping generate attendees' favorable reviews of The CSI Show & Convention were its more than 70 continuing education offerings, more than double last year's total. Sessions on MasterFormat's upcoming 2004 edition, green building, preventing mold in masonry construction, and specifications writing drew capacity crowds. The large number of offerings enabled participants to acquire a year's worth of continuing education credits in just a few days.

"We set out to significantly increase the scope and volume of our education program, while still maintaining the quality of our programs and not overlapping with exhibit hours. By all accounts we apparently succeeded," Borgstrom said.

Also adding value were the exhibit floor's New Product Showcase, which displayed construction materials or services that have been recently introduced or made their debut at The CSI Show, and the Product Demonstration Area.

Two prominent industry tools from CSI were featured in Chicago: MasterFormat™ and The Project Resource Manual (PRM). MasterFormat is the specifications-writing standard for most of North America's nonresidential construction projects. The PRM is the authoritative reference for developing and using construction documents. Significantly revised and expanded new editions of both items will be released later this year. Attendees studied the new MasterFormat's near-final section numbers and their titles. They also examined pre-publication copies of the PRM and placed advance orders.

Momentum already is building for next year, when a third event will co-locate in Chicago. Co-locating April 20-22, 2005, at McCormick Place with The CSI Show & Convention and The TFM Show will be the Mason Contractors Association of America's exhibit, The Masonry Showcase.