June 20, 2011, 12:50 PM

IRCE 2011 Report: IRCE sets attendance record

More than 7,300 participated in IRCE 2011 last week, up 14% from last year.

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Despite the wobbly economy, the largest online retailing trade show broke its own industry attendance record this year.

The Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011, held last week in San Diego, attracted 7,318 participants, 14% more than the 6,432 who attended last year’s IRCE in Chicago. That 2010 show had been the largest event in e-commerce until now.

“To achieve conference attendance growth of 14% is excellent even in a strong economy, but to experience that type of growth in an economy as weak as ours is truly remarkable,” says Jack Love, CEO of Vertical Web Media, which organizes IRCE, publishes Internet Retailer magazine and operates InternetRetailer.com. “It underscores the fact that IRCE, the largest of all e-commerce events by far, has unmatched conference content and that online retailing is the one bright spot in the overall retail market.”

Love also noted that 502 companies exhibited at IRCE 2011, a 20% increase from the 417 that had booths in the Exhibit Hall at IRCE 2010.

The IRCE conference included 100 sessions with some 175 speakers. Keynoters included Christopher Payne, president of eBay North America; Sona Chawla, president of e-commerce at Walgreen Co.; and Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, now part of AOL.

IRCE 2012 is scheduled for June 5-8 in Chicago.

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