The 2003 Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Expo, held in Nashville, TN, U.S. in early March reportedly exceeded all expectations in multiple categories, including attendance, number of exhibitors, and new products.
According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association, the trade association that manages the Expo, the 2003 attendance numbers reflect a 17-percent increase over the 2002 show. The Association said that one of the main catalysts of the show's expansion is the growing consumer interest in outdoor living spaces. Specialty retailers that once sold only hearth products when the show first debuted in 1978 now sell patio and barbecue products based on customer interest in building outdoor rooms.
Some of the popular outdoor products at this year's Expo included outdoor fireplaces, stainless steel grills, complete outdoor kitchen systems with TVs and refrigerators, infrared burners and lighted handles for barbecues, campfire-styled fire pits for backyard cooking, and outdoor furniture.
An innnovation at this year's show was a gas fireplace that doubles as a mirror when not in use, along with a freestanding stove with an aromatherapy feature, and a gas fireplace with 30-inch high flames.
to Daily News