Construction Trade Shows 2023: Locations, Expo Tips, and More

Build your business at construction trade shows. Network with industry professionals, learn about emerging trends and more....
Natalie Kienzle
February 19, 2019
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Construction trade shows come in handy when you know how to expertly build a house, but need a little business help. Whether you’re looking for new building equipment or trying to increase your brand exposure, a trade show can offer the perfect opportunity to break ground on a new business strategy.

Construction trade shows throughout the country feature industry professionals, cutting-edge building materials, and an engaged audience looking for businesses like yours. To get in on the action, you need to prepare for the big event. Follow these tips and discover what you need for a successful construction trade show.

We’ll go over some of the biggest trade show events of the year and provide some tips on how to help your business benefit. 

Find the Right Construction Trade Show for Your Business

construction trade shows hand holding a pair of binoculars

There are many different trade shows that cater to the construction and building industries. Planning for and attending trade shows does represent a significant marketing investment. 

You lay the groundwork for a great exhibition by choosing the perfect event for your area of expertise. Make sure that the convention you attend features top industry leaders that will attract serious attendees. 

We’ll go over some of the most popular shows coming up for 2023 and give you some insight into their industry focus.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Construction Industry Trade Shows of 2023

Trade shows tend to be organized by trade associations and business cooperatives. The more members, the bigger the show and the bigger the exposure. Having a wide audience is great, but it also means you will have more competition. 

We’ve broken down some of the biggest shows being arranged in 2023. Shows vary in frequency, with some happening twice a year and some only every two years. Keep the dates in mind and get ready to plan ahead. 

While there are shows available year-round, the biggest events are typically organized in the months of:

  • March
  • September
  • October
  • November

If you can’t make one of this year’s events, you can at least know what your timeline is for the next round. 

World of Concrete: January 17-19, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Start the year with an expo dedicated to the latest technology and advancements in concrete and masonry. Occurring annually, this show typically attracts about 1,500 different exhibitors and over 60,000 attendees from all around the world. Anything associated with concrete can be found, from pumps to block producers, it will be there. 

NAHB’s – International Builder’s Show: January 31-February 2, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Companies focused on light and residential construction don’t want to miss this international event. This year, over 1,300 exhibitors are expected to make their way to Vegas, and attendance is expected to reach at least 80,000. There are thousands of opportunities for businesses with a focus on home technologies, decorative elements, architectural plans, and more. 

National Demolition Association Annual Convention: February 22 – 25, 2023

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

The NDA’s annual convention is a must for anyone on the more destructive end of the construction industry. These demolition professionals attract about 1,000 exhibitors to their trade shows and offer educational opportunities to help attendees improve everything from worker retention to meeting government regulations. Companies offering new technology or business solutions are likely to get great exposure here. 

New York Build Expo: March 8-9, 2023

Location: New York, New York

While the New York Build Expo is regionally focused, its location in New York City means it attracts upwards of 30,000 attendees from major construction and technology firms in the area. Leaders in the fields of real estate brokerage, housing associations, and commercial infrastructure are in frequent attendance. With a little over 300 exhibitors expected, you want to make sure you make arrangements early for your own setup. 

Conexpo – Con Agg: March 14-18, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Without a doubt, Conexpo – Cong Agg is the biggest trade show of the construction industry in North America. It’s only put on every three years, so if you miss this one, you’re waiting until 2026 for your next chance. With about 1,800 different exhibitors and thousands of attendees, you’ll get exposure to industry leaders in asphalt, hauling, concrete, and more. 

Attendees to Conexpo-Con Agg get the added benefit of being able to attend smaller trade shows held at the same location on overlapping days. 

These include:

  • Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Convention, March 13 – 16
  • Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) Winter Convention, March 11 – 13

With the right presentation, you could truly catapult your business into the international market at this event. 

ENR Future Tech: June 5-7, 2023 

Location: San Francisco, California

Although this is one of the smaller trade shows on this list, it’s no less important. The Future Tech trade show in San Francisco, CA attracts many CEOs and company decision-makers because it focuses on specific cutting-edge technology within the construction industry. If you’re an inventor or a small startup with a big idea, this show could very well be the best place to showcase your product to a very specific audience. 

Exhibitor space is limited and attendance usually peaks at about 1,000 attendees, so you want to be very specific in your sales pitch.

The Utility Expo: September 26-28, 2023

Location: Louisville, Kentucky 

If you’re looking for a commercial construction trade show that focuses on utilities management and construction, you’ll want to be in Lousiville come September. Over 900 different manufacturers are regularly in attendance and providing opportunities in electrical work, natural gas utility systems, water management, and more. This trade show typically attracts about 19,000 attendees and is spread out over 30+ acres. 

For companies that want to bring the real deal for actual sales or demonstrations, this expo presents the perfect opportunity. 

Greenbuild International Conference and Expo: September 26-29, 2023

Location: Washington, D.C.

Companies who are investing in green and sustainable construction options need to attend the Greenbuild community expo. They partner with the Industrialized Wood Based Construction Conference (IWBC) and embrace exhibitors interested in providing interactive presentations and innovative ideas that push sustainable and cost-saving construction ideas. 

Greenbuild has been holding expos for 20 years and generally has as many as 1,000 exhibitors and over 30,000 attendees. 

Equip Exposition: October 17-20, 2023

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Formely known as the GIE+Expo, this event has been put on annually for nearly 40 years and attracts companies focused on outdoor power equipment and related technology. Marketed as a ‘try before you buy’ type of show, it may be the perfect place to showcase new designs or products made by your company. There are typically about 1,000 different exhibitors and over 20,000 people in attendance. 

Design-Build Conference and Expo: November 1-3, 2023

Location: Washington, D.C.

Design-Build itself is a group of companies pushing for a less traditional construction project delivery method. The expo is one way they invite groups to collaborate and provide insight into tools, methods, and business technology that makes it easier for owners to communicate with a single point of contact throughout an entire construction project. 

Companies who want to break into the design-build construction methods would find this conference to open new opportunities.

Who Attends Construction Industry Trade Shows?

The site foreman looks at blueprints while a building is under construction in the background.

Before you decide on which trade show to attend, research who you should expect to encounter at the event. National conferences often break down the attendees’ demographics for their trade shows

Use this data to identify which trade show will give you the best return on investment.

Depending on their focus, different events will attract a unique audience. Let’s examine the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, the world’s largest trade show dedicated to sustainability in construction, as an example.  

Greenbuild Expo 2022 Audience Demographics

IndustryPercentage of Attendees
Architecture and Engineering26%
Contractors and Land Developers20%
Facilities Managers and Owners20%
Green Construction Design Consultants14%
Executive Managers in Manufacturing9%
Government Sponsored9%
Source: Greenbuild Expo

Finding the right audience can make or break your marketing strategy. As construction and building shows continue to gain momentum in post-pandemic days, also realize that attendance and exhibitor numbers are likely to change. You may find it difficult to find audience demographics from shows that were focused on virtual conferences. 

Other commercial construction trade shows will list the job titles and roles of their attendees, from field crew to construction management to CEOs. This information also speaks to the trade show’s offerings and can tell you whether the event is worthwhile for your business objectives. 

Every trade show will appeal to its own category of construction professionals. Some have a broader scope, while others are more narrowly centered on one area of construction and building. Maximize your return on investment by finding a convention whose audience will be likely to engage with your products and services.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Who Can Exhibit at Commercial Construction Trade Shows?

You don’t only want to look up a construction trade show’s attendees, but also which companies are going to be exhibiting. Often, you can find a list of expected exhibitors on an event’s website. The list is usually broken down by company name rather than industry, but still provides a way to see how well your company may fit in. 

At a construction trade show, exhibitors could include the following industry professionals:

  • Manufacturers
  • Regional distributors
  • Contractors
  • Remodelers
  • Developers
  • Architects
  • Engineering firms
  • Craftspeople
  • Tradespeople
  • Home improvement professionals

Every show will have a different mix of fields represented. Getting a sense of your fellow exhibitors can help tell you if prospective clients and customers will be drawn to the show.

However, it can also help to find a trade show where your business will stand out from the crowd. 

A convention that is related to your field but not necessarily focused directly on your services can be a chance to offer something new on the trade show floor. The absence of direct competitors offering similar services will set your exhibit apart.

Where Are Construction Equipment Trade Shows Located?

Construction industry trade shows are put on in major cities all around the United States and the world. Some locations are more popular than others and tend to attract bigger conferences. But in the end, the decision depends on a number of factors. 

The most popular cities for large trade shows and expos are:

  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Chicago, IL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Louisville, KY
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Houston, TX
  • Anaheim, CA

Smaller, more intimate trade shows that cater to a more specific audience are more likely to choose a location based on where it’s attendees come from. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research found that 85% of trade show attendees are from within 400 miles of the show location.

Construction trade shows in particular need to consider whether they need an outdoor exhibit area. Not all venues, regardless of interior size, are suitable for demonstrating things such as heavy construction vehicles or manufacturing techniques. Such needs may require a show to be held at a specific location each time. 

Construction trade shows regularly held in Las Vegas, Nevada, include World of Concrete and the Conexpo/Con-Agg. 

Other shows may change locations every year, especially if no special space needs are required. 

A trade association or other event sponsor may base its decision on things such as:

  • Hotel availability
  • Expected attendance
  • Guest speakers
  • Nearby attractions
  • Airport access
  • Population density
  • Surrounding industries

The fact that some trade shows move around can work for your benefit. If you live near a popular conference area, you could have the opportunity to attend or exhibit at several shows while not impacting your travel budget overmuch.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Planning Your Construction Trade Show Booth

Man with open laptop taking notes in a journal

In an industry defined by heavy equipment and towering structures, standing out at a trade show can be a real challenge. The trade show floor is likely to feature hulking heavy-duty trucks and industry leaders claiming key spaces. 

To make an impact, you’ll have to prepare your exhibit space and refine your message to reach your potential customers.

Before you do any other planning, reserve the best possible exhibit booth space available within your budget. Optimizing your exhibit location will make every element of your booth have a greater effect. 

Some locations you can aim for include:

  • Spots near industry leaders
  • Near entrances
  • Aisle intersections

The type of booth space matters as much as the location, though. At a construction industry expo, size matters. A large exhibit space will allow you to showcase your equipment and materials in all their glory, or present models of your projects

Whenever possible, you want to give visitors a chance to have hands-on interaction with your products. Not only with this increase foot traffic to your booth, but it will give your sales team more opportunities for 1-on-1 engagement. 

There are three basic booth setups:

  1. Island booth: It’s one with aisles on all sides, and offers prime access and a larger area. 
  2. Split island or peninsula booth:  Usually the second largest type, it offers access to two aisles of attendees. 
  3. Inline booth: These are wedged in a row with other booths, allowing the least access and size.

It’s possible to achieve success with all three. Larger doesn’t always mean better if your sales team or engagement strategies aren’t well managed.

What You Need for a Successful Construction Trade Show Booth

They say a bad carpenter always blames his tools – don’t give yourself that excuse. Make sure you have all the essentials for a successful construction trade show experience.

You want to be able to stand out in a saturated market but also remain within a budget that won’t cut in on your ROI. 

Check The Show’s Booth Guidelines

Every industry conference will have its own rules, restrictions, and requirements for its exhibitors. In an industry that deals with everything from waste management to chainsaws, you might see some crazy things shown at booths. 

Before you reach for the major equipment, make sure you know the standards and limits of your exhibit space. These can usually be found on the trade show’s website. If you can’t find them, reach out to the show manager or your contact at the show.

When planning the contents and set up of the booth, look for rules in the following areas:

  • The correct times for move-in and loading of your booth
  • Power use permissions
  • Safety regulations

No matter what the requirements, a qualified shipping and logistics company like USA Trade Show Shipping can help you coordinate your trade show exhibit transportation.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Prepare A Budget For Your Trade Show Exhibit Space

After evaluating the trade show’s restrictions, now you need to think about your own. Exhibiting at a building expo can be a substantial investment, which is why it’s important to consider all the costs involved. 

The following are just some of the important budget items to remember:

  • Space reservation fees
  • Shipping
  • Storage
  • Labor (booth construction and more)
  • Booth staffing
  • Graphic design
  • Giveaway items and activities
  • Display materials
  • Design and printing marketing materials
  • Carpeting/flooring
  • Trade show service costs such as utilities
  • Booth furniture
  • Security for materials

The bigger and more involved your trade booth is, the bigger the related expenses are going to be. 

Show Off Your Products And Services

Construction trade shows offer an uncommon chance to present your products and services to thousands of new people. The face-to-face opportunity shouldn’t go to waste, so take the time to think about the best ways to present your products.

To showcase your offerings, see if the following methods may work for you:

  • Include actual examples of the products in your exhibit
  • Incorporate 3D models of items that won’t fit
  • Use VR tools to give attendees a digital feel of the product
  • Give your sales team a specific pitch or angle to focus on
  • Set up live demos if space and permissions allow

These are just some of the things you can do. However you choose to showcase your products or services, make sure it’s in line with the goals you’ve set for the event.

For more tips on setting up your trade show booth, check out our article on seven epic tactics you can use.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials?
Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

Networking Opportunities at Construction Trade Shows

For commercial building teams and others in the construction industry, it’s essential to build a network of useful contacts that can help your business grow. Besides laying the groundwork for potential sales, meeting new people is great for getting your brand name out there and potentially attracting new talent down the line. 

Keep these tips in mind for networking at a building and construction trade show.

  • Have a warm, enthusiastic greeting prepared.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Memorize the key selling points for your business so you can bring them up naturally in conversation.
  • Avoid bombarding attendees with your sales pitch. Let the conversation flow naturally.
  • Have activities, demos, and interesting displays on hand at your exhibit to keep visitors engaged.  
  • Remember to hand out business cards and follow up with people after the show.

It’s important to approach the right people at a show. Don’t stop being inviting, but teach your sales team to recognize which individuals to focus on for maximum business effect. 

For instance, if you are presenting new electrical equipment for commercial fixtures, you want to focus on people representing commercial real estate or construction companies. Not that the field worker for a concrete company is to be ignored, just not overly focused on.

Establishing Yourself in a Green Building Space

While every construction trade show has guidelines, an expo dedicated to green building will have specialized requirements with environmental concerns in mind. At Greenbuild Expo, for example, there are additional expectations to consider. 

Here are a few of the guidelines that exhibitors are instructed to follow at expos dedicated to sustainability:

  • Lighting: In some cases, exhibitors must use LEDs or compact fluorescent light bulbs, not incandescent bulbs. Light bulbs used in prior exhibits should be used, and should only be replaced upon burnout.
  • Electronic displays: Displays must be powered down outside of business hours and should be reused from a previous show.
  • Flooring:  A distinctive sub-floor should be not used at all. If allowed, it should be reused from a previous exhibit, or made of recycled or sustainable materials.  
  • Water: If water is used in the display, water reclamation like a holding tank must be used. At the end of the show, the water must be recycled, not dumped down the drain.

More and more companies are looking at sustainability in construction and housing. If your company is part of this progressive group, make sure your booth and trade show pitch are properly reflecting it. 

Need giveaway ideas for sustainability-focused trade shows? Check out our article on eco-friendly trade show giveaways.

Shipping to a Construction Trade Show

After deciding what your company will be exhibiting, it’s time to figure out how it will get there. Whether you’re showcasing heavy equipment or building materials at the trade show, you’ll need to carefully plan how to transport them safely and on time. This can be one of the most complicated aspects of exhibiting at a construction trade show, and you don’t want to leave it to chance.

Considering the heft and value of these items, it’s smart to contact a trusted shipping and logistics company to guarantee the items arrive at the trade show. The right company can provide shipping for everything from heavy machinery to sensitive electronics. 

There are two basic options for shipping to a construction materials trade show:

  • Advanced Warehouse Shipping: If you have several items to set up, or are just getting used to attending trade shows, this shipping option allows your materials to be stored near the site until setup becomes available. 

There are pros and cons to both methods, especially when it comes to price. Advance shipping is likely to increase your budget. However, it also means that you are less likely to be affected by unexpected delays such as a truck breakdown.

Build it Better With USA Trade Show Shipping

Shipping your full array of heavy tech or construction materials to the next construction trade show doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Trust your tech to USA Trade Show Shipping so you can focus on promoting your business. 

We’ve provided shipping to some of the biggest expos in the country and offer a variety of services.

  • Booth Setup
  • Breakdown and disposal service
  • Advance shipping
  • And more!

Call us today at (866) 415-8986 to speak with a freight specialist or complete a no-risk quote form online today.

Need help shipping your trade show booth and materials? Fill out a short form or give us a call and one of our trade show specialists will answer your questions.

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