Determining the top list of trade shows by industry can be difficult to do, trade shows cater to a variety of categories. Narrowing down the list could be a perfect opportunity for a business to target their strengths and potentially gain new customers. Occasionally branching out into trade shows your company doesn’t typically fit into can be beneficial for new exposure. These shows attract tens of thousands of people, including industry leaders, top brands, exciting startups, and deep-pocketed buyers. Knowing which trade shows to attend can impact your business greatly.
By attending only the top list of trade shows by industry, companies have an opportunity to raise their brand awareness and make a statement about their products and services. Before exhibiting at a trade show, though, it’s essential to research which conventions and exhibitions will maximize your return on investment. Studying the top-ranked trade shows can give you an idea of the best conferences for your business. Exhibiting at some of the best trade shows repeatedly gives your company a seniority status and you too could be seen as the chief within your industry.
The trade show audience is on a steady incline, each year American businesses spend about 10 million dollars just on attending these events. However, there is a misconception that attending trade shows contributes only to the exhibitors.
Convention attendees benefit just as much, if not more than exhibitors. Participants are capable of networking, getting face-to-face time with businesses, get feedback on your own business, monitor the competition, and taking all of their new knowledge to build brand awareness for their company.
The trade show industries with the most growth are government, industrial and heavy machinery, sporting goods, travel and amusement; and raw materials and science. Many more trade shows are becoming dominant as time goes by. Attending or exhibiting at one of the top trade shows in the nation will be valuable to your business’ future.
With thousands of trade shows taking place each month, how do you determine the best ones in the nation? After locating the most suitable convention industry for your business, narrow your search down to the best within your category. Your primary goal should be to attend the most highly-ranked trade shows, these shows usually pertain to bigger buyers meaning more business for your company. Some of the top 100 trade show industries include:
At the biggest construction trade shows, you’ll find cutting-edge technology, heavy-duty equipment and innovative materials that are breaking down barriers in the industry. If you are in the construction field, make sure to keep an eye out for these expos.
The world’s largest construction trade show, the Conexpo-Con/Agg show, is held every three years at the Las Vegas Convention Center. At 2.5 million square feet, the center holds more than 120,000 attendees, 2,800 exhibitors, and 150 educational sessions. Conexpo dates back to 1909 while Con/Agg debuted in 1928. The two trade shows merged in 1994.
The major business categories that appear at the show include:
Major companies at Conexpo-Con/Agg include Caterpillar, Komatsu, and Volvo Construction Equipment.
World of Concrete, the premier trade show for the commercial concrete industry, takes place annually at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Many established trade shows take place at this venue because of the space and popularity surrounding the location. Running for more than 40 years now, World of Concrete draws more than 50,000 attendees and features 1,500 companies exhibiting in about 750,000 square feet of space.
The event presents the best equipment, products, and expertise that can improve attendees’ construction businesses. High-profile exhibitors include 3M, Carhartt, Caterpillar, Ford Commercial Vehicles, Liebherr and many more.
The utility industry’s largest trade show in North America, the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition draws 18,000 industry professionals to learn about the latest utility innovations. It takes place at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky each year.
This international trade show’s physical size is among the top 10 largest in the country, with over 1.2 million square feet, that’s 28 acres, of exhibition space. Some top-shelf exhibitors include General Motors Fleet, John Deere Construction & Forestry Company, Mack Trucks, Siemens, and many more.
NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) International Builders’ show calls itself the world’s largest trade show for light construction. Usually held in January or February, the annual expo’s location alternates between Orlando and Las Vegas, two of the biggest trade show destinations in the United States.
Now 75 years old, the IBS trade show attracts more than 67,000 people and 1,500 exhibitors. Its floor space recently expanded to 608,000 square feet. The NAHB International Builders’ Show partners with the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) every year for Design & Construction Week, which draws in more than 100,000 people.
The Coverings show, also known as the global tile and stone experience, attracts almost 26,000 attendees and 1,100 exhibitors on 455,000 square feet. It draws people from 90 countries to the trade show floor, including architects, designers, builders, remodelers, contractors and installers, fabricators, retailers, and distributors. The 30-year-old conference has been held at a variety of locations, including the recent editions in Orlando and Atlanta.
The National Hardware Show brings 30,000 industry professionals and more than 2,600 exhibitors to the Las Vegas Convention Center every year. The show’s categories include plumbing, electrical, farm and ranch, tools, lawn and garden, and paint.
Fashion trade shows are the quickest way to see up-to-date products and the latest fashion trends before they hit shelves. Your business should take advantage of these wholesale apparel opportunities to get ahead of the competition. If your company is interested in showing off some of its best styles, attending the most popular fashion trade shows could help your products hit the market.
The top fashion trade show in the United States is MAGIC, which formerly stood for Men’s Apparel Guild in California. The show’s offerings, however, go well beyond the menswear sector, with women’s clothing and accessories, shoes, textiles and much more on display.
The show has two editions in Las Vegas, one in February at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and one in August at the Las Vegas Convention Center. MAGIC attracts 85,000 people and 4,000 exhibitors each year.
AmericasMart in Atlanta, draws over 235,000 attendees annually. They host six shows at Atlanta Apparel events, which feature categories like contemporary, young contemporary, ready-to-wear, fashion accessories.
Five times a year, the Dallas Apparel & Accessories Markets take over the 5 million square foot Dallas Market Center. These apparel trade shows have been running for more than 55 years, featuring new styles for men, women and children, along with accessories, footwear, swimwear, bridal, and prom offerings. The top installments of the Dallas Apparel & Accessories Market attracts more than 40,000 attendees.
JCK, which stands for Jewelers Circular Keystone, is the top jewelry trade show in North America. If you are in the jewelry industry, this is trade show is an absolute must. The show, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, attracts about 20,000 attendees annually and 2,300 exhibitors, offering items such as diamonds, watches, charms, and more.
With over 200,000 manufacturers located in the United States, it is critical for your company to get its name out there. The manufacturers' industry leaders know that trade shows can be the best way to show off new products and survey the competitive landscape. Top manufacturers gather at some of these trade shows each year.
The largest manufacturing trade show in North America is the International Manufacturing Technology Show, with nearly 130,000 visitors and more than 2,500 exhibiting companies on its 1.4 million square foot trade show floor. IMTS takes place every two years at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Categories at this international trade show include metal cutting, tooling, fabricating and lasters, abrasive machining, gear generation, and quality assurance.
The PACK Expo is the largest, most comprehensive packaging event in North America, with more than 50,000 industry professionals and 2,500 suppliers and other companies exhibiting on the trade show floor. The PACK Expo’s location shifts between Chicago and Las Vegas.
The trade show’s floor spans about 1.2 million square feet. Its exhibitors are in fields such as automation, filling and sealing, digital printing, coding and labeling, line integration, robotics, trace and trace, remote operation and much more.
FABTECH is the largest trade show in North America for metal forming, fabricating and welding, FABTECH draws more than 33,000 attendees from 75 countries around the world to learn about the latest innovations in the industry. With more than 600,000 square feet of trade show floor space, these shows have recently taken place in Orlando and Atlanta.
The world’s largest HVAC and refrigeration event, AHR Expo dates back to 1930. The most recent trade show drew more than 27,000 visitors from 112 countries.
More than 1,800 companies exhibited. Manufacturers, utility companies, contractors and engineers all appear at the show. AHR Expo is held at trade show hotspots like Chicago and Orlando.
The electronics and technology field is advancing so rapidly, it’s hard to keep up. Thankfully, top industry expos allow consumers, retailers, and others a chance to see how the heavy hitters in the field are innovating. These are the most important tech and electronics expos to follow for the latest products and breakthroughs in this booming field.
Without question, the most important gathering for electronics and tech professional is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). In fact, it is one of the two biggest trade shows in the United States, by both attendance and square footage. Every January at the Las Vegas Convention Center, CES hosts about 150,000 attendees and 4,000 exhibitors, representing over 150 different countries.
The show is popular for its influence as much as its size. At CES, you’re sure to see the latest technological innovations. Pioneering home electronics such as pocket radios, VCRs, video game systems, DVDs and Blu-Rays, plasma TVs and many more debuted at CES.
Launched in 2004, VMWorld is a major virtualization and cloud computing show. The five-day event has seen crowds as high as 23,000, with more than 230 exhibitors. VMWorld’s visitors come from more than 100 countries and represent more than 17 different industries. For the last several years, the conference has been held in either Las Vegas or San Francisco. A European version of the event takes place in Barcelona.
The United States doesn’t dominate the entire trade show market. GITEX, which stands for Gulf Information Technology Exhibition, is a widely-known event that has drawn upwards of 150,000 people. The show takes place yearly in October at the Dubai World Trade Center in the United Arab Emirates.
Along with its exhibitions, GITEX is renowned for its X-Labs that focus on new innovations and Tech Talks discussing forward-thinking trends in the industry.
While more specific than some of the other electronics and technology trade shows, the International Security Conference West is still a major player. Over 30,000 security professionals convene to show off their goods in Las Vegas for ISC West, including more than 1,000 exhibitors. Fields on hand include drone, robotics, access control and more. These items are increasingly gaining popularity and this trade show will continue to grow.
The biggest Silicon Valley influencers and pioneers convene every year for TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. It’s a must for developers, industry leaders, investors and others looking to make their mark in the industry. While Disrupt’s attendance of about 10,000 may seem paltry compared to some of the massive shows on this list, this conference is notable for its impact.
Recent speakers at the show have included major venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, NBA star Stephen Curry, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and 23andMe co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki. While the San Francisco edition is the flagship event, the show has also held conferences in Berlin, New York City, Beijing and London.
The trade show industry isn’t all hard work and no play. Some of the most important and most exciting expos are focused on fields dedicated to fun and games. But don’t be fooled, there is still a massive amount of commitment and dedication by the attendees and exhibitors of these popular entertainment expos.
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo is the premier show for amusement parks, water parkers, family fun centers, zoos, aquariums and other popular attractions. Held in Orlando, the IAAPA Expo hosts more than 35,000 attendees, including 24,000 buyers. Over 1,00 exhibitors present on the trade show floor, which spans more than 575,000 square feet.
The most anticipated event of the year for committed gamers, the E3 show is your chance to see what’s hot in the world of computer and video games. The show crams the Los Angeles Convention Center full of developers, programmers, manufacturers, executives, fans and more to check out new releases and yet-to-be-released previews. More than 50,000 gamers attend every year.
The National Association of Broadcasters Show goes well beyond traditional broadcasting. Rather, the event is a hub for media professionals in fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, virtual reality, e-sports, podcasting, streaming, in-vehicle entertainment, and voice recognition. Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the NAB Show attracts about 100,000 attendees from 160 countries. Roughly 1,700 exhibitors can be found on the show floor.
The music industry takes its trade shows seriously: Held every year in Anaheim, California in January, the NAMM Show attracts about 115,000 people every year for networking opportunities, the latest products from leading brands, and hundreds of educational sessions.
The NAMM show is the largest trade show for music products in the world, featuring exhibitors who focus on recording technology, stage lighting, sound equipment and much more. A special summer edition of the event is also held annually.
The annual pop-culture convention has expanded well beyond its modest origins to encompass everything dealing with sci-fi, fantasy, horror, animation, video games and much more. 49 years after it first launched, Comic-Con now sees attendance that exceeds 130,000 annually. Comic Con’s signature event is held at the San Diego Convention Center.
This sector produces many of the nation’s most popular expos and conferences. Below, are seven of the largest home decor, furniture, and interior design trade shows with the biggest impact for your business.
The biggest furniture trade show in the world is the High Point Market, held twice a year in High Point, North Carolina. About 75,000 people attend the High Point Market every April and October. Formerly known as International Home Furnishings Market and the Southern Furniture Market, the High Point Market features 12 million square feet of show space, 180 buildings, more than 2,000 exhibitors, and attendance from more than 100 countries.
Every year in Chicago, top design professionals convene for NeoCon, one of the most influential industry trade shows. About 50,000 people attend each year, and more than 500 companies showcase their latest designs in categories such as furnishings, flooring, fabrics, and technology.
This popular event takes place four times a year at AmericasMart, the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market hosts about 8,000 brands with a wide range of offerings in the 7 million square foot facility. Attendees can also attend seminars, demos, networking events and parties.
The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) attracts 30,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors as part of Design & Construction Week, held in conjunction with the NAHB International Builders’ Show. KBIS alternates between shows in Las Vegas and Orlando.
Architectural and commercial lighting is the focus at Lightfair, which draws 28,075 attendees from 85 countries and 600 exhibitors in all. The show sees more than 60 first-time exhibiting companies and 130 manufacturers from outside the U.S. Recent editions of Lightfair have taken place in Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego, and New York City.
The International Contemporary Furniture Fair has established itself as one of the most prestigious design trade shows, boasting luxury brands and pioneering industry leaders. ICFF draws about 35,000 people to New York City every year.
For some of the biggest design fairs, you have to look outside of the United States. The largest furniture trade fair in the world is Salon del Mobile, drawing in over 250,000 people. This expo is held in Milan every April.
Another major European design fair is Maison et Objet in Paris, the international authority for the design industry. Maison et Objet attracts more than 80,000 visitors, including industry leaders and well-heeled buyers looking to see the latest trends. Light + Building in Frankfurt is the top architectural lighting design trade show in the world.
The China International Furniture Fair in Shanghai, meanwhile, recently saw its highest-ever attendance, with nearly 150,000 people attending. The show featured 1,300 exhibitors on its 1.3 million square foot trade show floor.
Sports industry trade shows showcase the latest in equipment, apparel, and technology. The top events can give retailers, leagues, teams, and schools a leg up on the competition.
Outdoor Retailer is the biggest recreation trade show in the United States. After relocating from Utah to a permanent home in Denver, the expo drew a record 29,000 attendees, including 7,500 buyers from 60 countries. More than 1,000 brands exhibited at the show. At the show, visitors find the best new products in hiking, skiing, camping, fishing, surfing, health and fitness, biking and more.
The National Shooting Sports Foundations’ SHOT Show is held annually in Las Vegas attracting about 60,000 people. SHOT is short for Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show, and you will find all materials within this category, a variety of guns and outdoor equipment.
The world’s longest-running boat show, the New York Boat Show draws roughly 40,000 people every year. The show is held annually in January. Boat enthusiasts of all types will find interesting products at the event, with offerings that range from kayaks, canoes and personal watercraft to yachts and pontoon boats.
A trade show for hunting and shooting sports, IWA & Outdoor Classics is second only to the NSSF Shot Show as the biggest event in its field. The show, held in Nuremberg, Germany, attracts nearly 50,000 people every year.
First launched in 1954, the PGA Merchandise Show is the top destination for the latest in golf products and business. About 40,000 attendees flock to the gathering every year to mingle with industry professionals, see the latest innovations from leading companies and attend educational programs to help grow their businesses.
The automotive industry is among the biggest sectors for trade shows -- in both attendance and square footage. To show off cars, trucks, RVs and related equipment, the extra space is necessary. There are thousands of trade shows each year for this industry, but some of the best are…
Launched in 1963, SEMA is the largest trade shows in the United States by attendance, with roughly 160,000 attendees every year, including more than 70,000 buyers. The show is focused on the automotive aftermarket equipment, and manufacturers rely on the event to debut their most exciting new products.
Located at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the SEMA trade show grounds encompass more than 1.2 million square feet and feature 2,400 exhibitors. About 400 new companies showcase at the event every year. The high demand for this trade show allows only industry professionals, no access to the general public is granted. A sister show to SEMA, AAPEX takes place simultaneously at the nearby Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.
The National Business Aviation Association’s annual gathering draws more than 20,000 people every year. NBAA-BACE is the world’s largest trade show for business aviation, attracting aircraft owners, manufacturers, service providers, and other industry professionals. In recent years, the event’s location has alternated between Orlando and Las Vegas.
More than 70,000 attendees and over 1,000 exhibitors appear at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The expo takes place every March at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, with more than 1 million square feet of show space.
New automotive products and technology are on show at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show. About 20,000 people gather to see the 500 exhibiting companies. NADA has held recent expos in Las Vegas, New Orleans, and San Francisco.
The Florida RV SuperShow saw record attendance with more than 74,000 people recently attending the event on the Florida State Fairgrounds. More than 1,500 RVs sprawl out across 26 acres of trade show grounds in this massive event. That number actually tops the attendance at “America’s Largest RV Show” in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which most recently hosted about 60,000 attendees.
The hospitality industry, encompassing hotels, restaurants, resorts and more, is always looking for new ways to enhance customer service and guest experience. One of the best ways to stay competitive is to attend a hospitality trade show, where industry leaders convene to showcase their latest breakthroughs.
Coming up on its 100th year anniversary, the National Restaurant Association Show is an enormous gathering of leaders in the hospitality industry. More than 65,000 attendees visit the National Restaurant Association Show, covering more than 700,000 square feet of show space. The expo takes place annually at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Calling itself the nation’s most influential gathering of bar and nightlife professionals, the Nightclub and Bar Show in Las Vegas attracts about 35,000 visitors to see more than 600 exhibits. While the attendees and exhibitors are serious about their business, it’s no surprise that the show features a packed slate of nightlife events, including dance parties, bourbon tastings, a bar walk, and more.
The HD Expo is focused on hospitality design, an essential component of the industry. The expo attracts about 12,500 guests and features more than 800 exhibitors on its 275,000 square foot show floor. The show takes place every May in Las Vegas.
Formerly known as the International Hotel Motel and Restaurant Show, the Hotel Experience now draws about 12,000 people and hundreds of exhibits. The show takes place every November at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
While exhibiting at a trade show can give your company an advantage in your market, it can be difficult to do. As you can see, there is a long list of trade shows by industry. It is crucial to select the one most fitting for your business. While you’re focusing on how to impress decision-makers and buyers, let R+L Global Logistics take care of your shipping processes.
If your business is planning to exhibit at one of the biggest trade shows in the country, it’s essential that your booth materials arrive and on time. You can rely on R+L Global Logistics to handle your trade show booth shipping through every step of the process.
The list of trade shows by industry is long, showing just how many trade shows there are for the different divisions in your company. Participating in one of these boosts your business to new levels. Working with an experienced trade show logistics team like R+L Global Logistics can navigate every step of the complicated shipping process. With 24/7 customer support and a 99.5 percent on-time delivery rate, you can be confident that your items will be there when you need them. To connect with a representative now, use the chat or call 866-415-8986.