Trade Shows Near You

Is business expansion a top priority for you? Go to trade shows to maximize the growth potential of your business.

If you own a business, there are few things more important than driving traffic to it. You need to develop a client base as quickly as possible. However, it is also important to network with other business owners and employees in your industry. Doing so is a way to assist each other. It also provides opportunities for you to learn from the successes or failures of owners of similar businesses. Yet, networking with industry leaders is a constant struggle. You may not have the time or resources to contact businesses individually. That is why you need to look for other ways to hone and expand your business through industry networking.

One excellent way to network with other businesses in your industry is to attend trade shows. You can either do so as a visitor or get booths at trade shows in your area. Either option can help you research industry standards and adapt your business plan. Here are some things to know before going to your first trade show.

What Are Trade Shows?

A trade show is also sometimes called a trade fair. It is a particular type of exhibition or convention that caters to a certain industry. Trade shows are sometimes confused with consumer fairs, which are events where the general public is encouraged to purchase products. Many trade shows are only open to industry members or the media. They are often designed to showcase new technologies and products before those products become available to the general public. 

If you wish to attend a trade show in your industry that is not open to the public, you must typically set up a booth or otherwise get clearance to do so. When attending a public trade show, you can opt to simply visit the venue to see products displayed. However, in some cases you need special passes or proof that you are in the industry being showcased to attend as a spectator.

What Can You Expect During and After a Trade Show?

If you have never had a booth at a trade show before, you need to know what to expect. Preparing as much as possible can help the process go smoothly. That is particularly important if the trade show is open to the public and you expect to sell products there. Here are some things to do when going to a trade show:

  • Bring more inventory than you think you need.

  • Arrive as early as possible to set up.

  • Bring plenty of pamphlets or business cards to hand out to other attendees.

  • Attend with at least one other person to help man your booth.

  • Take time away from your booth to view the other products at the trade show and network with business owners.

  • Take advantage of special features at each trade show, such as training courses or conferences offered.

After a trade show, you can typically expect to go home with several new business contacts, including potential partners or clients. Make sure you keep an organized list of your new contacts, and keep in touch with them between shows. In many industries, such contacts are vital because companies have different specializations. Sometimes multiple companies must work together, such as in the construction industry. Having such reliable contacts can make your companies assets to each other, as well as to potential clients.

What Are Some Common Types of Trade Shows?

In the United States, you can find trade shows focused on many different industries. However, some are more popular than others. For example, construction and home design trade shows make up a large percentage of such events. Other common trade show types include:

  • Fashion

  • Book/Magazine Publishing

  • Sporting Goods

  • Hospitality

  • Health Care

  • Technology/Electronics

  • Entertainment

What Are Some Famous Trade Shows and Their Attendance Costs?

Many trade shows in the United States are held annually. Several have developed reputations for excellence and grown into major events recognized and attended by thousands of people from outside their local areas. Below are some of the most famous trade shows and information on their previous attendance costs. Attendance costs can change annually, so it is always best to confirm before attending.

  • The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the largest electronics trade show on the planet. Its attendance and booth rental costs change based on how early attendees register. For example, in 2020 attendance cost $300 to $1,700.

  • E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo is held annually in California. It is one of the most popular and highly anticipated video gaming and electronic entertainment shows. In 2020, tickets to attend E3 ranged from $165 for basic tickets to $995 for Premium Badge access.

  • MAGIC is one of the top annual fashion trade shows in the country. It is held in Las Vegas each year. The 2020 attendance cost for non-retailers was up to $2,500. Registered retailers were allowed to attend for free.

  • CONEXPO is the largest U.S. construction industry trade show. It is also held annually in Las Vegas. In 2020, its attendance costs ranged from $149 to $839 based on desired levels of access and times of purchase.

  • HIMSS is a global health care industry trade show held in Orlando, Florida each year. Its 2020 attendance costs were $555 to $1,885.

How Do You Get a Booth at a Trade Show and Get Assistance with Booth Setup?

If you want to present your products at a trade show, you must rent a booth. There are typically several different booth types, sizes, and locations available. Costs are often based on square footage. Some trade shows also assign costs based on “real estate value” of the space. A prime spot in a heavily trafficked area costs more at such shows. Speak to the trade show organizer to determine your options. 

Once you have a space, the final step is to create and organize your booth. Many companies are available to assist with trade show booth creation. They include companies like SpeedPro and Skyline. Some such companies allow you to rent or buy a booth. Buying a booth means you can take it with you to multiple trade shows and totally customize it. However, booth rental is often more convenient because you can try different designs and tailor your booth to each show's rules and needs. In either case, using the services of a trade show booth company takes much of the burden of booth setup off your shoulders.