Trade Show TalesBlog

10 BIG Trade Shows in North America | October 2016

August 3rd, 2016 COMMENTS


October 2016 is a busy month for trade shows in North America. Maybe they are on your radar. Maybe not. But it’s always nice when you don’t have to go hunting for information. So sit back and enjoy 10 BIG Trade Shows happening in October.

EMS World Expo – Oct. 3 – 7, New Orleans, LA

North America’s largest EMS conference and trade show, EMS World Expo, hosted in partnership with NAEMT, will bring over 5,100 EMS professionals together in New Orleans for an industry-leading event. Delivering state-of-the-art technology, products and services from 350+ exhibitors who are transforming EMS operations. Exclusively co-located with the World Trauma Symposium.

HR Technology Conference & Exposition – Oct. 4 – 7, McCormick Place, Chicago

World-famous “buyers’ show” for HR Technology. HR Tech has been proclaimed the HR Show to attend by HR practitioners, independent analysts, journalists, bloggers, and even the former COO of SHRM. Many vendors even choose to announce their latest products for the first time at HR Tech. There is no better place to touch, compare and contrast the latest solutions from leading vendors in every category, as well as start-ups.

dairyWorld Dairy Expo – Oct. 4 – 8, Madison, WI

Celebrating their 50th Expo this year, the World Dairy Expo serves as a forum for dairy producers, companies, organizations, and other dairy enthusiasts to come together to compete, and to exchange ideas, knowledge, technology, and commerce.

IBEX The International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference – Oct. 4 – 6, Tampa, FL

Where Better Boats Begin. IBEX 2016 returns to Tampa in October with more exhibiting companies, more new products, more boats on the docks, robust technical training, and essential conversations among industry professionals.

NRPA 2016 Annual Conference – Oct. 5 – 8, St. Louis, MO

The NRPA Annual Conference is the premier annual meeting of the park and recreation community. The three-day event brings together more than 7,000 park and recreation professionals, citizen advocates and industry suppliers or amazing networking opportunities, hundreds of education sessions, and the industry’s largest trade show showcasing the products and services of nearly 400 exhibitors.

InfographicGreenbuild International Conference & Expo – Oct. 5 – 6, Los Angeles, CA

Greenbuild offers a place where more than 20,000 green building and design professionals come together with sustainability leaders from around the world for three exhilarating days featuring over 500 exhibiting companies offering innovative products and tomorrow’s technologies.

NAPE Expo – Oct. 12 – 13, Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO

The annual Denver expo is a networking event that brings together all the players necessary to forge, facilitate, and close deals. This event offers prospects, producers, and purchasers a unique chance to connect, reconnect, and make deals. More intimate than the annual NAPE Summit, this show is a “must attend” event for those who want to network with the people and players that have firsthand knowledge of the opportunities and prospects throughout area.

NACS Show – Oct. 18 – 21, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA

As convenience and fuel retailing’s premier industry event, the NACS Show attracts more than 23,500 industry stakeholders from around the world. Buyers and sellers come together to conduct business and learn from one another – all in an environment rich with new ideas and partnerships. With 400,000 sq. ft. the NACS Show is the place to network and connect with convenience and fuel retailing industry peers and experts. You will discover thousands of the latest products and services that c-stores sell and use every day.

ImageIMEX America – Oct. 18 – 20, Las Vegas, NV

America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings & events, IMEX America attracts key industry players from North America and around the globe. Buyers at the trade show represent all industry segments; Agency, association, corporate and independent planners.

The exhibitors you meet at IMEX America include U.S. domestic suppliers, global tourist offices and convention bureaus, major hotel companies, conference and exhibition centers, cruise lines, airlines, spa resorts, technology providers, event management specialists, and more.

2016 NFDA International Convention & Expo – Oct. 23 – 26, Philadelphia PA

The world’s largest funeral service expo, where more than 300 exhibitors bring the best funeral service products right to you! Discover the latest product and service trends. Take advantage of exclusive exhibitor offers. Network with exhibitors and fellow funeral directors from more than 40 countries.


Shopping for a new or rental exhibit? See over 1400 contemporary islands, inlines, banner stands, and trade show accessories at Click on Exhibit Design Search for the largest display selection in North America.

Trade Show Tips to the Beat of the 1990s

August 2nd, 2016 COMMENTS


The Keys to a Successful Trade Show:  Staying Fit

Advicertainment by M. Christine Delea

As a smart marketer, you attend as many trade shows as you can, all while managing the day-to-day operations of your business. Eventually, you may feel as if you’ve been everywhere. You may question if another one is worth it.

Remember that your team worked hard to prepare for this trade show. You ended up on imaginative roads that regular workdays often don’t inspire. The pressure of a looming trade show got your office brainstorming on that wonder wall board more intensely than you have in months. Give me one reason why you would let all of that hard work be for naught.

Resolve to be your best, which means staying healthy at the show. That recirculated air is working against you, but you can beat it. This is how we do it.

No Scrubs

TLCIf you are not washing your hands regularly, break from the old routine and become a little OCD about your hands. Wash throughout the day with regular soap for as long as it takes you to sing the Alphabet Song in your head as you scrub.

Get up early every morning and stretch for a few minutes. Take a few deep breaths (good exercise for your lungs) and resolve to swim in the hotel pool before you go to the show, stroll around the grounds after lunch, and/or get to the workout room where you are staying before you go to sleep. Don’t linger after meals. Skip dessert and take the stairs up to the social event you need to attend.

So Smooth

SantanasmoothCarry your water bottle everywhere. Stick with fresh foods as much as possible — salads and fruit/cheese/nut plates will keep you full and energized. Need to indulge? Try a smoothie with a boost of Vitamin C.

Get enough sleep. This will help you stay physically fit as well as mentally sharp. When a colleague calls your room at midnight to ask you to join the fun at the bar, (politely) say that you ain’t going nowhere and go back to sleep. You can always call them at 6:00 am and see if they want to join you for a swim!

On that last night, click up your heels and have a little fun dancing to the hits of the 1990’s. It’s hammer time!


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Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or


Trade Show Tips to the Beat of the 1980s

July 27th, 2016 1 COMMENT


The Keys to a Successful Trade Show:  Handling Mistakes

Advicertainment by M. Christine Delea

What do customers want? It’s not complicated. They expect you’ll be good to them. How you respond makes all the difference, and saying and showing them that I’ll be good to you sets the right tone. However, even when you are paying attention and putting customers first, unexpected things can and will happen. Being human means that mistakes happen.

How we handle our mistakes is what sets us apart from our competitors. Admitting that your customer is correct — it’s a mistake, you take responsibility, and “Where is my mind?“— will go a long way toward repairing the situation.

Straight Up

StraightUpClear communication will be remembered more than the original mistake if it is sincere and straight up. And what goes around comes around, so it benefits your karma to treat others well when they stumble.

At the trade show, when a coffee clerk messes up your order, put it in perspective. When you are stepping out of the elevator and a distracted child spills juice on you, give that kid your sweetest smile. It’s all about attitude.

  • When your colleague steps on your foot,
  • When you realize someone at the office packed the wrong cards,
  • When the cab driver goes to the wrong address,
  • When the venue lists your meeting in the Abracadabra Room instead of the Magic Room…

Keep the faith and remember that things can only get better.

Salt In Your Tears

M_BrileyNo one wants to deal with a loud, belligerent, angry jerk — and that is why they sometimes get what they want, because a reasonable person just wants to get rid of them. However, those people also get spit in their soup, lost spa reservations, and no vacancies for next year’s trade show. The calm, pleasant person is more likely to get problems solved, and can eat their meals worry-free. That’s a good thing.

Sometimes it snows in April. Sometimes a butterfly in Costa Rica flaps its wings and your luggage ends up in Allentown instead of Georgetown, the location of your convention. That’s life. Accept the fact that mistakes happen, and it’s best to deal with them pleasantly. You’ll feel better about yourself if you own your mistakes and forgive those of others. And the jerk with the red face and the gross soup? Let him blunder his way to high blood pressure. He’s not worth the salt in your tears.

With accountability and a forgiving attitude, you can be a Zen master at the next trade show. Who knows, you may even be asked to come dancing to some Classic 1980s tunes. It’s all part of the positive karma of participating in a trade show.

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or



Trade Show Tips to the Beat of the 1970s

July 22nd, 2016 3 COMMENTS


The Keys to a Successful Trade Show:  Customer Service

Advicertainment by M. Christine Delea

Taking care of business means taking care of your customers. Giving them your time and attention and always being courteous. It can all be done — or at least started — at trade shows. You want your customers to look at your booth and think that nobody does it better.

What’cha Gonna Do

pablo_cruiseConventions and trade shows can be overwhelming and a bit frightening. There are a lot of people, an overwhelming amount of noise, too much recirculated air, and by mid-afternoon you cannot tell the diamonds from the rust. It can be tiring to the point that you start daydreaming about napping. But don’t get so far away that you neglect those who still have the energy to stop in at your booth.

So, how do you make the trade show experience valuable for customers and successful for you? What are you going to do?

First, your customers, as well as your colleagues, deserve your undivided attention. After a couple of days, attendees may be tired and possibly cranky. Same with you. But your smile and your eyes should say, they don’t know. Even if you end up listening to someone’s life story, keep your phone off and your smile on.

Don’t Stop

Second, take good notes when people talk to you, especially if you’re tired. Don’t stop at name, company, and title. Listen “between the lines,” and hear what they are saying about their business needs and wants. Those notes will help once you are back home, remembering the last time you saw him.

fleetwoodmacvintageDon’t make people wait. No one should have to knock three times to get you to say, “How do you do?” Everyone should be greeted the second they appear at your display. And every gesture, no matter how small, deserves a hearty “Thank You!”

The Show Must Go On

Finally, here are some easy suggestions. Be sure to give your business card to everyone. Always post photos and observations on your company’s Facebook and corporate website. Tweet and pin as often as possible.And, take lots of pictures of your booth and your customers.

The show must go on, but you — and everyone you have contact with — will have a much better time if you have a frame of mind that puts attendees first.

Who knows, you may even go dancing in the moonlight to some Classic 1970s tunes. It’s all part of the super time you’ll have of participating in a trade show.

Posts in the Series:


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or


Trade Show Tips to the Beat of the 1960s

July 14th, 2016 COMMENTS


The Keys to a Successful Trade Show:  Las Vegas and Money

Advicertainment by M. Christine Delea

Eventually, you will find yourself at a trade show in Las Vegas. Before you hit the road, make sure your booth is up to the magic moment.

It’s time to consider a new exhibit, new graphics, and an updated approach to your trade show marketing. If you are truly honest with yourself, you know the same old song won’t attract customers.

It’s Not Unusual

RespectChange your presentation. Anything from letting someone else take the creative lead to creating new brochures will be a step in the right direction. Unusual giveaways and interactive booth pitches are also a clever way to make sure that lightning strikes. Because under all the glitz and glitter what you are selling has to have substance, has to be truly new and improved, and has to be worth your customer’s time. It’s all about respect — you get what you give on the trade show floor.

Careful planning will ensure you bring exactly what you need to succeed. This includes everything from brochures to business cards, electrical chargers to comfortable shoes. Yes, most things can be bought in Vegas, but shopping on the Strip comes with a steep price. In the hustle and bustle of a trade show, you won’t time to shop around for a bargain.

Stay a Little Bit Longer

Speaking of money… as with any other expensive destination, there are ways to lessen the sticker shock of Vegas. It might be worth it to stay at an off-Strip hotel. Check out the free shows and less well-known entertainment venues. Fremont Street has casinos and restaurants where you can wine and dine clients less expensively than on the Strip.

People get ready — Some may balk at the cost, but the benefits of exhibiting are worth it. You won’t be crying over money if you realize this is a marketing investment, one that requires planning and a strategy.

Fun, Fun, Fun

FunThe money you spend going to trade shows is a lot less than the money you would spend going to Old Orchard Beach, Wichita, West Islip, Boring, Yazoo City, Albert Lea, Truth or Consequences, Big Ugly, and everywhere else you have customers. At trade shows, your customers and potential customers come to you.

You can work out a budget for Vegas that is realistic and do-able. There’s no need to exist on candy bars and trail mix from home, but you don’t need to blow the entire year’s budget, either.

With budgeting, you can be a neon cowboy in Vegas. Who knows, you may even go dancing on Fremont Street to some Classic 1960s tunes. It’s all part of the fun of participating in a trade show.

Don’t forget to follow up on those leads after the show.

Posts in the Series:


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or