Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Exhibitions’

Trade Shows By Industry: Popular Events & Strategies

January 24th, 2022 COMMENTS
trade shows by industry

Globally there are over 32,000 exhibitions each year featuring 4.5 million exhibiting companies. This massive industry attracts over 303 million visitors worldwide but not all trade shows are the same…

An Introduction to Trade Shows by Industry

At some point, everyone attends a trade show by industry. It may not be called a trade show, but it’s a show where people and businesses are engaged in commerce or trade. There’s a good chance you’ll attend several each year, like the Automotive Show in your hometown or your industry’s annual conference held in Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago, New Orleans, or any of the hundreds of convention centers in North America. You might be surprised to learn that there are anywhere from 9,000 to 14,000 shows in the United States alone. 

So how big are trade shows? Actually much bigger than you may realize. The B2B trade show market in the United States was worth 15.58 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. The market sharply declined to 5.6 billion dollars in 2020 but is projected to rebound to 14.5 billion dollars by 2024.

Every industry, hobby, interest, and profession has a show(s) where exhibitors and attendees gather to learn, buy, and interact with others. Some shows may be massive, like the Consumer Electronics Show with over 170,000 attendees, or it may be a regional pet show with several hundred participants. 

Fortunately, there are two convenient search tools for locating trade shows:  Events in America and the Trade Show Calendar. In general, most B2B shows can be categorized by industry with the vast majority falling into the following groups below. 

Top Trade Shows by Industry

  • Agriculture
  • Art, Craft, & Collectibles
  • Automotive and Boats
  • Books
  • Business
  • Construction
  • Education & Science
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Food & Hospitality
  • Government
  • Health & Fitness
  • Home
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical & Pharma
  • Retail & Wholesale
  • Society & Community
  • Spirituality & Religion
  • Sports & Entertainment
  •  Technology
  • Transportation
  • Travel & Tourism

Popular North American Trade Shows by Industry

Popular North American Trade Shows by Industry

It depends on whether “popular” means most exhibitors, most attendees, or the largest square footage of exhibit space. Here are the largest in North America by each category. 

By Attendance

By Most Exhibitors

By Square Footage

Jewelry Trade Shows & Strategies

Planning and preparing for jewelry trade shows is similar to any show EXCEPT for security. The Jewelers of America recommends following these travel and security tips. 

Be Discreet. Avoid mentioning your business and the trade show when in public places like coffee shops, airports, or taxis. You never know who is listening.

Avoid Attention. Avoid carrying a briefcase or anything that could be perceived as containing jewelry to and from the show. 

Protect Your Badge. Remove your show badge when you leave the trade show floor. At the end of the show, give your badge to the show organizers or destroy it so thieves can’t steal your identity and/or your access to the show floor.

Avoid Informal Showings. Informal jewelry shows held outside the safety of the show, like a hotel room, are never a good idea. Conduct all merchandise appointments within the security of the trade show..

Check Your Insurance Policy. Call your agent or insurance company to make sure that you are indeed properly and adequately insured.

Always assume you are a target when traveling to and from the show, and while you are there. 

Top 4 Jewelry Trade Shows:

  • JCK Las Vegas
  • International Jewelry Fair/General Merchandise Show
  • Jewelers International Showcase
  • International Jewelry Show

jewelry trade shows

Manufacturing Trade Shows & Strategies

For many manufacturers, trade shows represent up to 30% of their company’s annual marketing budget. As a result, going through the motions isn’t an option. Senior management will expect an ROI (return on investment) so tracking expenses and sales, both short and long-term, is critical. 

Measuring ROI starts with identifying your quantitative and qualitative goals and then putting processes in place for capturing those measurements. Sounds easy enough… but many companies start with good intentions but lack the discipline to record the information before, during, and after the trade show. They become immersed in designing the booth, scheduling travel, and preparing for meetings with clients. Once the show begins, the buzz and energy on the show floor takes over and all plans to measure traffic, qualify leads, and set post-show appointments falls by the wayside. It’s understandable given the chaos and excitement of seeing clients, meeting potential customers, and checking out the competition. 

Instead of simply measuring leads, consider these four metrics. 

1. The Number and Quality of Meetings

Strategic meetings have an influence on the revenue and top line. With ROI being a big concern to the C-Suite, marketers are tasked with finding ways to maximize the number and quality of meetings. 

2. Average Order Size

Companies participate in trade shows to increase their revenue and profits. However, focusing solely on “deals closed” during a show is rarely a valid measurement. Revenue targets can be better achieved by focusing on opportunities that facilitate larger deals, and measuring average deal size can serve as an early indicator of the show’s success. 

3. Space Utilization

At a trade show, you basically rent floor space for 4-5 days, whether it’s a 10 x 20 inline or a 40 x 50 island. Measuring the cost of the space, including material handling and show services, compared to the show-generated sales over the next 90 days can be a quick tool for calculating ROI. Overall, analyzing resource utilization will demonstrate if the budget is being used effectively and where to allocate future marketing investments. 

4. Meeting Effectiveness

Not every measurement is quantitative. When your sales team meets with prospects, they are doing what they do best – qualifying the sales opportunity. Sure, every sales representative wants to close the deal then and there, but most purchases usually happen after the show. Qualitative measures are a window into future opportunities and should be recorded both as potential revenue and as a method for understanding a representative’s strengths and weaknesses.

Top 4 Manufacturing Trade Shows

  • International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS)
  • PackExpo
  • FabTech
  • SEMICON West

wholesaler trade shows

Apparel Trade Show Events & Strategies

If you are a new designer or are launching a new brand, trade shows are an ideal venue to announce your arrival. For more established brands, exhibiting at trade shows is a proven method of expanding your sales opportunities with national and international buyers.

However, success is not guaranteed simply by participating in a trade show. Here are some basic tips for anyone planning to participate in an apparel or fashion show. 

Choose The Right Show

Face-to-face marketing, aka trade shows, and events can be expensive. But, when done right, the ROI at a fashion trade show can be higher than nearly every other marketing tool. For smaller companies, the cost of a trade show is often shocking, which makes it critical to choose the right show(s). Not all shows may be appropriate for your product category and price point. 

Start by asking colleagues in the industry which shows they attend and why. They’ll be able to share their experiences and the dos and don’ts. You’ll be able to determine if the show is one you should attend rather than exhibit, at least for now, and if you decide to exhibit, then what size booth space to reserve. 

It’s also a good idea to research local venues. There are quite a few Apparel Marts that produce trade events. In addition to the Dallas Market Center and Atlanta’s AmericasMart, other Apparel Marts include Denver, Seattle, Nashville, Minneapolis, and Miami.

Know Your Goals

Too often, exhibitors have one single goal:  to sell lots and lots of products. That’s not an unrealistic goal, however, there may be other goals you should consider. Those could include: 

  • Generating Leads
  • Building Contact Lists
  • Meeting with Existing Customers
  • Locating New Suppliers
  • Identifying Industry Trends
  • Introducing New Products
  • Evaluating the Competition
  • Attracting Employees 

Create a Budget and Track Your Expenses

This seems obvious but it’s not. Unlike a magazine ad spend, with perhaps one or two line items, a trade show has a long (sometimes surprising) list of expenses. And not all those costs are known upfront. Knowing your costs and comparing them to your sales will make it much easier to decide whether to invest more or less in your trade show marketing. 

Some Major Trade Show Expenses:

  • Your Exhibit (rental displays available)
  • Booth Space
  • Shipping
  • Material Handling at the Show
  • Show Services, like Electrical, Labor, Cleaning
  • Travel, Lodging, Meals
  • Marketing Materials and Promotional Incentives
  • Sponsorships
  • Entertainment

Pre-Show Marketing 

If you remember anything from this article, remember this. According to a recent trade show exit poll survey, contacting buyers and setting up appointments BEFORE a trade show was cited as the BEST way to ensure a successful return on investment (ROI). With limited time, buyers will gravitate to their existing vendors or to vendors who have contacted them to schedule an appointment.

The show organizer is responsible for attracting attendees to the show. But, they’re not responsible for bringing those attendees to your booth. Successful exhibitors dedicate time to marketing their brand to prospective attendees weeks if not months before the show. Simply showing up and showing off is rarely a recipe for success at a trade show or event.  

Top 4 Apparel Trade Shows

  • MAGIC Fashion (August and February) 
  • Private Label Manufacturers Association
  • Outdoor + Snow Show
  • ABC Kids Expo
  • OFFPRICE Wholesale Apparel Show

apparel trade show

A Recap of Trade Shows by Industry

With thousands of trade shows by industry in North America and thousands more around the world, there’s no shortage of opportunities for companies to participate in face-to-face events. However, simply choosing a show isn’t enough. Successful exhibitors set goals, establish budgets, and implement strategies that maximize their opportunities. 

Your Partner for All Things Trade Show

Classic Exhibits has been designing and building solutions since 1993. We’ve been honored as an Exhibitor Magazine Find-It Top 40 Exhibit Producers and an Event Marketer Fab 50 Exhibit Builders multiple times. Along with numerous Portable Modular Awards. 

With over 200 Distributor Partners throughout North America, there’s a Classic representative closer by. Contact us today whether you need a durable hand sanitizer stand built to last, a portable display guaranteed to attract trade show attendees, or a custom 30 x 40 exhibit with all the bells and whistles. We’re not just different. We’re better.

The Truth about Trade Show Marketing

December 13th, 2021 COMMENTS

You’re the Expert They Need

Here’s a truth most marketing professionals don’t want to admit. They don’t understand Trade Show Marketing. They may be superstars on the web, in print, and every other part of their job, but their exhibition program is a mess. So they blame trade shows. You already know this, and you’ve heard all their excuses. 

So, how do you fix it? The resumption of trade shows has brought an influx of new marketing folks who are eager for information and successIn addition, experienced marketing professionals are now hands-on again because of budget cuts or staffing issues. Guess what… You’re the expert they need — someone who has the resources to train them without bruising their fragile egos. 

Professional Trade Show Tips

Start by tapping into Trade Show Tips in Exhibit Design Search which has almost 100 trade show articles. You can build a My Gallery that includes designs, photos, and articles. Then send them ONE LINK with all those resources. Voila! You become their “go to” person about trade show marketing. 

Trade Show Tips is available on all versions of EDS: Classic’s, unbranded, and branded.

Trade Show and Event Tips
Trade Show and Event Tips
Trade Show and Event Tips

Explore Over 160 Exhibit Designs from Under $3000 to Under $75,000

November 30th, 2021 COMMENTS

With over 1500 designs, Exhibit Design Search can be intimidating for many exhibitors when searching for a new display. So we’ve created a convenient first step with our Under Sheets. These sheets feature 168 trade show exhibit designs from Under $3000 to Under $75,000.

Under Sheets — $3K, $5K, $9K, $15K, $25K, $45K, and $75K

Arranged in 14 pages, the Under Sheets are a good starting point for counters, portables, lightboxes, and island exhibits. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, the next step is exploring Exhibit Design Search based on your research to fully reveal the design possibilities available. Need assistance? Give us a call or send us an email whether you need a pre-configured design or something customized to fit your specific trade show marketing needs.

Trade Show Exhibit Designs Under $9000
Click to Download ALL 14 Pages
Trade Show Exhibit Designs Under $15,000
Exhibit Solutions Under $15,000
Trade Show Exhibit Designs Under $25,000
Exhibit Solutions Under $25,000
Trade Show Exhibit Designs Under $45,000
Exhibit Solutions Under $45,000

For Classic Distributors, the Under Sheets are unbranded which makes them perfect for email or social media campaigns. Simply add your logo and contact information.

Bigger, Bolder, and Brighter Rental Exhibit Designs

November 19th, 2021 COMMENTS
Trade Show Rental Exhibits

If you had to pick a post-COVID design trend, would you have picked rental exhibits with lightboxes? Probably, but would you have guessed that nearly 80% of our island and inline rental orders have lightboxes?

It Kinda Makes Sense

First, lightboxes aren’t much more expensive than non-backlit solutions. Secondly, our rental inventory is deep in SuperNova and Gravitee frames. These two systems connect seamlessly and assemble without tools. As a result, their competitive prices, design flexibility, and ease-of-use makes them popular choices for designers and exhibitors. 

This week, we feature three new Rental Lightbox Designs — (2) 10 x 20’s and (1) 10 x 30.

  • RE-2123 uses a massive lightbox as a backdrop for three monitor kiosks. Along with two counters with backlighting
  • RE-2124 is a series of connected lightboxes in a step-pattern. “Stepping” is increasingly popular since it adds visual depth and a creative use of space
  • RE-3008 is a 10 x 30. We’re seeing more requests for 30 ft. inlines as an alternative to islands. This design is amazing “as is” or as a starting point for customization.

RE-2123 — Large LED Lightbox

Rental Exhibit | RE-2123 Inline Lightbox
Rental Exhibit | RE-2123 Inline Lightbox

Description: Unique products deserve unique exhibit designs. And the RE-2123 doesn’t disappoint. The large SuperNova lightbox with SEG fabric graphics is the perfect backdrop for the three monitor stands. The left, right, and center lightboxes create an immersive environment that compliments the overall theme without distracting from the core focus — the monitor demo stations.

The 20 ft. inline also includes two stunning backlit reception counters with locking storage. The booth assembles quickly and packs flat in a crate for convenient shipping.  

RE-2124 — Lightbox Step Design

Rental Exhibit | RE-2124 Inline Lightbox
Rental Exhibit | RE-2124 Inline Lightbox

Description: The stepping creates visual depth and interest while allowing an exhibitor to tell a compelling story through a sequenced graphic presentation. The design includes ample room for a casual meeting space (which can be a challenge in an inline) and the charging table with LED accent lights creates a casual yet business-like setting. The RE-1567 reception counter has attractive backlit graphics and locking storage.

Lights combined with colorful graphics may be the single-most important key to attracting attention on the trade show floor. The RE-2124 turns the table on traditional lightbox designs by “stepping” (5) 4 ft. x 8 ft. individual lightboxes.

RE-3008 — Meeting Space w/ Lightboxes

Rental Exhibit | RE-3008 Inline Lightbox
Rental Exhibit | RE-3008 Inline Lightbox

Description: Versatile 10 x 30 inlines are increasingly becoming an attractive alternative to an island exhibit. The RE-3008 offers ample space for demos and meetings in a booth that’s built for maximum branding and constructive conversations with attendees.

It includes three large lightboxes with SEG fabric graphics with a double-sided lightbox closest to the aisle. There’s also a semi-private meeting area that includes a charging coffee table with LED accent lights and countertop branding. Bookending the meeting space are two genius bars for additional seating. 

Let us know if there are rental design ideas you want to explore.

Ready to Work Statement from EDPA and EACA

June 29th, 2021 COMMENTS

EDPA and EACA have issued a joint statement about the readiness of their collective members to get back to work as our industry re-opens. See statement below.

“Both organizations are grateful that we have reached the time when the industry is opening, and we can plan for the return of events. Yet, as we move forward, some questions are being raised.

One question is about the strength of the industry’s workforce. We have heard show organizers question whether companies that design, build and install displays at trade shows may not have adequate labor resources. EACA and EDPA can answer that question right now as our collective member companies are ready to get back to work. The exhibitor community is looking forward to working with us again as their preferred suppliers.”

EDPA and EACA Ready to Work Statement