Last fall, BizBash Magazine identified the best trade shows in 2013 and gave a little blurb about each one. That got me thinking that there must be something special about the nine that were identified; especially when there is a lot written that trade shows are slowing down or dying.

Rather than put them in number order, I identified the month that six of the nine are held. This should give you food for thought as you complete your event planning cycle for next year.

January Shows

The International Gift & Home Furnishings Market

Location: Atlanta, GA

Attendance: 95,000

Exhibitors: 3,900+

Number of Days: 8  

What They do Right

  • Experts are on hand to discuss the latest product developments
  • Exclusive varieties of products are showcased at this event
  • Fashion shows are held
  • Extensive foreign participation of 90+ different countries
  • Special sections for kids and bridal dresses are also set up at the event

North American International Auto Show

Location: Detroit, MI

Attendance: 795,000+

Exhibitors: 216

Number of Days: 19

Technology Used: They offer virtual tours with video and photos, as well as,providing a mobile show floor map. They use Twitter and hashtags extensively, which can be displayed on iPad rentals and video walls

What They do Right

  • Feature worldwide vehicle debuts
  • Welcome over 5,000 journalists from 60 countries, with 30% of journalists from international destinations
  • Offer a media preview
  • Provide an industry preview
  • Work on CSR initiatives with a charity preview and
  • Have a 9-day public show

PGA Merchandise Show

Location: Orlando, FL

Attendance: 41,000

Exhibitors: 1,100

Number of Days: 4

Technology Used: Extensively use YouTube Videos, Twitter and Facebook to convey information about their speakers and show information. They offer a “My PGA Show Planner” app that can run on mobile devices.

What They do Right

  • One day dedicated to PGA Show Demo
  • Show Exhibitors are Listed by Product Category
  • PGA, LPGA Members and Allied Association Members register free of charge
  • The registration for Non-PGA Members is nominal and a portion of the fee is donated to support We Are Golf 

February Show

Magic Online

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Attendance: 345,000+

Exhibitors: 3,800

Number of Days: 4

Technology Used: Extensive use of social channels including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogging. Extensive array of collective photos and videos. 

What They do Right

  • The largest global marketplace for contemporary men’s and women’s apparel, footwear and accessories
  • Most comprehensive forum for fashion buyers and brands.
  • Attendees can shop a portfolio of ten merchandised and curated shows across every category
  • $200+ million in orders written daily

March Shows

Arnold Sports Festival

Location: Columbus, OH

Attendance: 175,000

Exhibitors: 800

Number of Days: 4

Technology Used: Extensive use of social channels including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What They do Right

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger comes to this event every year
  • Kids Fitness Expo is part of the program
  • Educational Seminars about fitness
  • Offer a 5K and Pump event to emphasis cardio and weightlifting

International Beauty Show

Location: New York, NY

Attendance: 60,000

Exhibitors: 500+

Number of Days: 3

Technology Used: Extensive use of social channels including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Multiple photos and videos on their web site.

What They do Right

  • Exhibitors provide discounts and special show pricing to attendees
  • Attendees are invited to attend the Spa Show – free of charge – with an IBS admission ticket.
  • 100+ hair, nail, makeup and business classes offered at the event
  • 94% of attendees purchase products on the show floor and 84% participate in in-booth education

The net outcome? It really doesn’t matter where your trade show is (Detroit in January…yikes!) but it does seem to matter what time of year and providing new and interesting content to your attendees.

How SmartSource Rentals can Help

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