What Are the Different Types of Exhibitions?

October 10, 2023
What Are the Different Types of Exhibitions?
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Trade shows—also known as expos—fall into three major groups: consumer trade shows, industry trade shows, and trade shows that appeal to both industries and consumers.

Exhibitions, expositions, trade shows–all are names for the public events in which businesses gather together at convention centers to set up booths and advertise their goods and services to the crowds who come streaming through over a several-day period.

What Type of Marketing is Exhibitions?

Exhibitions are an experiential marketing channel where attendees come together in a face-to-face environment or in-person gathering to connect with the products or services on show.

Trade exhibitions serve multiple purposes concurrently. They are primarily marketing opportunities for the businesses that have set up booths at the shows. With a steady flow of potential customers coming through an exhibition, businesses have lots of chances for direct marketing by showing off their products and informing consumers about the company brand, values, and more. Representatives at the booths can also acquire consumer information to follow up later with email marketing.

Types of Trade Shows

Of course, in many cases, the success or failure of these marketing efforts depends largely on the types of connections businesses can make with consumers. If a potential customer just isn’t responding and no connection is made, it might be difficult or impossible to make a sale.

For this reason, the type of exhibition being executed makes a difference in how businesses should market themselves. Some exhibitions are for businesses in a specific type of industry. Some shows are for companies that manufacture and sell electronics. Others might be job fairs focused on making new hires. Knowing the theme and audience of a trade show is therefore vital for companies planning to attend.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the main types of trade exhibitions that tend to attract large audiences. Then we’ll tell you how Alliance Exposition stands out among service contractors in the trade show industry and can help you with your exhibition appearances, from booth conception to reality.

Technology Industry Trade Shows

In 2021, technology is just about everywhere, and nowhere is the progress of technology more evident than at a tech exhibition. Depending on their size and public profile, technology trade shows entice entrepreneurs, inventors, CEOs, and consumers from all over the world to travel to the convention and see what’s been going on in the world of electronics, robotics, computers, and more.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the largest retail electronics trade show in the United States. The show is not open to the general public, but instead only for those who already work in the tech industry. Those people can make the trek to the Las Vegas Convention Center in January of each year can see the latest in self-driving vehicles, televisions, smart devices, and video gaming.

While at the CES exhibition, visitors can not only see the hot new products coming soon to market, but they can also attend speaking sessions featuring industry experts, who generally talk about the state of the tech industry.

Another such event is InfoComm, a technology trade show focusing on audio and visual communications systems. Attendees pay $300 for the three-day event at the Las Vegas Convention Center and can then view the most recent technological developments of the almost 1,000 company participants at the show. Products on offer include those in the video, digital signage, home security, and virtual reality (VR) categories. Approximately 40,000 people attend each InfoComm exhibition, making it one of the heavy hitters among tech trade shows.

Manufacturing Industry Trade Shows

Somewhat related to the technology industry, manufacturing is its own distinct commercial sector that in 2021 has a ton going on. Build Expo USA, for instance, is a free manufacturing exhibition held in numerous cities throughout the United States every year. Show attendees can view recent developments in roofing and other construction materials, observe product demonstrations, and attend free educational seminars. Something new is always happening in the world of manufacturing, including the creation of new methods and materials for green construction.

Another manufacturing exhibition option is the annual Duluth Energy Design Conference & Expo. Geared toward developments in sustainable construction, this trade show features participants specializing in renewable energy, authoritative design, and the best practices of general construction. As with most trade shows, this conference affords visitors plenty of opportunities for networking with colleagues and consumers, with frequent breaks and receptions.

Healthcare Industry Trade Shows

Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing professional industries in the world, so it makes sense that trade exhibitions centered around healthcare technology, specialties, and careers would generate large crowds and lots of public attention.

There’s no shortage of healthcare exhibitions in just the United States alone. Take the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held in the group’s home city of Chicago. Tens of thousands of attendees flock to this trade show every year to see recent developments in the field of radiology. Exhibition participants showcase radiology technology, laboratory supplies, artificial intelligence, and more. Each show has a theme that engenders healthcare professionals to present their own research at the exhibition, making the Radiological Society of North America’s annual convention one of the most innovative in the healthcare field.

In that same vein, another, similar trade exhibition displaying recent accomplishments in a healthcare field is the yearly convention of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This one is held in a different location every year, but its focus is always to advance understanding of orthopedics, musculoskeletal diseases, and orthopedic surgical techniques.

Scores of other healthcare trade shows occur every year throughout the United States, including the Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference and the annual meetings of the American Society of Hematology and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Restaurant & Food Industry Trade Shows

Trade exhibitions showcasing restaurants and food are on the thematically lighter side of the trade show scale, but that doesn’t make them any less important to the businesses that participate in them. For instance, one such show is the annual conference of the School Nutrition Association, which provides healthy, affordable food to American school students. The association’s annual meeting hosts suppliers of school kitchen equipment and food, educational speakers, and nutrition directors from schools themselves. Attendees can attend workshops and speaking engagements focusing on student nutrition.

Meanwhile, a more corporate type of restaurant and food trade show is the annual exhibition of the National Restaurant Association. This trade show is directed toward American restaurants, but it attracts tens of thousands of consumers from all over the world. Attendees can investigate the latest creations in food, drinks, and food-service solutions offered by exhibitors.

For customers interested in whole foods, the United Fresh Convention & Expo assembles a multitude of exhibitors selling fresh produce and displaying new methods and equipment for growing. The expo aims to place professionals from different parts of the buying chain together in the same room, meaning growers, suppliers, and retailers can talk to one another and acquire new professional contacts.

Arts & Crafts Industry Trade Shows

Artists and craft makers are always looking to catch the attention of art gallery owners, retail stores, and consumers—and arts and crafts trade shows are the perfect opportunity to do just that.

At arts and crafts shows, skilled artists will find opportunities to meet new customers and take their reach to the next level. No matter where you are located, there are hundreds of arts and crafts expos for a reason—all the way from modern to vintage, and from jewelry and pottery to photography and sculptures.

What Are the Different Types of Trade Show Booths?

The best booth for you and your business depends on the type of trade show you are attending, but the most common trade show booth types include:

Inline Booth

Peninsula Booth

Perimeter Booth

Island Booth

What Are the Types of Exhibits Used at Trade Shows?

Exhibits used at trade shows may include:

  • Banner Stands
  • Table Covers and Runners
  • Pop Up Displays
  • Tension Fabric Displays
  • Hanging Graphics
  • Modular and Custom Modular Exhibits
  • Outdoor Displays
  • Other Portable Trade Show Displays

Alliance’s Trade Show Services

People who are interested in exhibitions can find a host of other types of trade shows around the country, including those related to sports, home decoration, and retail. In addition to presenting attendees with ample opportunities to buy and sell products and services, exhibitions are also perfect settings for networking within industries. People and organizations who perhaps would never have had the chance to meet can exchange contact information and go into business together.

We hope readers can see from this post the great advantages of professional exhibitions for a variety of industries. Do you think your company would be interested in sponsoring a trade show for your industry niche? Or are you looking to become an exhibitor at an existing show?

Get in touch with Alliance Exposition for convention and trade show services of the highest quality. We pride ourselves on the fact that we take the time to understand our customers’ market niche and specific needs and then design efficient and cost-effective exhibition solutions you can rely on. We’ll take you through everything, from your booth design to your advertising program once on the floor. At Alliance, we’re always in your corner, ready to advise and assist with whatever you need.

Contact us today to submit an exhibit proposal or get more information about how we can help your business flourish at your next trade show!

October 10, 2023
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