Top Trade Shows to Attend in 2017

The New Year comes with new opportunities to get your brand and your business out there at trade shows. There are hundreds of thousands of trade shows across hundreds of industries from which you can choose. In 2012 alone, there were 284,600 trade shows and conventions held across the United States.

Typically, when considering which trade show to exhibit at, you should look at the trade shows within your industry first. However, there can also be benefits to attending some trade shows outside your industry.

For example, doing so can give you design ideas and inspiration for your own custom exhibits. In addition, some trade shows (such as the International Consumer Electronics Show), are open to industries outside the main one, thanks to the intersections that occur between the main industry and other fields.

To help you sort through the many trade show options you have for 2017, what follows is a list of the top trade shows to attend this year. They are organized by industry, and all of them are industry leaders known for the value they provide attendees and exhibitors alike.

1. Film, Music, and/or Interactive Industries
SXSW Interactive Festival 2017
March 10–14, 2017
Austin, TX

SXSW stands for South by Southwest and consists of a group of festivals and conventions designed to explore the intersection of the film, music, and interactive industries. While the SXSW event occurs from March 10–19, one of the highlights of the events is the SXSW Interactive Festival held on the evenings of March 10–14.

This primarily networking event is designed to help industry players meet, brainstorm, and forge partnerships together to enhance their projects and goals. The festival’s events include award presentations, parties, meet up sessions, and more. In 2016, the festival had 37,660 participants.

2. Education
March 6–9, 2017
Austin, TX

SXSWEdu is one of the leading education trade shows. The event is associated with the South by Southwest group of events, but focuses on the creativity and engagement made possible by educators. The four-day event showcases leading and innovative educators as speakers. In addition, it provides workshops, mentorships, discussions, film screenings, and more for anyone looking for inspiration and innovation in the education field.

For exhibitors, SXSWEdu offers access to a diverse array of education-associated participants. Last year, the event drew 13,840 participants, which included 6,305 visitors to the almost 200 exhibitors.

3. Technology
International Consumer Electronics Show
January 5–8, 2017
Las Vegas, NV

The International Consumer Electronics Show is recognized as the leading technology business event in the world. This event focuses specifically on innovations in the field of technology. In addition, however, it welcomes an array of industry exhibitors who use technological innovations in their work.

This huge trade show attracted more than 177,000 attendees last year and offered 2.47 million square feet of exhibit space for trade show displays. Exhibitors brought trade show displays from an array of industries, including the automotive industry and the sports industries.

4. Construction
Build Expo
January-August 2017
Austin, Dallas, LA, Atlanta, Houston

Build Expo is one of the leading trade shows in the construction field. This annual event is held in 5 different cities between January and August. The workshops and presentations focus on earning customers, issues in the construction field, and more.

The show attracts professionals from more than a dozen fields, including engineering, property management, real estate, architecture, contracting, and planning. As a result, the show offers access to a wide range of experts in the construction, engineering, and contractor fields who are ready and willing to learn more about the industry and invest in new products and services.

5. Fashion
MAGIC Las Vegas
February 21–23, 2017
Las Vegas, NV

MAGIC Las Vegas is one of the largest trade shows for the fashion industry. It includes everything from footwear and apparel to the manufacturing of those items. Attendees learn about the latest in fast fashion, accessories, and luxury apparel. MAGIC occurs in more than a dozen separate shows that attracts thousands of attendees to hundreds of exhibits every year.

6. Automotive
October 31-November 3, 2017
Las Vegas, NV

The SEMA trade show is an automotive industry trade show committed to showcasing the latest innovations in the field. The show also provides professionals a place to network with like minded individuals. It consists of a series of meet ups, workshops, presentations, and other educational events.

SEMA provides access to 170,000 industry professionals, as well as 70,000 professionals who have the authority and ability to purchase from exhibitors. As such it offers exhibitors uniquely extensive access to professionals and potential customers throughout the automotive industry.

7. Retail
Retail’s Big Show
January 15–17, 2017
New York, New York

Retail’s Big Show is what it sounds like: One of the biggest events in the retail industry. It is also known as NRF’s (National Retail Federation’s) Annual Convention and EXPO. It earned the name “Retail’s Big Show” because of its size and popularity. It focuses primarily upon educational sessions and presentations about the retail industry. Retail’s Big Show attracts 33,000 attendees and about 500 exhibitors.

8. Medical and Pharmaceutical
February 28-March 1, 2017, and October 23–26, 2017
Las Vegas, NV, and Atlanta, GA

Medtrade is one of the largest trade shows focusing on the home medical equipment industry. As such, it provides presentations, educational sessions, and exhibits in the field. It also emphasizes new home medical equipment innovations and gives attendees an opportunity to connect with others in the field.

Medtrade reaches about 3,000 people in its spring trade show, as well as more who attend their show in October. The access it provides to home equipment professionals makes it a valuable event for exhibitors in the field.

When you choose to attend one of the top trade shows in your industry, you need to bring a trade show display that appropriately engages the audiences you hope to reach. As a result, consider consulting with Image craft. Our design services can help you to create a trade show display that reflects your brand in a way that is engaging and appealing to the audiences you hope to reach at your top trade show.

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