If you’ve ever been to a tradeshow, then you know firsthand that they aren’t always the most exciting experiences. For some people, a lot of tradeshows can miss the mark on the fun quotient and end up feeling like exactly what they are – work. While tradeshows are extremely beneficial to businesses and will continue to be so, presumably for years to come, we aren’t always lucky enough to attend or exhibit at tradeshow as truly awesome as the ones we have listed here. Here are 10 tradeshows we’ve come across that are bound to make most tradeshow vets a little bit jealous, but are still pretty enjoyable to read about.
The Surf Expo
The Surf Expo is a board sports, beach and resort lifestyle expo held in January and September, in Orlando. The show boasts over 2,600 booths, 7,000 storefronts and 26,000 attendees and is the longest running show of its kind. The tradeshow floor features apparel and hard goods suitable for surfers and surfboard craftsmen, wake boarders, paddle boarders, skateboarders, fitness enthusiasts, beachgoers and more. Award ceremonies, parties and industry events, like fashions shows and water sport demos at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, are scattered throughout the show days.
Sweets and Snacks Expo
This is an immense congregation of the people who make everyone’s favorite, well, sweets and snacks! More than 3 acres of delectability is on display at this tradeshow featuring more than 650 manufacturers of chocolate, candy, salty snacks, cookies, packaged cakes, popcorn, granola bars, breakfast snacks, nutrition bars, meat snacks, fruit snacks, nuts, packaged goods and ice cream. The whole thing seems like heaven on earth but they do actually get some work done here as well. There are learning and merchandising seminars as well as keynote lectures throughout the show.
American International Toy Fair
In 2015, The American International Toy Fair will be celebrating its 112th year of showcasing toys and youth entertainment products. Products include action figures, arts and crafts, board games, children’s books and music, dolls, soft or plush toys and accessories, educational toys and games, science and discovery kits, infant and toddler toys, outdoor play equipment, sporting goods, tech toys, online games & puzzles, interactive gaming and robotics. This is the largest and most significant tradeshow in the toy industry. This show could bring out the kid in any attendee.
The Philadelphia Tattoos Arts Convention
Besides having the best cheese steaks and the most diehard sports fans, Philadelphia is also known for hosting one of the most impressive and longest running tattoo art conventions in the country. Some of the nation’s most talented tattoo artists come to this tradeshow to display their artistic ability, network with fellow tattooists and clients alike and get a look at or possibility purchase the newest tattoo art equipment. For some the appeal of the show might be lost, but if you appreciate tattoo art this is probably the most amazing tradeshow you will ever attend. I dare you to leave without any new ink!
Super Zoo: The National Show for Pet Retailers
This is the pet industry’s leading tradeshow for networking, educational conferences and pet business inspiration. The goal of the tradeshow is to help pet retailers and groomers to increase their customer base and improve profits, much like any tradeshow. The only difference here is the animals. Yes, animals are allowed at the Super Zoo tradeshow and they are aplenty! This is probably the most adorable tradeshow you might ever attend.
Scarefest: Horror and Paranormal Convention
There are guest speakers, celebrity attendees, artists and entertainers, charity events, costume balls, parties and film festivals – and they are all related to horror and the paranormal. If you like being frightened or are fascinated by all things spooky, than this the tradeshow of your dreams! You don’t have to worry about any explicit materials. Besides the loads of stars, vendors, panels, photo ops and parties, there are fun events that are suitable for the entire family.
The Philadelphia Travel & Adventure Show
This enormous travel expo becomes a one stop shop for vacations involving cruise lines, hotels and resorts as well as other travel-related products and services. We’ve all educated ourselves on our favorite travel destinations thanks to people like Rick Steves or Arthur Frommer. Imagine letting them tell you where your next beautiful vacation should take place, in person. Any serious traveler or jet setter wishes they could attend this tradeshow.
Agenda, Project, Liberty Fairs, and Capsule Tradeshows in Las Vegas
If you are a fan of fashion and celebrities, than Las Vegas has the tradeshows for you. These are shows where fashion and clothing brands display their products for stores to order from. What makes them special is that they have grown so much in popularity and fashionable authority that celebrities can be seen modeling new styles for top and even up and coming designers. Couple that with the overall party vibe of Las Vegas and we are left with a tradeshow definitely worth remembering.
The NAMM Show
The National Association of Music Merchants says that the shows mission is to “strengthen the music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music”. For over 95,000 people who attend however, this is a chance to try out some of the newest musical instruments, meet some musical icons and celebrities and support music at an industry wide level.
Gamescom is the largest video game trade fair in Europe. Held in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, it is notable for its 340,000 visitors in attendance. Here, Videogame developers show off their new or upcoming games or gaming hardware, and the key appeal is that gamers have the opportunity to test out new games not yet on the market. Besides this one major perk there are endless celebrations, events and activities including giant table soccer, micro-gulf, racecar shows, retro gaming and a cosplay village.
Depending upon the industry, a tradeshow can take on a completely different identity and atmosphere show to show. Despite some of them appearing far more appealing than others, especially the ones listed here, they accomplish the same thing. Tradeshows bring people in one industry together in order learn from each other, increase exposure and customer bases and eventually driver profit. Some people just get to play with toys and eat candy while we do those things.