What Are the Different Types of Trade Shows?

Trade shows are an important part of the marketing world. They benefit merchants, consumers, sales reps, and everyone in between. Trade shows are exactly what the name represents: showing off products and services in a trade or industry. There are thousands of different types of trade shows. Some are general in scope, and some cater to a niche.

In general, you can divide trade shows into three different categories: trade shows that cater to businesses in the industry, trade shows that are designed for consumers, and trade shows that target both consumers and businesses.

Industry Trade Shows

Industry trades shows are typically designed for people working in the business and are closed to the general public. This type of trade show offers opportunities for businesses to make connection with suppliers and services that support the business. It gives the exhibitors a chance to introduce a product or service that the business client might need. During these shows, it is not uncommon for a business to find a new vendor to fill a need. The vendor gathers names of potential business clients that have interest in what they are offering, and they follow up with their business leads after the show. Examples of an industry trade show would be one for the restaurant and hospitality industry. Here, you might find exhibitors for foods, equipment, and services that support a restaurant. You might see booths from advertisers and insurance agencies because a typical restaurant will need those services.

Consumer Trade Shows

Consumer trade shows are designed to give consumers a chance to buy products or services that they need or want in their lives. Merchants showcase their products and services, put on demonstrations, have contests or giveaways at the booths to attract visitors, etc. For example, a popular consumer trade show is one for home and garden. Here, merchants and service providers showcase products or services that can enhance the quality of life of a homeowner. Things like new types of garden tools, small kitchen appliances, landscape products, etc., are a few examples of what you can expect to find in such a show. Another type of consumer trade show is for consumer electronics. Here, you can find the latest models of electronic equipment, software, mobile devices, etc. Manufacturers often use these opportunities to announce their latest releases to the public. Other kinds of popular consumer trade shows are for bridal and automobiles.

Industry and Consumer Trade Shows

Trade shows that cater to both businesses and consumers are designed for exhibitors to make connections in either group. For example, exhibitors in an arts and craft show may hope to attract the attention of a gallery owner who can show their art. In addition, the exhibitors are selling their arts and hand-crafted products to consumers who want something unique and hand-made for a gift or for their home.

There are as many kinds of trades shows as there are kinds of businesses. Some are huge and attract thousands of attendees, and some are small because they cater to a specific niche. Regardless of the size, trade shows play an important role in fostering business-to-business and business-to-consumer connections.

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