What Are the Different Types of Trade Shows?


There are 3 different types of trade shows, expos or conventions:


Also known as trade-only events, industry trade shows are closed to the public and specifically designed to cater to industry professionals. CES Las Vegas is probably the best known industry event, only people affiliated with the consumer tech industry being permitted to attend. Another good example is NAAM (National Association of Music Merchants) which takes place every year in Anaheim. It is exclusively designed for music industry professionals and doesn’t offer anything for retail. Medical and engineering related trade shows are also usually trade-only expos.


Consumer trade shows are open to the public and attendees can purchase products and services on-site. A popular consumer trade show is Comic-Con which takes place every summer in San Diego, CA. Other typical consumer shows include boat, motorcycle, home and garden expos.


This third type of trade show caters to both industry professionals and the public. A great example is Los Angeles’ highly popular LA Auto Show which is open to the public but reserves a couple days for automotive industry professionals only.

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