February - HIMSS (Healthcare Information Management Systems Society) in Orlando
March - APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control) in Anaheim
April - SHEA (Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America) in Denver (maybe)
June - WOCN (Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses) in Nashville
September - Transform 2014 in Rochester (maybe)
November - MEDICA (World Forum for Medicine - International Trade Fair with Congress) in Dusseldorf
Ironically I’ve been making a list of shows for my team and I to divide and concur for the year. This is my list, based more on our corporate needs:
March: International Housewares show, Chicago
April: IDSA West conference, Denver
May: ICFF (furniture), NY
June: E3 (gaming), LA
August: IDSA national conference, Austin
Sept: IFA-Belin (the European CES)
Sept: CEDIA Expo (Home technology and installation), Denver
Nov: LA Auto Show
Corporate/consultant, I don’t think it matters much. I do think field matters. As a consultant I “specialized” in mostly diagnostics and radiology. For those, AACC (American Association of Clinical Chemistry) and RSNA (Radiological Society of North America) are the two big boys of the year. But if you were something specific, you could hit a specialty like ACC (American College of Cardiology). Now, infectious disease rules my world.
For funsies I would hit local shows. I always enjoyed doing neocon and such.
Working in exhibit design for quite some time I can safely say that there is a tradeshow for every industry and it’s all about face to face marketing. I’ve designed or managed designers creating designs for a lot of the shows mentioned in this thread.
If you’re looking to build a consulting firm consider your target industries, or ideal clients, and then attend shows where they exhibit to meet them and learn more about them, their industry, and their competition. Granted I don’t know that I would try to pitch business to them at a show (remember they’re there to pitch their business!), but sometimes more business gets done after hours during shows. Some shows host seminars, presentations, workshops, etc… As a consultant you might have expertise to share as a guest presenter at a particular show in a particular industry. This could be great exposure for you to build your consultancy’s client list.
That’s the networking side of things, but shows are great for research and sourcing as well of course.
Since I work in the industry some relevant shows I attend would be Exhibitor, Euroshop, and NeoCon, but my go-to source for finding shows that I want to attend in other industries would likely be exhibitoronline.com and exhibitcitynews.com.
I think that pretty much covers them all. If you are looking to venture in the branding/packaging world I would add Fuse in Chicago. Different crowd than most ID style conferences with a mix of Corporate and Consulting. Just be ready to compete with the big branding agencies. They can be a bit territorial.
Yeah I used to go to Pack Expo. Its very equipment and vendor heavy and wasn’t providing the value I needed. I haven’t been in a while. Had other show I wanted to attend through out the year and needed the budget.
On a side note, a tactic we used with some success at tradeshows was to create a competitive analysis of the companies there. Branding/marketing/product features and benefits/etc. That report would be a calling card, sometimes for a fee, to the companies we were targeting at the show.
Definitely spec work at the start, but after time, companies knew what we could offer and “order” it prior to the show. As anything, you need to build the client base. And as we grew that base, we could hire industry kol to get their perspective into the research, adding value.
That is a great idea. I’ve had so many retailer, vendor, and technology partner meetings, i’ve barely seen any of CES this year. I have my team doing a recon and breakdown if the show, but if I could get a packet for a fee I might do that as well.