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Biggest Trade Show Events of 2018

Have you ever wondered what the biggest trade shows of the year are? Trade shows can be massive in size and the outsized nature of the occasion means there is much opportunity for businesses to generate profits, network with other companies, and learn more about the industry they operate in.

In this article we identify the largest shows based on square footage and attendee numbers. By taking a look at the two lists, perhaps you will find some suitable trade shows that are worth visiting for your company.

The biggest trade show by square foot

The amount of square feet available at a trade show indicates how much space there is to work with. It will clue you in on the expected attendance numbers and the likelihood that you will have enough booth space to implement your vision. A large venue means more exhibitors and side-events, so there will be plenty to do.

Here are the top 10 trade shows based on square feet:

  1. ConExpo-CON/AGG – 2.67 million
  2. Consumer Electronics Show – 2.62 million
  3. Atlanta International Gifts & Home Furnishings Market in July – 1.33 million
  4. Atlanta International Gifts & Home Furnishings Market in January – 1.26 million
  5. International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition – 1.24 million
  6. Speciality Equipment Market Association – 1.21 million
  7. Florida RV Supershow – 1.1 million
  8. America’s Largest RV Show – 1.06 million
  9. Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition – 1.06 million
  10. NAB Show – 1.02 million

As you can see from the numbers above there are some huge trade shows taking place in the United States throughout the year. Crowds generated from these large venues are so vast, the opportunity is too lucrative to pass up.

The biggest trade shows by attendee numbers

The number of people attending a trade show is important to consider as it indicates the pool of people you can potentially sell to. The more the merrier and attending the most populous trade shows in the US means you will have a great chance to sell a lot of product in just a few short days.

Here is a breakdown of the biggest trade shows by attendee numbers:

  1. SEMA 2017 Show (Specialty Equipment Market Association) – 162,756
  2. Consumer Electronics Show – 116,958
  3. CONEXPO-CON/AGG – 92,836
  4. Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market – January – 92,120
  5. Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market – July – 86,871
  6. MAGIC Market Week – 80,560
  7. Mid-America Trucking Show – 72,271
  8. NAB Show – 68,902
  9. 2017 NBAA-BACE Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition – 25,630
  10. ICUEE – The Intl. Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition – 10,450

As you can see from the list above, some of these events attract massive crowds and a large proportion of attendees are interested buyers actively looking for new products. In a relatively small space, you have a high concentration of targeted potential leads to be generated. You will typically compete with a bunch of other trade show booths but play your cards right and you could attract more than your fair share of the attention at one of these large trade shows.

To help you get the most out of your trade show experience consider hiring the services of Evo Exhibits. Our proven Discover. Create. Connect. process can help you take your business to the next level.

Advantages of visiting the biggest trade shows

Cost effective: The costs associated with visiting a trade show will overall be similar regardless of how many people are coming or how much square footage you have to work with. In fact, when there is less space, the price of the booth real estate might go up.

However, at a bigger trade show, you have a bigger chance to generate sales as there are more people to engage with. It is a numbers game – more visitors can lead to more sales if the conversion rate can be maintained. It only makes sense to attend a bigger trade show as the return on the investment will be greater.

Educational sessions: Bigger events tend to have more educational sessions to learn about the industry you operate in. These are worth attending to understand what technological trends you need to be aware of to not be left behind by your competitors.

Media coverage: The industry media prioritizes their coverage based on the size of the event (as well as the relevance to the average consumer), which means attending one of the bigger events can provide more exposure. At a bigger event, you might be approached by additional members of the media to answer questions about your latest line of products. Be sure to have your personnel prepped with concise, camera-ready talking points.


Visiting the largest trade shows for your industry can elevate the status of your company to new heights and bring in a flood of sales. The networking opportunities are immense and there are many festivities that add excitement to the atmosphere.

They tend to be a celebration of the industry that gathers like-minded people under one roof. You will feel like part of the community and perhaps make new friends!

However, at a trade show you will be competing with hundreds of other exhibitors for the attention of the crowd. Setting up an attractive looking booth is required, and Evo Exhibits can help you with that, and much more.

Our comprehensive Discover. Create. Connect. process will give you support throughout the event. We can help overcome any challenges and contribute to your success on the trade show floor.




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