The best cities in the United States for trade shows is reflected in annual surveys taken by Exhibitor Magazine and other publications. Exhibitor’s 2018 Travel and Accommodations Survey of over 200 exhibit and event professionals reveals that the most popular city for trade shows are Las Vegas, Orlando and Chicago. Meanwhile, favorite cites for these events among exhibitors are Las Vegas, San Diego and New Orleans. Here are details on why these cities are so popular for conventions.
Multiple sources have cited Las Vegas as the top trade show destination. It has consistently been number one on the annual list published by the Trade Show News Network (TSNN). Our company Live Talent has a location in Las Vegas located near the Las Vegas Convention Center. In 2017, Las Vegas was home to 47 of the largest trade shows in the nation, according to TSNN. The number of attendees per year now surpasses 6 million. Major events that draw thousands of attendees include CONEXPO-CON/AGG and the Consumer Technology Association’s annual CES convention. The key to Las Vegas being coveted widely as the top trade show city is due to its quality offerings of restaurants, hotels, venues, entertainment and gaming.
It’s easy to figure out why San Diego is a top trade show destination, seeing it has warm climates throughout the year. Not only is San Diego a city full of major tourist attractions, it’s a convenient alternative to Los Angeles for having a Southern California exhibition. You won’t be far from beautiful beaches and other scenery while you’re tapping into a huge market that’s not as bumper-to-bumper as Los Angeles.
Another convenience is the airport is only three miles from downtown, which is walkable and provides various modes of transportation from bicycles to buses. As demand continues to grow each year in San Diego for convention space, the city is expanding its venues for trade shows.
The largest convention center in North America, McCormick Place, is located in Chicago. It can hold 3 million visitors per year. Our company, Live Talent, has a location in Chicago. The venue covers 2.6 million square feet, consisting of exhibit halls, meeting rooms, ballrooms and other meeting space. The theater has 4,249 seats while the parking garage accommodates 5,800 parking spots. Big events include the Chicago Auto Show in February and the National Restaurant Association’s annual convention in May.
Several other quality venues in Chicago are sought by marketers around the country for exhibitions simply because of its central location. The city is home to two large airports, including O’Hare, the busiest airport in the world. Chicago’s public transportation system, featuring CTA trains, makes it easy to get around the vast metropolis.
Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and other tourist attractions make Orlando a popular trade show destination. Another reason it’s a great place to plan events is that it has year-round warm weather. Transportation is stress-free since Orlando International Airport is not far from the area where several trade shows are held. Some of the city’s top trade shows include the PGA Merchandise Show and the Florida Wedding Expo. Live Talent has an office in Orlando near the Orange County Convention Center. Contact us for trade show models and event staffing services in Orlando.
Due to the worldwide popularity of Marti Gras, every February brings many trade shows to the Big Easy. Mixing business with pleasure actually does work for many companies, which is why they deliberately tie conventions in with bigger events. Another reason why New Orleans is favored for trade shows is that it’s home to elegant convention centers along the Mississippi River. Since it’s a big tourist town, there are plenty of hotels and restaurants to choose from in the downtown area. Several major boat shows are part of the local culture. Live Talent has an office located near the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Contact our office for any of your event staffing needs in New Orleans.