Convention vs Expo vs Trade Show – Differences

Convention vs Expo vs Trade Show - Differences

Convention vs Expo vs Trade Show – Differences

As a business owner, it’s essential that you participate in a number of events that will expose more people to your company and what you have to offer. It’s important to know the difference between the type of events you’ll be attending so you can bring the right materials and make the proper connections to move your business forward. Trade shows, conventions, and exhibits are all business-related events that allow you to interact with customers and fellow business people while providing an opportunity for you to market your company in a way you may not be able to in a traditional office setting. It’s important for you to know which type of marketing event you’re attending, so you can bring the right team members and promotional materials to paint your business in the best light.


Expos or expositions also called trade fairs can be both large and small in scale from large convention centers to shopping malls, where businesses in a specific niche will showcase their products. For instance, you may have seen a number of cellular phone providers erect booths or pavilions in a mall when they’re having a special sale or want to promote a new device. This event is similar to a trade show, so you may want to set up a trade show booth that offers enough space for you to display all the features your product has to offer. Expos are all about product demos, and you should be open to and prepared for consumer questions. You should also have some products on hand in case attendees want to purchase right away.

An example of a large-scale expo is the Global Gaming Expo (G2E). This is the largest gathering of global, commercial and tribal gaming professionals This expo is taking place October 8-11 at the Sands in Las Vegas  (view Las Vegas Show Calendar of events here) There will be new educational information and visitors will experience first-hand new products and innovative technologies.

Trade Show

Now that you know what an expo is, you may be wondering “what is a trade show event?” Trade shows are essentially product fairs where businesses in a similar industry come together to display and demonstrate their new products and services. Here is where you can partner with other companies as well as gain new customers. If you want to participate in this type of event, it is important to have a cutting-edge trade show booth designed to stand out from all other booths. Also, make sure that you display your products in a way that is unique from the other products that will be offered at the event. This will give you a competitive edge and increase the chances that you can make business connections that will serve you well in the future. Be sure to give out business cards, a brochure and or promotional item and create a way to collect as many leads as you can.

An example of a trade show is the NAMB National Dec 8-10 at Ceasars Palace, Las Vegas. This trade show event showcases home and financial service products such as credit services, compliance services, capital mortgages, financial services, and mortgage services within the Business Services industry. (view trade show calendar here)


A convention or conference is another promotional event you’ll want to attend, particularly if you want to connect with other business people to talk about a certain aspect of a business. Conventions usually focus on a particular industry.  Convention booth displays should inform attendees about your business and what your products and services can offer the market. This is a learning experience for you as an entrepreneur and it gives you the skills and networking opportunities you need to promote and grow your business. There’s also a good chance that you may find a business partner or two at a convention since you’ll be around like-minded people who understand your industry and can see the potential in your company. When preparing for a convention, be sure to brainstorm strong convention booth ideas and to put your best foot forward with striking convention displays.

An example of a convention is the ICAS International Council of Air Shows, Dec. 3-6 at the Paris, Las Vegas. Every year since 1967 the air show community gathers together to conduct business and exchange ideas.

Convention vs Expo vs Trade Show? Now that you are aware of the differences let’s help bring your company to the forefront and build you an amazing exhibition booth that will make a huge impact on potential business partners and customers.  The Exhibit Company is proud to say we are approaching our 30 yr anniversary of designing and building amazing exhibition booths all across the country from CA, Las Vegas to Chicago and NY.  Give us a call toll-free at 800.576.0018 or contact us here.  Let us help you now!