A trade show convention is a gathering of professionals within a particular profession or industry that is utilized as a way to show off new products and develop networks within that industry. This type of convention usually features numerous exhibitors, which are companies that rent space at the convention to show off products in development. The convention is then attended by representatives of various sales companies, who look for new products to sell or offer customers, as well as private individuals interested in the industry. A trade show convention can be fairly small in scale and only attended by those within the industry, or quite large and attended by mainstream media and consumers.
Sometimes called a trade show market or simply a convention, a trade show convention typically provides a means by which exhibitors and attendees can interact and meet. Exhibitors are representatives of companies who come to the trade show to demonstrate and reveal new products or services. A trade show convention is usually the setting for revealing new products, even those products that may not be commercially available for several years. Electronics trade shows, for example, often serve as platforms to show off new technology and hardware that may still be in development.
Attendees at a trade show convention are usually representatives of retail or sales businesses who are looking for new products to offer customers. These professional attendees can develop contacts and networks at such conventions, among both exhibitors and other attendees, making such conventions a major event for many industries. Some attendees at a trade show convention can also be consumers or amateur enthusiasts for various products or industries. The number of consumers present at a trade show typically depends on the type of industry being represented.
A trade show convention for the electronics industry, especially consumer electronics such as home entertainment systems and portable devices, is often attended by thousands of consumers and numerous mainstream media outlets. The new products revealed at these shows are often the subjects of numerous website posts and discussions by consumers for months or years before the products are even released commercially. Due to this presence of media and consumers at such events, it has become increasingly important for an exhibitor to make a strong first impression with a new product. This has led to the use of a trade show convention as not only a way to demonstrate new products, but to begin marketing, advertising, and building customer awareness for such products.