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Top 10 Orlando Trade Shows

Top 10 Orlando Trade Shows

Orlando, Florida is consistently one of the largest trade show and exhibition cities in the country. Home to more than a dozen amusement parks, most notably Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, Orlando is often thought of as a family vacation destination. However, due to the plethora of dining, shopping, and entertainment options available, year-round tropical weather and access to a major international airport, Orlando has become a power player in the trade show and exhibiting industry.

The Orange County Convention Center, located in a major tourist area of Orlando, is home to almost all trade shows that visit this central Florida city. Offering 2,100,000 square feet of exhibition space, 74 meeting rooms, a theater, a lecture hall, and an abundance of on-site parking, Orange County Convention Center is able to deliver a remarkable experience to visitors. Exhibiting in Orlando is a great opportunity for those located in the Southeast United States to minimize travel cost while still attending internationally recognized shows. Additionally, Florida is a right-to-work state, meaning that, in general there is more budget flexibility than in other tradeshow epicenters such as Las Vegas or New York. The following list, in alphabetical order, is composed of top trade shows hosted in Orlando on a regular basis. Based on the Trade Show News Network Top 250 US Trade Shows, the following are shows that offer an abundance of net square footage, exhibitors and attendees.

Global Pet Expo

The Global Pet Expo, presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association, is hosted annually at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Coming in at #74, on TSSN’s 2014 Top 250 US Trade Shows, the  2014 Global Pet Expo boasted 290,000 net square feet of exhibiting space, 5,600 attendees and almost 1,000 exhibitors. The Global Pet Expo is the industry’s largest annual trade show and is open to qualified industry professionals, including independent retailers, distributors, and buyers. With attendees from 82 countries and over 3,000 new product launches at the 2015 show, the Global Pet Expo is the place to be to learn about industry trends with a global perspective. As to be expected, many exhibits feature furry friends and some exhibitors choose to donate extra food and supplies to animal shelters.

Next show: March 16-18, 2016 – Orange County Convention Center – Orlando, FL

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The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) hosts an annual conference with an emphasis on education that brings together professionals from across the healthcare IT industry and vendors from around the world. Ranked #33 of TSNN’s 2014 Top 250 US Trade Shows, the show features 1,200 exhibitors spread across over 500,000 square feet. HIMSS offers attendees an interactive experience through world-class speakers, cutting-edge healthcare IT products, and networking opportunities.  HIMSS was hosted in Orlando in 2014, and will return to the Orange County Convention Center in 2017.

Next Show: February 29 – March 4, 2016 – Las Vegas, NV – Sands Expo Convention Center

February 19-23, 2017 – Orlando, FL – Orange County Convention Center

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InfoComm International

InfoComm, hosted in Orlando every other odd year, is dedicated to the professional audio visual technology industry.  With an emphasis on both interaction with the latest technology and education, InfoComm offers exposure to new solutions, training, hands-on workshops, and networking receptions. InfoComm was #35 on TSNN’s 2013 Top 250 list with over 450,000 net square feet and almost 40,000 attendees from over 110 countries. Make sure to check out the behind the scenes technology tours at local entertainment and sports venues featuring different types of AV installations. InfoComm alternates between Orlando and Las Vegas.

Next Show: June 4-10, 2016 – Las Vegas, NV – Las Vegas Convention Center

June 10-16, 2017 – Orlando, FL – Orange County Convention Center

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IAAP Attractions Expo

What would Orlando be without amusement parks? The IAAPA Attractions Expo takes place in Orlando each year with a focus on safety and business growth. Ranked #29 on TSNN’s 2014 Top 250 list, the IAAPA Attractions expo features 550,000 net square feet and over 30,000 attendees. The show provides industry expertise to owners and operators of amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, water parks, and others looking for the latest products, services, and technologies. IAAPA has even put a new spin on networking – check out “IAAPA Celebrates” where you can enjoy food and drinks with colleagues while experiencing Orlando’s new attractions complex, including SEA LIFE Orlando aquarium, Madame Tussauds wax museum, and The Orlando Eye observation wheel.

Next Show: November 16-20, 2015 – Orlando, FL – Orange County Convention Center

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With 285,000 net square feet of exhibiting space, ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America brings together professionals from across the commercial and industrial cleaning industry. At #77 on TSNN’s 2014 Top 250 list, ISSA/INTERCLEAN offers attendees exposure to the latest technology and opportunity to network with other industry professionals to improve their own businesses. With more than 40 seminars on business growth, management, and digital media marketing, ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2015 will also feature keynote speeches from comedian Jay Leno and Kevin O’Leary, host of Shark Tank. ISSA/INTERCLEAN was hosted in Orlando in 2014, and will return to Orlando in 2018.

Next show: October 20-23, 2015 – Las Vegas, NV – Las Vegas Convention Center

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NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition

Coming in at #8 on TSNN’s 2014 Top 250 US Trade Shows, the National Business Aviation Association is the most important event of the year in the business aviation industry. THE NBAA is the fourth largest trade show in the United States, with over 1 million net square feet of exhibiting space. Indoor exhibit space can be found at the Orange County Convention Center, while aircraft are displayed at the Orlando Executive Airport. Attendees, the decision makers of the industry, are exposed to new technology and products that can be purchased for the following year. The NBAA rotates between Orlando and Las Vegas.

Next show:  November 17-19, 2015 – Las Vegas, NV – Las Vegas Convention Center

November 1-3, 2016 – Orlando, FL – Orange County Convention Center

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PGA Merchandise Show – need consistent format for title

Florida is home to 1,481 golf courses. This makes Orlando the perfect venue for the PGA Merchandise Show, an opportunity for golf industry professionals (Course owners, Golf Pros, Pro-Shop managers, and golf instructors) to learn about the latest merchandise, network with other industry professionals, and expand knowledge on the business of golf. At the #54 spot on TSNN’s 2014   Top 250 list, the PGA Merchandise Show has over 350,000 square feet to exhibit the latest and greatest of the golf industry. Special events include fashion shows, an equipment test center, and a “New Product Zone.” Brought together by a passion for the game, 40,000+ attendees from 74 countries gather to test the newest products and gather ideas on how they can improve their game.

Next show: January 26-29, 2016 – Orlando, FL – Orange County Convention Center

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POWER-GEN International

POWER-GEN International brings together industry professionals from all segments of the power generation industry. Whether you’re interested in nuclear power, renewable energy, or general power generation, POWER-GEN has more than 70 conference sessions, three days of exhibiting, panel discussions with industry experts, and networking events. Ranking #53 of TSNN’s 2014 Top 250, POWER-GEN offers over 360,000 net square feet featuring 1,400 exhibits, drawing 22,000 attendees.   Fun

Next show: December 8-10, 2015 – Las Vegas, NV – Las Vegas Convention Center

December 13-15, 2016 – Orlando FL – Orange County Convention Center

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The Rental Show

The American Rental Association’s Rental occurs in Orlando every few years. The Rental Show boasts over 280,000 net square feet of exhibiting space for the equipment rental industry. The roughly 700 exhibitors cover a wide variety of rental industry categories, including construction and industrial equipment, general tool or homeowner equipment, and party/special event rentals.  There are also industry specific seminars and opportunities to network with professionals in a similar industry. The Rental Show last occurred in Orlando in 2014, and will be back in 2017.   This show was also selected as one of the fastest 50 award winning shows by Trade Show Executive magazine.

Next Show: February 21-24, 2016 – Atlanta, GA – Georgia World Congress Center

February 26-March 2, 2016 – Orlando, FL – TBD

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Surf Expo January & September

Orlando is a one hour drive from the beach, making it the perfect location for The Surf Expo, a bi-annual event that occurs in both January and September. The show’s 2,600 booths draw buyers from around the world. In addition to the apparel and specialty good booths, there are many special events including fashion shows and demos that draw 26,000 attendees. The January and September shows come in at #87 and #97 on the TSNN Top 250 list, respectively. The January show is slightly larger than the September show, boasting almost 260,000 net square feet.

Next show: Surf Expo –September: September 10-12, 2015 – Orlando, FL – OCCC

Surf Expo – January: January 14-16, 2016 – Orlando, FL – OCCC

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About the Author

Timia is an exhibiting consultant at Skyline Central Florida. With 10 years of industry experience, Timia helps marketing experts increase brand awareness through event and trade show marketing, helping companies identify key objectives, increase ROI, and qualify leads within their trade show program. Timia specializes in corporate events and island exhibits, providing her clients with a rewarding and successful outcome.

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