Trade shows can be categorized into three major groups: industry trade shows, consumer trade shows, and trade shows that cater to both industries and consumers. Trade shows are also known as Expos. Industry trade shows are usually closed to the public, and consumer trade shows are organized to provide consumers with an opportunity to purchase goods and services. Industry and consumer trade show vendors typically occupy one or more 10-by-10 portioned spaces called exhibit booths.
The publishing industry participates in trade shows that introduce new books to bookstore owners. These trade shows are organized to market children’s books, cook books, works of fiction, or non-fiction. Seldom are book publishing trade shows open to the public. However, owners of retail establishments do not necessarily have to own bookstores; they only need to sell books to attend. In addition to book publishers, vendors such as retailers of bookshelves and other bookstore fixtures are likely exhibitors.
Trade shows that cater to the restaurant industry feature food, equipment and service vendors. Elaborate demonstrations with skilled professional sales staff are often set up to attract orders for items featured at these types of shows. Restaurant industry business-service vendors such as insurance and advertising agencies are frequent trade show exhibitors.
Home and garden trade shows usually cater to homeowners. Up to 400 exhibitors of home-building accessories such as awnings, draperies, driveways and interior flooring commonly exhibit. Garden exhibits that feature water fountains, portable garage buildings, plants and flowers can often be found at home and garden expos.
Art gallery owners, retail store owners and consumers are the target market of artists and craft makers. Art and craft trade shows differ from gift trade shows, which cater to retailers that sell gift items. Artisans are also common exhibitors at home and garden shows and sell everything from handmade jewelry, to hand-painted furniture.
Trade shows organized by the professional salon industry often welcome industry professionals and consumers. Personal care products such as hair products, make-up and skin care products are demonstrated and sold at salon industry trade shows.
New computer technology such as hardware, software programs, and business services are marketed to consumers and retail stores at technology trade shows.