26 Trade Shows to Visit in 2012

Start 2012 by reserving a spot at one or more of these industry events. At shows across the country, you’ll discover emerging products, tech trends and best practices, while networking with experts and peers.



2011 International Builders' Show 238x358.jpegSPIE BiOS Photonics West
Jan. 21-26, San Francisco, Calif.
BiOS, the “largest biomedical optics and photonics event,” will feature presentations and discussions on the latest technologies associated with therapeutics and diagnostics. Experts will lecture attendees on solutions to cut costs and drive business.

SIIA Information Industry Summit
Jan. 24-25, New York, N.Y.
With the theme “Buyers & Suppliers Take Control,” the event will feature a CEO panel, a buyer/supplier forum and SIIA’s Previews program, which provides easy access to innovative content and content technology companies.

NAHB International Builders’ Show
Feb. 8-11, Orlando, Fla.
The largest residential building industry trade show in the world will feature nearly 800 industry suppliers and 165 education sessions. The event is an opportunity for suppliers and manufacturers to showcase for builders.

Medical Design & Manufacturing West
Conference: Feb.13-16, Exposition: Feb. 14-16, Anaheim, Calif.
This conference provides solutions for developing innovative and next-generation medical products through a variety of sessions, while the exposition will include hundreds of suppliers, products and services that cater to medical fields ranging from dental to surgery.

ITE Technical Conference & Exhibit
March 4-7, Pasadena, Calif.
Transportation professionals will learn about tools and strategies to improve mobility and safety at this conference, which will feature seminars, plenary sessions and workshops that focus on utilizing 21st-century technologies.

NESEA Building Energy 12 Conference and Trade Show
March 6-8, Boston, Mass.
At this event for energy and green-building professionals, participants can network with architects, engineers, builders and policymakers. Conference highlights include 10 tracks on renewable and high-performance building and 80 accredited workshops.

SME Composites Manufacturing
March 13-15, Mesa, Ariz.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers will present an event “by manufacturers, for manufacturers,” with three days of educational and networking programs, exhibits, keynote speakers and exclusive tours. Represented industries will include aerospace, transportation, medical and green manufacturing.

IEEE RFID
April 3-5, Orlando, Fla.
At the sixth annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers conference, researchers will present their RFID-related work in an interactive manner. The expert audience will be a network of scientists, engineers and academics. Posters and submission guidelines are available through the website.

International Supply Management Conference and Educational Exhibit
May 6-9, Baltimore, Md.
At the Institute for Supply Management’s 97th annual conference, supply chain professionals will hear about the latest in innovation, new processes, success stories and career advice from industry leaders in the supply management arena. There will be mega-sessions, industry spotlights and networking events.

AISTech 2012
May 7-10, Atlanta, Ga.
The Iron & Steel Technology Conference and Exposition will feature international technologies and solutions for steel producers in the competitive marketplace. Hundreds of technical presentations will be available at the largest North American steel exposition.

Manufacturing 4 the Future
May 8-10, Hartford, Conn.
Industry professionals will find out what’s new in aerospace, defense, medical and energy industries at the 2012 Mfg4 event. Visitors can also meet manufacturing engineers, system engineers, vice presidents and other top-level industry professionals for insights on the leading production issues and solutions.

Institute of Industrial Engineers Annual Conference & Expo
May 19-23, Orlando, Fla.
At the premier event for the world’s leading industrial and systems leaders, attendees will discover how they can enhance their roles as productive and efficient professionals when they attend keynote speaker lectures and network with others in their field. Pre-conference workshops will provide information on career advancement and Six Sigma courses.

Medical Design & Manufacturing East
Conference: May 21-24, Exposition: May 22-24, Philadelphia, Pa.
At MD&M East, guests can attend medical device presentations from experts and network with suppliers. Attendees will include professionals in R&D, product development, corporate, management and manufacturing.

Cloud Computing Expo
June 11-14, New York, N.Y.
Cloud Expo has been around since cloud computing emerged in 2007 and the latest event at the Javits Center will showcase new and emerging trends. More than 5,000 delegates will learn about cloud issues ranging from security to storage.

2nd Annual Open Innovation Conference
June 13-14, Pittsburgh, Pa.
At INPEX, the Invention & New Product Exposition, inventors will have a chance to showcase their creations. This is also an opportunity to network with companies in search of the newest products and get help with the license market and manufacturing.

SEMICON WEST
July 10-12, San Francisco, Calif.
As the global microelectronics supply chain evolves, this event will provide information on the newest manufacturing technologies through a series of networking events, executive sessions and exhibitors. Focused “TechZone” areas will help visitors navigate through technology segments.

IMTS International Manufacturing Technology Show
Sept. 10-15, Chicago, Ill.
At IMTS — one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world — attendees will get ideas for addressing their manufacturing challenges. At Chicago’s McCormick place, there will be over 1,000 exhibits organized in industry-specific pavilions. Expected visitors include more than 82,000 global buyers and sellers.

Materials Science & Technology Conference & Exhibition
Oct. 7-11, Pittsburgh, Pa.
MS&T features 10 theme areas in a technical program and will feature a series of lectures and exhibits, which will cater to professionals from a wide array of materials science fields. Students will find a professional recruitment and career pavilions and opportunities to network.

ATCE 2012
Oct. 8-10, San Antonio, Tex.
The Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition will feature technical sessions that will focus on all phases of oil and gas exploration. Highlights include training courses, 400+ peer-selected technical papers and 300+ exhibiting companies.

APICS International Conference & Expo
Oct. 14-16, Denver, CO
One of the world’s largest gatherings of operations and management professionals, APICS provides an interactive learning environment for attendees, who will network and hear about the latest technologies and supply chain trends.

METALCON International 2012
Oct. 9-11, Chicago, Ill.
Attendees will find out the latest developments in the metal construction industry and network with metal construction professionals. They will also be able to learn how to improve a building’s performance and energy efficiency with green solutions.

50th Annual SAFE Symposium
Oct. 22-24, Reno, Nev.
SAFE, an international organization dedicated to ensuring personal safety and protection in land, sea, air and space environments, will present product and service exhibitions, industry demonstrations, technical paper and panel sessions, lectures and workshops.

Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Show
Oct. 24-25, Dayton, Ohio
At the region’s only annual show of its kind, attendees will have the opportunity to network with front-line manufacturers and tech professionals in the robotics, welding and supply chain management industries — and learn about the newest products, trends and solutions.

PACK EXPO
Oct. 28-31, Chicago, Ill.
Over 1,800 suppliers will showcase machinery with on-site demonstrations, state-of-the-art materials, integrated processing-packaging solutions and breakthrough technology. The show will be divided into designated industry pavilions for buyers with specific needs.

SEMA Show 2012
Oct. 30-Nov. 2, Las Vegas, Nev.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association will provide attendees with four days of 50+ educational seminars, networking events, product demonstrations and more. While it’s not open to the general public, the show attracts both domestic and international buyers from more than 100 countries.

FABTECH
Nov. 12-14, Las Vegas, Nev.
This year, the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event will feature the latest industry products, developments and tools that help drive productivity and manufacturing goals. The 25,000+ attendees can meet suppliers and visit the 1,100 exhibiting companies in designated industry pavilions.

Related: Tips for Trade-Show Booth Success

2011 International Builders’ Show image: ©Oscar Einzig Photography

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  • January 19, 2012

    You may what to add the Greenbuild Show to this list. Nov. 13-16, 2012, in San Francisco: http://www.greenbuildexpo.org

    This show moves every year. Last year it was in Toronto. Here is some text from their website: “Greenbuild features the world’s largest expo hall devoted to green building, and last year we took the show international. In 2011 Greenbuild showcased the latest in innovative products and services, exemplifying the idea of utilizing green to grow business to attendees from around the world. The Expo Hall was open October 4-6, 2011 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre.”

    Greenbuild is a very young, hip show. I have been in the tradeshow business since 1978. I have a client that exhibits at this show and others. The average age at most tradeshows I attend would be around 51 years. That’s combining the exhibitors with the attendees. Greenbuild I would guess to be around 31 years of age on average.

    Social media is very evident at this show. For example I stopped to look at a beautiful wood bicycle. I noticed a woman next to me texting on her phone. While the booth rep. explained how the bike is custom tailored to each individual, hardwoods absorb road feel like carbon fiber and that this was his bike with 4k+ miles on it. I noticed a crowd was gathering around me. As I thanked him and turned to leave, I was shocked to see a mob of young folks all holding their smart phones looking at the hardwood bicycle. This scenario was repeated all over the show floor. Small groups of attendees roam the floor staring at their phones while following the Tweets of someone they well follow.

    You see some very interesting and forward thinking at this show.


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