Best B2B Trade Shows in Grand Rapids, MI8 min read

by Sep 12, 2019Marketing


Trade shows are an excellent opportunity for businesses in any industry to gather under one roof to display products and services and connect with their audience. These shows can also be referred to as an expo or an exhibition, but don’t confuse them with experiences. Experiences focus on a single business’ product or service or a seminar, which is more of an educational or informative event focused on a key speaker.

B2B (business to business) trade shows are usually hosted by an association that will gather and promote interest in companies that can benefit from one another. This grouping of interest makes exhibiting with a booth at a trade show a prime time to network, promote, and engage with an audience inside of the industry.

Best B2B Trade Shows in Grand Rapids, MI

The West Michigan Area hosts a plethora of trade shows for almost every industry. With a vast collection of venues and growing infrastructure, it is the ideal location for B2B trade shows. While the surrounding area contains many quality venues, Grand Rapids leads the pack with meeting spaces like the Devos Place and the Deltaplex. Here are some of the largest shows in the area based on attendance and number of exhibitors.

SAS Vendor Exhibit & Trade Show

S. Abraham and Sons, Inc. is a wholesale distributor specializing in the food industry, servicing retail stores throughout the Midwest. With around 200 exhibitor booths, the SAS Vendor & Exhibit Trade Show is one of the largest shows in the Grand Rapids area. This convenience store distributor hosts the show at the Devos Place on a yearly basis, providing multiple services to participants including a trade show floor.

Meeting Space: The Devos Place
Local Businesses That Attend: Kellogs, Fruit Ridge Farms
Date: February 27-28, 2020

Michigan Show Convention & Trade Show

The “Michigan Show” Spring Convention & Trade Show is an annual event that features the latest tanker trailers, gasoline pumps, and fast food products across the nation. This two-day show is hosted by the Michigan Petroleum Association (MPA) and the Michigan Association of Convenience Stores. Over 140 companies work booths at the Devos Place before moving to other locations in the state such as Novi, Michigan.

Meeting Space: The Devos Place
Local Businesses That Attend: Better Made Snack Foods, Great North Foods, Lansing Ice & Fuel, WhiteCaps Dippin’ Dots
Date: March 31-April 1, 2020

Michigan Safety Conference

This annual event is a training conference focused heavily on workplace health and safety. Attendees will find over 120 health and safety classes, re-certification courses, and hands-on safety demonstrations. This event also features over 200 exhibitors and various new product demonstrations. All Michigan businesses are encouraged to send their employees responsible for safety and risk management operations.

MI Safety Conference logo

Meeting Space: The Devos Place
Date: April 7-8, 2020

SAE Noise & Vibration Conference & Exhibitions

Held by SAE international, the Noise & Vibration Conference & Exhibitions acts as a premier technical event for the automotive, aerospace, and commercial vehicle professionals. This engineering focuses on the latest technologies that surround mobility noise, vibrations, harshness, and sound quality. This conference brings together multiple areas of the mobility industry to trade knowledge and services relating to quality of noise and sound levels.
Meeting Space: The Devos Place
Date: June 25-28, 2020

Advanced Manufacturing Expo

The Advanced Manufacturing Expo located in Grand Rapids is a show dedicated to the intersects of the manufacturing industry and technology. The show aims to provide leadership, networking, resources, and technology to its many attendees. The Advanced Manufacturing Expo was designed to accelerate your growth by assembling talented people and companies for every aspect of your manufacturing business. The 2019 show featured 200 exhibitor booths, with even more planned for 2020.
Meeting Space: The Deltaplex Arena
Local Businesses That Attend: Amway, Able Manufacturing, 2k Tools
Date: August 2020

INTERFACE Grand Rapids

This conference brings together experts in IT security, IT infrastructure, BC/DR (Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery) and Enterprise Communications. Visitors have the opportunity to attend presentations and panel discussions (all approved by a committee of local experts), as well as explore the latest innovations and best practices. More details on seminars and exhibitors will be released soon.
Meeting Space: The Devos Place
Date: August 2020


Tips & Tricks For A Successful Trade Show Campaign

  1. Find the Right Show for Your Business
    Trade shows are an investment in your business, and finding the right show to participate in is the first step. The best shows consider how elements of venue and location interact with the industry. Different regions have various levels of industry presence. Don’t miss out on a trade show in a smaller city if it is a center for your clientele base or target audience.
  2. First Impressions Matter
    When your booth is one out of hundreds on a show floor, attracting your target audience is critical. Make sure your message is highly visual, and your display is not cluttered with excessive signage or logos. A customer’s goal in coming to the show is to purchase the right product. A display that reflects the values of your company and highlights what sets you apart from the competition will win the attention of your target audience.
  3. Have an Interactive Booth
    This goes along with making a good first impression. After drawing the right attention, you can start building new relationships with an interactive display. For example, have tangible products for customers to observe and use. Use interactive touch displays for products that can’t fit in the booth space, or use newer technology like Virtual Reality to have potential leads take a tour through a facility to further engage with the product.
  4. Have A Marketing Strategy Set in Advance
    It is critical to be prepared. Setting up shop in a booth and working with clients as they come can be haphazard. Design the booth and strategy to ensure all your content works towards converting leads. Have cards, samples, and pitches prepared. Set up a plan to follow up with prospective clients after the show. Finally, any good marketing strategy will implement analytics to review and improve future efforts.

Need help with your trade show efforts?

If you’re interested in developing a booth or marketing strategy, get in touch with us here at DVS. With decades worth of experience in design and innovation, we know how to deliver your message and convert leads in a trade show setting.


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