Best B2B Trade Shows in Grand Rapids, MI16 min read

by Sep 12, 2019Marketing

Devos_Place_Convention_Center

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.

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 2022 show will feature over 200 exhibitor booths. Many attendees are local, West Michigan organizations.


Venue: The Devos Place
Date: August 11-12, 2022
Website: advancedmanufacturingexpo.com

Tech Expo

The Tech Expo offers automotive service and parts professionals training, networking, and parts experience. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest trainers in the nation and meet with representatives from the best parts suppliers.


Venue: The Devos Place
Date: September 30 – October 1, 2022
Website: web.cvent.com

Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, & Farm Market Expo

This three-day show attracts 3,600 attendees from 40 different states and seven Canadian provinces. In addition to 450+ vendors, the expo offers special events and networking opportunities centered around fruit and vegetable crops, greenhouse crops and marketing, farmers’ markets and organic production, food safety, and labor.


Venue: The Devos Place
Date: December 6-8, 2022
Website: glexpo.com

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 annually, providing multiple services to participants including a trade show floor.

 


Venue: The Devos Place
Date: February 23-24, 2023
Website: sasinc.com

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.

 


Venue: The Devos Place
Date: March 21-23, 2023
Website: mpamacs.org

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, recertification 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

Venue: The Devos Place
Date: April 18-19, 2023
Website: michsafetyconference.org

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 the quality of noise and sound levels.

SAE_International_Logo
Venue: The Devos Place
Date: May 15-18, 2023
Website: sae.org

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. To find the best shows for your business, 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.

One of our favorite trade show projects was helping Stiles Machinery develop trade show strategy and tactics for a 10,000-square foot booth that wowed customers and generated a record number of leads.