Trade Show Industry Anatomy: Who are the Key Players?


It’s no secret that the exhibit industry is a complex landscape with many moving parts. To quote author Charles Pappas, the trade show world is one of the “most invisible” industries to those who are not part of it. If you’re new to the game, it can feel like an uphill battle as you learn the ins and outs. Trust us, we were all newbies once, and we empathize with you!

One of your first questions when onboarding at a company that exhibits at trade shows might be, “who puts on a trade show?” The answer isn’t simple. There are multiple parties involved, and to better understand the key players, it’s best to start with the bare bones. The trade show industry can be organized into five different groups: Exhibitors, Attendees, Organizers, Venues, General Contractors, and Designers & Builders. These five groups make up the body of a trade show. In this blog, we’ll define each key player, describe their function, and list the associations who support them.

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700 Crossroads Court
Dayton, Ohio 45377
United States

700 Crossroads Court
Dayton, Ohio 45377
United States

December 5, 2019

By Sierra Smith & Jeff Hannah