Does your business plan to exhibit at international trade shows this year? Trade shows provide an opportunity to grow your business in new markets and drive higher global revenues. They diversify your client base and can serve as a launching point for sustained international success.
Yet, for many businesses, researching international trade shows can be a time-demanding and complicated process. There are websites and resources available online to support this phase of the process, but it can still be difficult to sift through the many low-quality events to find the high-quality ones.
This article, updated bi-annually, provides Canadian business leaders with the top export trade shows for their industry over the coming six months.
The events listed below may allow attendees or exhibitors to access export development grants such as CanExport, AgriMarketing and Export Market Access (EMA). These Canadian government funding programs can strategically reduce the costs of booth rental, travel and accommodation, and even the translation of marketing materials.
Top Trade Shows for Canadian Businesses in 2019
Although we also advise performing your own exporting event research, we’ve used several resources to curate a tailored selection of international trade shows worth participating in during Q1 and Q2 of 2019.
Consider the following trade shows when developing your business’ 2019 exporting plans.
Explore Trade Shows by Industry: Use the following hyperlinks to jump to trade shows for your industry.
International Manufacturing Trade Shows in 2019
Manufacturing trade shows are an excellent way to boost competitiveness in foreign markets. Some of the largest and most important trade shows happening in 2019 include:
(Dubai, United Arab Emirates) The Middle East Coatings Show remains the only dedicated coatings event in the Middle East for raw materials suppliers and equipment manufacturers in the coatings industry. Businesses in the coating industry including chemical and raw materials, plant and machinery, and testing equipment suppliers are encouraged to exhibit. Visitors are interested in purchasing solvents, pigments, paint chemicals, additives, and natural resins. Network, meet active buyers, increase brand awareness, and generate leads at the Middle East Coatings Show.
Attendees: 5,300 Exhibitors: 300 Ratio: 18 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Guangzhou, China) Interzum Guangzhou is Asia’s most all-inclusive woodworking, machinery, furniture production, and interior décor trade fair. Furniture production businesses interested in selling into the Asian market are encouraged to be a part of this event as it is a source for all the latest products, technologies, and designs. Professional buyers from over 130 countries and suppliers from approximately 30 countries are expected to attend.
Attendees: 85,000 Exhibitors: 1,500 Ratio: 57 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Las Vegas, NV, United States of America) The National Hardware Show has served the hardware and home improvement industry for 75 years. Attendees of the trade event include distributors, wholesalers, contactors, mass retailers, paint stores, garden centers, manufacturers, and more. Experience face-to-face sourcing, learning, and trading for the US home improvement and DIY markets.
Attendees: 20,000 Exhibitors: 2,800 Ratio: 7 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(West Springfield, MA, United States of America) EASTEC is a technology manufacturing event that showcases leading-edge industries such as medical, aerospace, automotive, defense, and industrial and commercial machinery. Attendees of EASTEC will explore the latest technologies, shape the future of their business, and learn and network with industry experts.
Attendees: 13,000 Exhibitors: 500 Ratio: 26 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Hannover, Germany) LIGNA 2010 is a primary source for anything to do with the woodworking and timber processing industry. This event encompasses real-life applications with a strong focus on machine demonstrations and the innovative power of digitization, automation, and innovation. Display categories include: tools and machinery for custom mass production, forestry technology, energy from wood, machine components and automation technology, sawmill technology, wood-based panel production, and surface technology.
Attendees: 93,000 Exhibitors: 1,500 Ratio: 62 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Chicago, IL, United States of America) Marking its 51st edition, NeoCon serves as the commercial design industry’s accelerator for innovation. Thousands of new products and services are showcased from major manufacturers and emerging companies in the fabrics, furniture, flooring, interior finishes, and building products sectors. In addition to the trade floor, there will be 100 educational seminars as well as programs and marquee presentations.
Attendees: 50,000 Exhibitors: 100 Ratio: 26 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
International Aerospace Trade Shows in 2019
(Farnborough, United Kingdom) The Southern Manufacturing and Electronics industrial exhibition showcases new technology in machinery, electronic production, production equipment, assembly, tooling, and subcontract services across industries like aerospace, packaging, marine, machinery, and automotive. The event will be co-located with AutoAero, an event focused on suppliers to the UK’s aerospace and automotive engineering sectors, providing opportunities for attendees to source experienced suppliers.
Attendees: 9,000 Exhibitors: 800 Ratio: 11 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Friedrichshafen, Germany) AERO Friedrichshafen is an international trade show dedicated to innovations for the general aviation industry. Many types of planes and equipment will be on display including ultralights, business planes, helicopters, and pilot equipment, as well as cock-pit and on-board systems. As the ultralight aircraft sector continues to grow, this event showcases the most advanced products available in the world. The trade show also hosts separate conferences featuring specialist speakers who will discuss current topics and the latest developments, such as engines, avionics, and drones.
Attendees: 31,000 Exhibitors: 630 Ratio: 49 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Orlando, FL, United States of America) WATS is one of the world’s largest gatherings of aviation training professionals serving regulators, training providers, airlines, and the training industry. An event dedicated to world pilot, regional pilot, maintenance, cabin crew, and student education and aviation career training, exhibitors and attendees connect and share the latest technologies in aviation training from around the world.
Attendees: 1,200 Exhibitors: 80 Ratio: 15 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Orlando, FL, United States of America) The Advanced Aerospace Materials and Processes Conference and Exposition (Aeromat) is a leading materials conference and exposition for structural engineers, aerospace materials engineers, and designers. The annual event is running for its 29th year and brings together delegates and exhibiting companies under one roof, providing an ideal platform for discussion and showcasing of the newest innovations in materials and processes for aerospace applications.
Attendees: 5,000 Exhibitors: 200 Ratio: 25 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Paris, France) This event gives attendees and exhibitors the chance to meet contacts from the aeronautics and aerospace industry in a B2B setting. There are three event formats to participate in, including B2B meetings, speed networking services, and supply chain conferences. These formats allow individuals to meet face-to-face with industry professionals who are seeking contract manufacturers and suppliers.
Attendees: 150,000 Exhibitors: 2,303 Ratio: 65 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
International Automotive Trade Shows in 2019
(Hannover, Germany) The Tire Technology Expo is one of Europe’s most well-known tire manufacturing exhibitions and conferences. The 2019 event speakers, workshop programs, and trade floor exhibitors will cover all aspects of the tire industry including tire manufacturing technology, tire design, and developments and advances in tire evaluation and performance.
Attendees: 5,000 Exhibitors: 250 Ratio: 20 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Beijing, China) The Auto Maintenance and Repair Expo (AMR) attracts thousands of exhibitors and attendees from all over the world. The event showcases the auto service, parts, repair technology, maintenance, and equipment sectors. AMR appeals to trade visitors such as car manufacturers, car shops, test stations, and transportation companies and offers a key platform to share business and technological knowledge.
Attendees: 57,000 Exhibitors: 1,200 Ratio: 48 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Stuttgart, Germany) In only its second year, this expo is already a must-attend for anyone advancing the path towards driverless vehicles and covers everything from ready-to-buy Level 2 and Level 3 technologies to the path to Level 4 and 5 autonomy. This event is unique in that it is purely dedicated to ADAS technologies and services. It is co-located with the Engine Expo, Automotive Interiors Expo, Automotive Testing Expo, and the Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo, making it a preeminent event for the entire sector.
Attendees: 14,000 Exhibitors: 800 Ratio: 19 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Bologna, Italy) For over 50 years, Autopromotec has welcomed local and international exhibitors and attendees, and is now considered one of the main European trade shows for automotive aftermarket commodities. The event showcases all automotive products such as tires, car services, spare parts, and workshop equipment. See innovative, cutting-edge technologies shaping the face of the industry, and boost business growth at this event.
Attendees: 113,616 Exhibitors: 1600 Ratio: 71 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Munich, Germany) Transport Logistic is a leading trade fair for mobility, logistics, IT, and supply chain management. Exhibition sectors will cater to all forms of transportation on land, water, intermodal freight, and air. This event reflects the entire value chain of the logistics industry. Connect with experts from all over the world, recognize current industry trends and challenges, and pioneer concrete business deals.
Attendees: 61,000 Exhibitors: 2,100 Ratio: 29 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Dubai, United Arab Emirates) Automechanika Dubai is a premier B2B automotive aftermarket show in the Middle East. New innovations and solutions in the fields of parts, systems, tuning, IT, and management will be highlighted, making it a must-see event for the most recent developments and trends in the auto industry. Explore many areas of interest including parts and components, tires and batteries, electronics and systems, alternative drive systems, and dealer and workshop management.
Attendees: 32,000 Exhibitors: 1,800 Ratio: 18 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
International Clean Technology Trade Shows in 2019
(Essen, Germany) E-world Energy and Water is a leading trade fair for the European energy industry. The focus of the trade fair is on products and technologies in the areas of energy services, information technology, and energy trade. The 2019 focus topic will be smart city and climate solutions to create sustainable transformation and promote intelligent technologies, services, and infrastructures.
Attendees: 25,000 Exhibitors: 750 Ratio: 33 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Mumbai, India) The WaterEx Expo is designed to discuss and showcase all parts of the water industry in India and worldwide. Exhibitors and attendees will include infrastructure developers, water and waste water services, municipalities, water utilities and suppliers, water management and recycling, and environment and waste management firms.
Attendees: 16,500 Exhibitors: 490 Ratio: 34 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Istanbul, Turkey) This will be the 15th international recycling, environmental technologies, and waste management trade fair covering solid waste, waste water, waste gas, and green energy. Gain immediate access to key buyers and professionals from markets in Eurasia, Balkans, CIS, North Africa, and the Middle East, and showcase your products directly to a wide range of industrial and commercial users.
Attendees: Exhibitors: 9,500 Ratio: 63 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Shanghai, China) IEexpo is Asia’s leading trade fair for environmental technology solutions for water, air, waste, and soil. The event offers a business and networking platform to Chinese and international professionals in the environmental sector. High potential markets that will be covered include water and sewage treatment, site remediation, waste management, and air pollution control and air purification.
Attendees: 67,000 Exhibitors: 1,760 Ratio: 38 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Munich, Germany) Intersolar Europe is Europe’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. The event’s exhibition and conference both focus on the areas of photovoltaics, solar thermal technologies, solar plants, as well as grid infrastructure and solutions for the integration of renewable energy. Coming up to its 28th year, Intersolar has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers, and partners of the solar industry.
Attendees: 50,000 Exhibitors: 58 Ratio: 38 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
International Food and Beverage Processing Trade Shows in 2019
(San Francisco, United States) The Winter Fancy Food Show is one of the industry’s top networking events, bringing together thousands of international food products and vendors under one roof. Gain the chance to meet the newest producers, connect with buyers from major buying channels, and sample new food and beverage products here.
Attendees: 25,000 Exhibitors: 1,400 Ratio: 18 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Nuremberg, Germany) BioFach is one of the leading international trade fairs for organic food, where visiting professionals source organic products from the organic market. This event displays the latest developments from the organic sector and is a great PR platform for manufacturers looking to showcase their company and products.
Attendees: 50,200 Exhibitors: 2,962 Ratio: 17 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Dubai, United Arab Emirates) In its 23rd edition, Gulfood provides visibility to thousands of new food product launches, as well as new services and innovations to reflect changes in consumer demand. Products will be showcased across eight main sectors: beverages; dairy; fats and oils; health, wellness, and free form; pulses, grains, and cereals; meat and poultry; world food; and power brands.
Attendees: 97,000 Exhibitors: 5,000 Ratio: 19 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Istanbul, Turkey) Foteg is an international trade fair for food processing technologies. Exhibiting companies attend from food ingredient, bakery, food packaging, and food safety and hygiene backgrounds. Attendees include professionals from across the food production sector, including company owners, production managers, bakers, caterers, production managers, and laboratory officers.
Attendees: 11,556 Exhibitors: 550 Ratio: 21 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(London, United Kingdom) The UK’s leading and largest food and drink industry event, IFE allows individuals to meet thousands of future focused producers, network with peers, and see, taste, smell, and touch innovative products. This year, the event is giving exhibiting companies a free scanning app they can use to measure ROI and follow up with leads post-show.
Attendees: 22,000 Exhibitors: 1,350 Ratio: 16 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Bengaluru, India) This event is a B2B-focused trade show for members of the fast-growing food and hospitality industry. Attendees of Food Hospitality World include hoteliers, restaurateurs, caterers, food service professionals, purchasers, restaurant managers, food court retailers, and wholesalers.
Attendees: 6,758 Exhibitors: 120 Ratio: 56 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
International Medical and Pharmaceutical Trade Shows in 2019
(Dubai, United Arab Emirates) Arab Health brings the latest innovations in the healthcare industry, from the most cost-effective disposables, state-of-the-art imaging, and developments in surgery to advances in prosthetics. Attendees and exhibitors will connect with manufacturers, service providers, clinicians, procurement professionals, dealers, and distributors.
Attendees: 84,000 Exhibitors: 4,150 Ratio: 20 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Anaheim, CA, United States of America) This event brings together thousands of professionals to find technology, education, and connections in the global medical manufacturing community. Suppliers showcase products and solutions in manufacturing equipment, contract manufacturing, R&D, automation materials, medical device components, plastics, biotechnology, adhesives, electronic components, and more.
Attendees: 19,000 Exhibitors: 1,900 Ratio: 10 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Cologne, Germany) The International Dental Show is the leading international trade show for the dental community and provides a platform for innovation and market trends. Product segments include dental practice, dental laboratory, infection control and maintenance, as well as services, information, communication, and organization. Visitors to the event include dentists, dental surgery staff, service providers, and dental laboratories.
Attendees: 155,000 Exhibitors: 2,300 Ratio: 67 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(New York, NY, United States of America) Vision Expo East is the complete event for ophthalmic professionals, where eyecare, eyewear, education, fashion, and innovation combine under one roof. Experience the latest industry advances in contact lenses, solutions, and leading edge medical and diagnostic equipment while networking and engaging with industry professionals to improve patient care and grow your business.
Attendees: 19,500 Exhibitors: 700 Ratio: 28 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(São Paulo, Brazil) For over 25 years, Hospitalar has been a well-known trade fair for the healthcare industry for both local and foreign markets. It provides the ideal platform to launch products and present solutions and services for hospitals, innovators, drugstores, laboratories, private practices, and clinics. Experience the chance to showcase your products and innovations in front of thousands of healthcare professionals.
Attendees: 85,000 Exhibitors: 1,200 Ratio: 71 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
International Software and Digital Media Trade Shows in 2019
(London, United Kingdom) TTE is Europe’s leading event for travel industry professionals looking for technology solutions. The event brings together IT, commercial management, and marketers in travel companies who seek new ideas to help jump start and support business potential.
Attendees: 6,000 Exhibitors: 135 Ratio: 44 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Bangalore, India) The IoT (Internet of Things) Show is a must-attend for creators, enablers, integrators, and customers. Traditional exhibitors include IoT networking/connectivity hardware suppliers, cloud solution providers, IoT AI & deep learning solution providers, software tools for analytics & BI solutions developers, and IT infrastructure providers for IoT.
Attendees: 10,885 Exhibitors: 150 Ratio: 73 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Munich, Germany) The Internet World Expo will dedicate special exhibit spaces to four trending topics; FutureSpace, POS Connect, the eLogistics World, and the conference for Content Marketing CMCX. Find out which innovations and new technologies can make your business more efficient and productive and be on the lookout for products and solutions on how to deal more efficiently with customers and clients. Examples of products showcased include payment systems, e-commerce services, and online marketing.
Attendees: 18,000 Exhibitors: 450 Ratio: 40 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Las Vegas, NV, United States of America) The NAB Show is the global event highlighting and bringing together the world of media, entertainment, and technology. Professionals looking for new and innovative ways to create, manage, deliver, and monetize content on any platform should attend this event. Industries that attend NAB include audio, advertising, radio, television, social media, VR, education, government and military, and much more.
Attendees: 102,600 Exhibitors: 1,700 Ratio: 60 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
(Los Angeles, CA, United States of America) E3 is the premier trade show for computer and video games and related products, and is where product launches happen and technologies are introduced. E3 connects both new and existing partners, industry executives, gamers, and social influencers, providing exposure to the entire video game industry, all under one roof.
Attendees: 69,200 Exhibitors: 200 Ratio: 345 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
Canadian Government Funding for Trade Shows in 2019
Accessing government funding for trade shows is essential to maximize your export marketing efforts. By applying for government grants, companies can reduce trade show costs such as travel, lodging, booth rental, and marketing material translation.
When used strategically, these funds can greatly improve the impact of your next international trade show.
CanExport: Canadian Government Grants for Exporting
One of the funding programs your business may be able to use is CanExport. CanExport is a Canadian government grant designed to support the export marketing and international expansion activities of up to 1,000 businesses per year.
- Amount: Up to 50% of eligible expenses or $10,000-$50,000 in cost-matching funds per application. Two applications can be submitted per year to a maximum $99,999.
- Projects: Marketing activities in new export markets (having less than $20,000 in annual sales, or representing less than 10% of total international sales, in the past 24 months), including one trade show, translation costs, marketing, market research, and related costs.
- Timeline: One project open at any one time. Can apply for funding year-round.
- Eligibility: 1+ years incorporated, 1-500 people on payroll, $100k-$100M in annual, taxed revenues, and not in the food industry.
Export Market Access (EMA): Ontario Government Grants for Exporting
Similar to CanExport, Export Market Access (EMA) provides government grants for trade show participation. However, only Ontario-based business can apply for EMA funding and there are other subtle differences, including a smaller potential contribution and higher number of trade shows that can be included per application.
- Amount: Up to 50% of project costs to a maximum $50,000 grant. Can apply twice per 12-month period to a lifetime maximum $250,000 per applicant.
- Projects: Participating in foreign trade shows, developing marketing materials for new markets, and receiving product certifications to sell goods in international countries.
- Timeline: Must allow six weeks for approval prior to first payment of booth rental or air fare expenses. Can apply year-round.
- Eligibility: Ontario-based company with 3-500 people on payroll, $300k+ in revenues and 2 years incorporated.
AgriMarketing: Grants for Agricultural Exports
AgriMarketing maintains a similar project focus to CanExport and Export Market Access; however, its support is exclusive to Canadian food and beverage producers, processors, and organizations supporting Canada’s agri-food industry.
- Amount: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $50,000 grant.
- Projects: Participating in foreign trade shows and missions, marketing and advertising related to export activities, product demonstrations for buyers, and development of market strategies.
- Timeline: Open; continuous intake of applications until March 31, 2023, or until funding has been fully committed.
- Eligibility: National industry associations or for-profit Canadian businesses operating in the agriculture or agri-food sector with less than 250 employees and less than $50 million in annual revenues.
Apply for Trade Show Funding in Advance of Trade Shows
When applying for government funding, businesses must keep in mind that it can take up to a month or longer to prepare a detailed application that fully and accurately demonstrates your business’ strategic exporting opportunity.
Furthermore, review of these applications can take several weeks to several months. After this time, a business may be formally approved for funding and can begin making project spends. To receive Canadian government funding for trade shows in 2019, it’s recommended that businesses begin the research and application process as soon as possible.
To learn more about funding and get started with the application process, please contact Mentor Works.