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The Top 11 Trade Shows in January


To adapt a phrase from Forrest Gump, Business Promotional Gifts and trade shows go together like peas and carrots. That’s why in addition to our Monthly Event and Monthly Holiday Calendars, I will also feature the top 10 trade shows (by attendance) for the upcoming month. That said, I will mention an 11th trade show in this month’s post that we here at InkHead will be attending ourselves.

Washington Auto Show

Running from January 28 to February 6, 2011, the Washington Auto Show in Washington, DC, with nearly 1 million people scheduled to attend, is the largest trade show occurring in January as well as the largest publish show in the DC area. Taking place in the city’s 551,000 square-foot Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the show will host 125 exhibitors and will run for twice as long as it has in year’s past—ten days instead of five. Additionally, the show will feature appearances from a handful of celebrities including Jersey Shore favorite Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi as well as contest and giveaways that have yet to be announced. Interested in attending? Read more about it at the tradeshow homepage.

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi"

Snooki will be at the Washington Auto Show on January 31.

North American International Auto Show

The North American International Auto Show, or NAIAS as it also known, takes place in the expansive 610,045 square-foot COBO Center in Detroit, Michigan and will be open to the public from January 15 to January 23. With 800,000 attendees scheduled to attend, the 119 exhibitors on-hand will have a large audience to showcase their latest wares. Are you going to NAIAS? Read more about the show at the NAIAS website.

New York International Gift Fair

Ryan O'Meara

Ice dancing Olympian Ryan O’Meara will at the New York International Gift Fair on 1/29.

On January 29, the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) opens and runs until February 3. The trade show expects to host 550,896 people and 2,700 exhibitors over the course of the week. Mainly occurring in the 521,642 square-foot Javitts Convention Center, the NYIGF will have seminars and panels on a range of subjects, including using Facebook to grow your small business and public relations strategies. As an added bonus, attendees will have an opportunity to go ice-skating with Olympic ice dancer Ryan O’Meara. If you are going to NYIGF, be sure to register at the website, which you can access at

Philadelphia Auto Show

Opening on January 29 and running until February 6, the Philadelphia Auto Show expects 250,126 people to fill the Pennsylvania Convention Center to sit inside the vehicles, look under the hood, and kick the tires. In addition to the show, there will a black-tie dinner benefiting the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Note that admission to the show does not include admission to the Black Tie Tailgate. Thinking about going to the show or interested in the Black Tie Tailgate? Head over to the Philadelphia Auto Show homepage for more information.

International Consumer Electronics Show

Starting January 6 and running until January 9, the  2011 International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas is the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show. This year, show organizers expect to see 120,000 people visit the 2,500 exhibitors in the staggering 1,442,000 square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center. The show will also feature keynote addresses from many movers and shakers in the technology industry, including the following figures: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, Samsung President of Visual Display Business Boo-Keun Yoon, among many others. For a complete schedule of events, be sure to visit the CES website at

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will kick off the 2011 International CES in Las Vegas.

Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market

On January 14, 2011 the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market will open in AmericasMart, the 404,783 square-foot wholesale market space in downtown Atlanta, and run until January 18, 2011. Over 100,000 people are anticipated to visit the 2,353 exhibitors who will be showing off their latest and greatest home goods. Please see AmericasMart’s website for more information on the show.

World of Concrete

Also occurring in the Las Vegas Convention Center, the World of Concrete trade show runs from January 17-21 2011. Show organizers expect to see 90,000 attendees visit the 1,700 exhibitors from companies in the concrete and masonry industries. In addition to a product showcase, the World of Concrete show will also feature a charity auction event sponsored by Concrete Industry Management as well as an informational session on using new technologies for greenhouse gas and fuel economy regulation compliance. Hailed as the industry’s largest event, all concrete, masonry, and construction companies should plan to attend the World of Concrete show. See the show website for more details.

Hoover Dam

The World of Concrete show will also include “Editorial Tours” of Hoover Dam.

NAMM International Music Market

On January 13, 2011 in Anaheim, CA, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) International Music Market opens and runs until January 16. Show organizers expect to see 87,569 attendees and 1,373 exhibitors hit the 477,836 square-foot Anaheim Convention Center space to see and show the latest products in the music industry. Arguably the premier event of the industry, nearly 95% of retailers say the NAMM show influences their buying decisions. What’s more, 95.7% of retailers say they order products directly as a result of the show, so if you are in the industry, you had better visit the show page to register.

New York National Boat Show

The New York National Boat Show runs from January 19-23, 2011, and show organizers and the 400 exhibitors registered anticipate to see 80,000 visitors to the Javits Convention Center over the course of that weekend.  Some of the noteworthy events occurring during the show include an appearance by Russell Newberry, star of the Discovery Channel series Deadliest Catch, as well as a look at the Miss Geico Race Boat. Thinking about going to the New York National Boat Show? Be sure to register for the event at

Russell Newberry

Russell Newberry, star of Deadlist Catch on Discovery Channel, will be at the 2011 New York National Boat Fair.

Seattle Boat Show

The Seattle Boat Show runs from January 21 until January, 30 2011 and takes place at the Qwest Field Event Center and South Lake Union. The show expects to see 77,000 visitors and 600 exhibitors. The schedule of events has not been posted yet, so be sure to visit the show home page frequently to see when it’s updated.


Last but certainly not least, the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo runs from January 10 to January 14, 2011 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, and InkHead will be among the 13,000 registered attendees. The PPAI Expo is the industry’s premier event and will feature over 600 exhibitors. Interested in attending and meeting some of the minds behind InkHead? Go to and register today!

The Bottom Line

Trade shows and expos are great opportunities to spread awareness of your company or brand. If you or your company is planning to exhibit at a trade show, you should strongly consider getting some promotional products, items that trade show attendees can take with them and remember that they stopped by your booth. The more memorable or the more useful a promotional product, the better. InkHead has a catalog featuring over 12,000 items, so we are sure to have Tradeshow Giveaways to meet your marketing needs and to fit your budget!

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