Canada is about more than just hockey and poutine – it’s the host to many popular and well-attended trade shows. Whether your interest is in agriculture, home décor or the oil industry, there’s something for you in Canada in 2013. Some of the biggest exhibition halls in Canada are playing host to exciting events this year, and here’s your guide to the biggest and the best.
Below are the top ten trade shows in Canada this year. Rankings are primarily based on recent attendance data and the number of exhibitors, with square footage and recent growth also factoring into the rankings.
1. Canada’s largest purebred beef livestock show comes to Regina, as the Canadian Western Agribition takes place in Evraz Place. From November 11 through November 16, you can see 1,500 heads of the finest cattle in North America. The event is a global phenomenon, with livestock producers from around the world coming to check out the latest and best trade show exhibits of cattle genetics. The Canadian Western Agribition is such an important event that many of the 900 companies that set up exhibits at the event do so as a central feature of their annual marketing strategies. With such a premium placed on quality and innovation, this event is a must for those who are interested in livestock. The Agribition also features seminars, livestock shows, rodeos and youth contests.
2. The National Home Show and Canada Blooms show combined two similar interests into one great show – the second biggest in Canada, in fact. This show was from March 15 through March 24 this year, and more than 700 exhibitors and 122,000 attendees descended upon the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. Those in attendance received a dual treat. The show featured the best Canada has to offer in terms of home improvement, gardening and tips to help properties reach their potential. Attendees were able to see some of the finest floral displays and botanical innovation available north of the border.
3. Based in Red Deer, the Agri-Trade Farm Equipment Expo features 300,000 square feet of displays from 500 vendors. More than 75,000 visitors will attend this show between November 6 and November 9 at Westerner Park, which shows off the latest in farming technology and agricultural equipment. Organized by Kennedy Communication Services, the Agri-Trade Farm Equipment Expo has been an attraction for 28 great years. The 29th installment should be an excellent show for both professional farmers and those who have an interest in farming.
4. The annual Farm Progress Show in Regina is appropriately named, as this massive show shows how important farming is to Canadians. The show takes place across five locations–Evraz Place, Brand Centre, Queen City Ex, Co-Operators Centre and Queensbury Convention Centre – and comprises more than 1.2 million square feet. The Farm Progress Show is the largest trade show in all of Canada and takes place from June 19 to June 21. This year’s show is being put together by the Regina Exhibition Association, which aims to put forth the perfect celebration of farming in Canada.
5. The Prospector and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) show is the premier event in Canada’s mineral industry. Having been held annually for more than 80 years, it is truly a prestigious event, one that is attended by more than 30,000 people from 125 countries each year. This year’s PDAC show took place from March 3 through March 6 in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and offered something for anyone with an interest in minerals. Classes, networking with other mineral professionals and learning about the latest trends, laws and products in the industry were all available.
6. The 2013 Canadian International Farm Show is a major attraction for the agricultural industry. From February 5 to February 7, 22,000 attendees from across Canada had the opportunity to see the latest services and machinery available in agriculture. They learned about developments in feed, seed, dairy, poultry, horticulture and farming equipment. This 2013 show took place in Toronto’s International Centre and was a great event for those interested in agriculture.
7. The Gas & Oil Expo and Conference has an established reputation as the premier event in the gas and oil industry in North America. This show takes place both indoors and outdoors across nearly 106,000 square feet in Calgary’s Stampeed Park. The 2013 show will be held from June 11 through June 13 and will provide tremendous opportunities for education, networking and brand exposure. Additionally, the event also acts as a showcase for the latest happenings in the oil industry. Attendees will learn about new products and services as well as the latest technologies in oil. Finally, those in attendance will have access to the expertise of many famous brands’trade show booths from around the world, making the trip to Alberta well worth the cost by itself.
8. Most trade shows aren’t nearly as restrictive as the CGTA Toronto Gift Show, but this show has a good reason to maintain its prestige. It’s directed at the elite members of the wholesale gift industry, giving those companies the opportunity to network and purchase in large quantities without the presence of less serious players in the market. The result is a commercial goldmine for all exhibitors and customers who attend. The CGTA Toronto Gift Show is held multiple times each year, with the next show taking place from August 11 to August 14 in the Toronto International Centre and Toronto Congress Centre. The shows at these venues rank third and fourth across Canada in terms of square footage.
9. Yummy treats were had at the CRFA Show at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto from March 3 through March 5. Sponsored by the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association, the CRFA Show is Canada’s biggest and best culinary exhibit each year. The event featured appearances by Canada’s top chefs and food service leaders, who hosted seminars and presented cooking exhibitions in addition to the usual sample plates. This year’s event had more than 700 exhibits, giving the 13,000 in attendance plenty of different foods to try.
10. The final entry on this list is by no means the smallest, as the Landscape Ontario Congress is Canada’s largest trade show centering around horticulture and gardening. Though the focus is mainly on construction, all aspects of horticulture are covered, giving everyone a chance to learn about many different facets of the craft. The Landscape Ontario Congress celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2013, and this year’s event drew 13,000 horticulturists and landscapers, not to mention 600 different exhibits. Sponsored by the Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association, this is a great way to get noticed within the industry and to take your career to the next level. This event takes place at the Toronto Congress Centre early every year so be sure to look ahead to January 7 through January 9 in 2014.
As you can see, there’s a lot going in Canada this year. There are trade shows in virtually any industry you can imagine, and since they’re spread out throughout the calendar, you can attend as many as you’d like. It’s important to take these trade shows seriously – you never know who you could meet at such an event. Many people have enhanced their careers or found new ones as a result of connections they made at a trade show. Don’t shut yourself out of such an opportunity – attend all the trade shows you can and keep up on your industry!
By: Mary Buffa –