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Niche Trade Shows Offer New Ideas

Walking the aisles of a trade show or buying market can be both an exhilarating and daunting prospect for retailers. What products represent the next big trend for your store and customer base? How much can you afford to spend? How do you pack an entire show’s floor into a few hours of your visit, and, now that you’re thinking about it, has your manager checked in with you today while you’re away from the business?

Independent retailers make a conscious choice when they step away from their businesses to attend shows and markets. These gatherings can offer great learning opportunities as well as time to catch up with distributors and other retailers for both business opportunities and camaraderie. Most t retailers  prioritize attending the main shows from wholesalers and co-ops in the home improvement industry.

While those markets are important to attend, they shouldn’t be the only ones on your radar. Markets that go deep into specific categories can offer a new look at what your business can be and what kinds of products it can offer. With customers seeking one-stop-shop options as well as the elusive “wow” factor with their purchases, these outside markets can provide great introductions to new product lines.

Hardware Retailing looked into niche categories that can help retailers expand their product offerings and gathered information about several markets retailers might be less familiar with.

Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market®

The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market® and The Atlanta International Area Rug Market® are the ignition switch for global retailing. Attendees can discover products in more than 1,500 showrooms and more than 3,500 exhibiting spaces. The market is for buyers seeking products in the home, rug, gift and apparel departments. Specialty categories include garden gifts and products, casual furniture, outdoor living, birding, holiday, floral, gourmet foods, housewares, tabletop packaging and more. At the market, buyers enjoy presentations from category influencers, educational opportunities, industry celebrations and more. A partner show, the Las Vegas Market, is a furniture, gift and home decor market featuring numerous lines exclusive to the West Coast.


Making a Plan

AmericasMart’s Retail Services team helps buyers make a market plan, and can suggest products, showrooms and destinations. Its digital and print guides—the AmericasMart Magazine, Buyers Guide and AmericasMart App—help buyers learn about trends and events, and navigate the campus.

The Location

AmericasMart’s connected three-building campus is in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Just 10 miles from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, AmericasMart and Atlanta are within a two-hour flight of 80 percent of the United States population. With more than 12,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the campus and complimentary shuttles operating from designated hotels, it’s easy to get to the market and shop its numerous product categories.

Upcoming Dates

Jan. 8-15, 2019

AmericasMart, Atlanta, Georgia

Jan. 27-31, 2019

World Market Center Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada

Contact Information

800-285-6278 or americasmart.com

800-748-5065 or lasvegasmarket.com

Global Pet Expo

With 68 percent of American households including a pet, retailers around the globe are taking note of the opportunities in the $69 billion pet industry. There’s no better place to learn about the power of the industry than at Global Pet Expo. There are numerous educational seminars and networking events for attendees. Global Pet Expo is presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). The 15th annual show will feature more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space, more than 3,000 new product launches and the pet industry’s largest new products showcase.


New Products Showcase

This 45,000-square-foot space on the show floor is set aside to display the newest products launching in 2019. Products are organized by category: aquatic, bird, cat, dog, natural pet, boutique, reptile, small animal and point-of-purchase. With nearly 1,000 product entries each year, this showcase offers a great opportunity to see what is coming in the pet industry.

Global Pet Expo Academy

Global Pet Expo has a lineup of free educational seminars designed to provide retailers with tools and insights to help grow their businesses while networking with peers. The 2019 seminar lineup features 20 speakers, offering 35 hours of retailer education.

Face-to-Face Meetings

Global Pet Expo provides a unique opportunity to meet the people and hear the stories behind innovative pet products, which retailers can bring to their pet-loving customers.

Upcoming Dates

March 20-22, 2019

Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida

Contact Information

203-532-0000, ext. 525, or globalpetexpo.org

HPBExpo 2019

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo is North America’s largest indoor-outdoor living showcase. Every year, hundreds of leading hearth, patio and barbecue manufacturers and suppliers demonstrate their latest solutions; indoor and outdoor fireplaces and hearth-related products; grills, grilling accessories and fully equipped outdoor kitchens; casual patio furniture and outdoor accents; water and landscape features; all-weather entertainment products and more. It’s also a one-stop-shop for thousands of retailers worldwide to find not only the latest products for their showrooms, but also the latest services and technologies for their companies.


Keynote Address by the DIY Network’s Mike Holmes

Holmes plans to cover housing and product trends, the importance of fireplaces in the home, and how outdoor products enhance the homebuying experience.

HPBExpo Tailgate and Big Green Egg Cook-off Competition

The Outdoor Burn Area exhibitors fire up their hearths and grills to create a street party unlike any other. Sample savory offerings and watch HPBA affiliate teams vie for top honors in a Cook-off Competition.

New Product Pavilion

One of the most popular attractions on the indoor show floor is the New Product Pavilion, where attendees have the chance to see the latest and greatest products from the current year’s exhibitors. Each product in the New Product Pavilion is also eligible for an Attendees’ Choice Award, which rewards what attendees feel is the most marketable new product in both the Hearth and Outdoor Living categories.

Upcoming Dates

March 13-16, 2019

Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas, Texas

Contact Information

703-522-0086 or hpbexpo.com

IGC Show 2019

The Independent Garden Center Show (IGC) is the central hub for all things new in gardening, where independent retailers gather to discover the game-changing products and trends that will take their profits to the next level. Retailers save big with exclusive specials on orders placed at the IGC Show, including discounts, lower minimums, free shipping and special dating. The show also includes three free morning keynotes, continuing education and a free party and concert.


Over 550 Exhibitors

Meet face-to-face with 550-plus exhibitors to see, touch and compare what’s new in gardening now and for next season.

Place Orders at the Show

IGC Show is an order-writing opportunity—save money with show specials, including discounts, lower minimums, free shipping and special dating.

Family-Friendly Environment

Bring the family and inspire the next generation—all ages are welcome.

Upcoming Dates

Aug. 13-15, 2019

Lakeside | McCormick, Chicago

Contact Information

203-286-8772 or igcshow.com

International Sportsmen’s Expositions

International Sportsmen’s Expositions (ISE) has produced America’s premier sportsmen’s and outdoor shows in the western U.S. since 1975. ISE’s four expos (Arizona, California, Colorado and Utah) kick off each new year spotlighting thousands of products and services from 1,300 companies and offering more than 100,000 attendees the largest face-to-face outdoor marketplace available. Each show includes free seminars, contests and hands-on show features to educate and inspire outdoor enthusiasts—newcomer to expert, youth to senior, man and woman—helping each person begin their next outdoor adventure.


Unique, Hard-to-Find Items

Retailers can find outdoor products that might not be available at big-box stores. They can speak with inventors and purchase products at special show prices.

Outdoor Experts

Retailers can meet with hundreds of the best local outdoor experts—fishing, hunting, survival, camping, off-roading and boating—to learn skills, discover hot new sporting destinations, find the best gear to succeed and have fun in the outdoors.

Views from Outside the Industry

Research destinations around the western U.S. and the world by talking face-to-face with hundreds of guides and lodge owners and managers.

Upcoming Dates

Jan. 10-13, 2019

Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado

Jan. 17-20, 2019

Cal Expo, Sacramento, California

March 14-17, 2019

Mountain America Expo Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

March 21-24, 2019

WestWorld of Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona

Contact Information

800-545-6100 or sportsexpos.com

NAHB International Builders’ Show®

The NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) is the largest annual light construction show in the world, bringing together more than 60,000 attendees and 1,500-plus manufacturers and suppliers from around the globe. Along with IBS, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is held at the same time and location, allowing for an expanded look at each category. IBS features the latest and most in-demand products and services, hands-on demonstrations, more than 130 IBS education sessions, with topics ranging from sales and marketing to custom building and remodeling, and numerous opportunities to connect with new business partners.


High Performance Building Zone

Discover the best practices for improving efficiency in all areas of the home and learn new product uses from demos featuring the latest building products.

Remodelers Central

Connect with like-minded professionals and industry leaders. Swing by for expert solutions

and remodeler-specific workshops, roundtables and networking events.

The New American Remodel®

Originally built in 1950, tour this newly transformed two-story home equipped with remodeling products new to the housing industry.

Upcoming Dates

Feb. 19-21, 2019

Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

Contact Information

800-368-5242 ext. 8610 or buildersshow.com

The ARA Show™

The ARA Show™ is the American Rental Association’s (ARA) annual convention and trade show for the equipment and event rental industry. It features equipment for the construction/industrial, general tool/light construction and party/special event rental segments. The show features more than 700 exhibitors on the show floor, more than 300 show-only specials, networking events with rental operators from around the world and rental-specific educational seminars. The ARA Show is a closed show, meaning only those involved in the equipment and event rental industry are eligible to register and attend. Hardware stores that have tool rental would be eligible to attend the show and have ARA membership.


New Products

The ARA Show allows retailers with equipment and event rental to see the newest products and trends entering the rental industry.

Buying Market

Buyers can make purchases for rental equipment and products at The ARA Show. Many exhibitors offer exclusive deals and prices at the show.

Build Relationships

Businesses with rental departments continue relationships with exhibitors they know and explore new exhibitors that can provide equipment to their rental businesses.

Upcoming Dates

Feb. 17-20, 2019

Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California

Contact Information

800-334-2177 or arashow.org

Outdoor Retailer

The Outdoor Retailer trade shows are the premier outdoor industry events for North America. Over the past 36 years, Outdoor Retailer has grown to become the largest gatherings of the industry in the U.S., bringing together brands, retailers, advocates and media to conduct the business of outdoor recreation. Outdoor Retailer is dedicated to fostering growth in the outdoor industry. Three annual shows—Snow Show in January, Summer Market in June and Winter Market in November—are currently held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The shows provide a critical platform for face-to-face business. They’re the place for launching brands, previewing product lines, discovering new accounts, placing orders, networking and learning.


Multiple Markets

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market (November) and Summer Market (June) are the outdoor industry’s largest events for the respective seasons, and Snow Show (January) showcases all of the winter outdoor products and services under one roof. The 2018 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market welcomed more than 26,000 attendees and nearly 1,400 global brands.

Educational Opportunities

With conferences, training sessions and leadership seminars, the Outdoor Retailer shows are must-attend events for those serious about the outdoor sports industry.

Discover a New Category

The outdoor recreation industry is an economic powerhouse in the United States, generating $887 billion in consumer spending each year. It’s growing at a faster rate than the overall economy.

Upcoming Dates

Snow Show: Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2019

Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado

Summer Market: June 17-20, 2019

Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado

Winter Market: Nov. 5-8, 2019

Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado

Contact Information

949-392-4625 or outdoorretailer.com


For more than 65 years, SuperZoo has been the largest gathering of the pet community to discover the latest trends and products in the pet retail industry. Attendees can find tools to grow their businesses and connect with industry professionals in a uniquely lively and engaging atmosphere. With over 850 debut products and more than 1,100 local and global suppliers, SuperZoo offers attendees the opportunity to scout cutting-edge accessories, nutrition products, and gadgets hitting store shelves in the second half of 2019. The annual trade show provides a home for more than 21,000 members of the pet retail community, offering more than 70 seminars spanning four main content areas: trends, innovation, service industry and animal wellness.


Product Showcases

Retailers and other industry professionals vote for their top products featured in multiple categories with winners announced onsite at SuperZoo.

Pet Tech Showcase

Attendees have access to the Pet Tech showcase highlighting innovative technology products designed to serve retailers’ needs to differentiate their product mix including fitness trackers, pet GPS, automated feeders, interactive toys, Bluetooth-equipped gadgets and more for the digitally savvy pet parent consumer.

Made in the U.S.

Access to products made and manufactured in the United States, serving the growing demand for U.S. consumers to shop and support local products, while also giving international attendees the opportunity to bring high-quality products to their home countries to diversify their retail offering to their local customers.

Upcoming Dates

Aug. 20-22, 2019

Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada

Contact Information

info@superzoo.org or superzoo.org

About Chad Husted

Chad is an assistant editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A Purdue University graduate, Chad has covered sports and news at the high school, college and Olympic levels as a sports writer, editor and designer for multiple newspapers. Prior to joining the NRHA, he was the sports editor for the Herald Journal in Monticello, Indiana, and a designer and copy editor for the AIM Media Indiana group in Columbus, Indiana. When not cultivating his beard, he enjoys backpacking, cooking, traveling and watching too much sports and Netflix.

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