Top 20 exhibitions in India and 5 reasons why you must seek participation in them

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1 . Introduction

Exhibitions and trade shows have revolutionized the market- growth and networking are almost synonymous with them. The novel avatar attained by this ancient wonder- a portable, transient market that was the economic hub for much of history- retains its innovative charm. Exhibitions in India too have discarded their austere garb and have proceeded with a strong foothold in the international forum, incessantly expanding their reach and helping put more and more companies on the map. We have prepared for you a comprehensive guide of the most popular trade shows and exhibitions in India in each of the prominent sectors of business and their intersections, enabling you to prioritise and plan your participation in these events over the year in varying capacities.

2. The significance of participating in exhibitions

The evanescent nature of exhibitions and trade fairs contributes to their incandescence, it is the one place where every business puts nothing but their best foot forward. Nevertheless, exhibiting is a daunting task, demanding significant expenditure and labour. It requires your staff to be on their toes. Why should you then participate in an exhibition? Here are five chief reasons why participating in exhibitions and trade shows can infuse new life into your business, and even your work ethic and team spirit:

1. The three I’s:

Interaction. Intimacy. Immediacy. Exhibitions enable various groups of casual visitors and purposive buyers to come together, allowing you to establish a direct connection with a varied crowd with a dynamism that is impossible to imitate in remote marketing. With how quickly exhibitors are levelling up their display game and the wealth of interactive exhibition stands and activities, you can easily drive value-based communication with the people. The spontaneity of the occasion and a resultant sense of immediacy foster greater one-on-one interaction, which shows greater efficacy of sales pitching. You can appeal to the attendees not only with the ‘what’ but also the ‘how’ of your business, walking them the path of it becoming a brand that honours reliability and customer satisfaction.

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2. A readily available testing platform:

It has become quite the norm for companies to release and test the latest they have to offer in front of a live audience. Exhibitions attract prospective customers with demos, trials and prizes and in the process, businesses also get to test the suitability of their marketing strategy and promotional campaigns with far quicker results. With the help of questionnaires and feedback forms, you will be able to not only better figure out what the chief concerns of your target group and their questions about your products and services are but also what aspect of your business and brand image they connect well with. You learn by doing, and your exhibit can double as an action research before you replicate things at a larger scale.

3. Global exposure:

Exhibitions are vital collaborative platforms and attract sponsors, buyers and various other types of participants from across the globe. Additionally, the event organizers often take multiple steps to launch their own advertising campaign, which helps shine the spotlight on the exhibitors too. Post-show follow-up reports and published directories are other significant outcomes of such exhibitions where you can secure a place and catch some eyes.

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4. Information exchange:

Symposiums, open discussion panels, ice breaker events, presentations and keynote speeches have become a part and parcel of exhibitions and trade fairs. They are purposefully designed to not only prove to be a visual treat with monetary return but also serve as an intellectual exercise. Experts and industry veterans exchange anecdotes, discuss challenges and emerging trends relevant to the fields of interest, and space is also provided to budding entrepreneurs and start-ups that have had substantial breakthroughs to share their success stories and lessons learnt. Besides the overt information influx, there is also the prospect of learning by observation. Such gatherings are the most updated version of the industry know-how you’re likely to get, and you better be prepared to soak in everything you can’t in a class.

5. Three more I’s:

Ideation. Inspiration. Innovation. Exhibitions and trade fairs encourage a healthy dose of competition, with a host of companies setting up booths in a given space, working to attract and generate leads from among the same crowd. Sharing an overlapping agenda in close vicinity, exhibitors are propelled to stretch the boundaries of their imagination and take a diverse, multimedia approach to communicating with the audience. The feedback mechanism thus put in place also serves to boost innovative product design and display. Trade shows are indispensable B2B sourcing platforms and welcome wholesale buyers, retailers and individual purchasers, all of whom themselves bring in the intricacies of their respective fields of work, which exhibitors learn to get attuned to.

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3 . The most popular exhibitions in India

With the myriad events happening around you, how do you choose which ones to attend, and in what capacity? Measuring the years of experience, range and footfall, we have curated here a list of some of India’s top exhibits and trade fairs across various sectors:

  1. Convergence India Expo:

    For the last three decades, this exhibition has been a meeting ground for technology-oriented businesses in a host of sectors, ranging from telecommunication to gaming. It is a three-day event that organizes conferences addressing trends, developments and challenges in the respective industries, led by veterans and budding entrepreneurs alike, sharing the wealth of experience and infusing fresh energy into a field that is only ever expanding its reach. As the most massive gathering of its kind in India, and most renowned in South Asia, Convergence India Expo is an event you must bookmark to participate as exhibitors and provide your own company the rich networking and knowledge circulation that is vital in the passage of establishing a reliable brand and venturing into untapped avenues. Co-located at the venue are several other expos, such as the Smart Cities India Expo, organized simultaneously and directed towards smart technology-aided solutions for a sustainable future. Together under one umbrella, the goal is to become pioneers of a revolutionized market and lead the conversation catering to change and opportunities by gathering the planners and executors on one stage.

2. Convergence India Design ID Exhibition :

Usually organized in the first quarter of the year, this three to five-day exhibition is an invaluable platform for brands dealing with innovation in architecture and interior design. Exhibits ranging from sustainable architectural solutions and mindful, futuristic design concepts to lighting and glassware offer an informative and visually stunning experience. The exhibition is sectioned into several events, the highlights of which are a star-studded ID Symposium in which experts and design luminaries from around the globe congregate, and a pre-exhibition ID Satellite event which connects the worlds of design in Mumbai and Delhi for a vibrant exchange of ideas in the realm, building hype for the exhibit and indulging in creative promotion.

 
3. Convergence India India International Mega Trade Fair:

With nearly three decades of activity across numerous Indian cities under its belt, IIMTF is a prominent presence in the realm of exhibitions. Perhaps the best and most exciting thing about the fair is its scope, with products ranging from home décor to real estate, and thus, it holds an undeniable charm even among casual visitors who provide substantial interest check and are a highly probable consumer group that you absolutely do not want to miss out on. Not limiting itself to a particular sector, the event garners a massive footfall of a varied demographic, providing instances of unforeseen partnerships and cross-communication that can prove immensely useful to your business. The organizational team facilitates online and offline media publicity, assisting startups and established brands in connecting with a local and overseas audience, including wholesale buyers, industry veterans and professionals.

4.  Palm Expo:

This AV-ICN expo, held in Mumbai, is among the most anticipated events for the sound, lighting and audio-visual industry. The organizers have made sure to solidify the exhibition’s position as a one-stop solution for buyers, professionals and other visitors by presenting a harmonious blend of theory and praxis. While a certified AV Specialist course and a Sound and Light Summit cater to the former with their educational and discursive leanings, a host of demos, live arena shows and workshops allow exhibitors and seasoned industry specialists to pour in their skills and erect a mindblowing display to wow even casual attendees. With PALM’s special emphasis on brand reinforcement and bridging collaboration gaps among designers, engineers and individual and giant purchasers, exhibitors are sure to have expanded their circle of link-ups.

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5. Gifts World Expo:
Catering to the ever-increasing demand for novel and memorable gifts and the booming sector of gifting solutions, this exhibition is a delight for companies contributing to gifting items in varying price ranges. The three-day fair held in both Delhi and Bangalore is neatly sectioned to highlight different categories of gifting, souvenirs and promotional products, covering all the bases from regular personal and corporate gift items to handicrafts, wellness and gourmet gift packages. Attention is also paid to some integral facets of gifting and hamper-making, such as custom branding and adding value to one’s selection of products. A B2B sourcing haven, it makes space for diverse exhibitors from different sectors, each bringing something interesting to the table.
6. Fabrics & Accessories Trade Show:
Over the course of the year, this trade show is conducted in three of India’s metropolitan cities- Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. Acting chiefly as a B2B interface, each of these trade shows spans three days, lending a sprawling platform to businesses providing products and services concerning textiles and embellishments, connecting manufacturers, suppliers and buyers. Going steady since 2004, the event has consistently broadened its base to provide opportunities to companies dealing with fabrics, trims and related machinery and attracts retail stores, designers and exporters of varying capacities and interests. Apart from lauding innovation and design among exhibitors, the show also organizes a Trend Forum, an extensively research-based analysis and forecast for the coming seasons, encapsulating colours, material and broader lifestyle trends to aid participating companies with a comprehensive guide.
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7. IndiaWood:
This international trade fair offers an enormous platform to companies working in furniture production and woodworking, from raw material to the latest technology in the industry. As a five-day event held in Bangalore, IndiaWood also has two counterparts- DelhiWood and MumbaiWood- to target major metropolitan areas and is a must on an exhibitor’s list if one is looking to capitalize on the sourcing and networking opportunities provided by the stage that has been set to overlap with the industry’s formidable presence in the global supply chain. The fair showcases the circulating trends and innovations pertaining to manufacturing tools and technology, carpentry, handicrafts, furnishings, and even extends to architecture and interior design with the crowds it attracts, a clear reflection of the growing demand.
8. IHGF Delhi Fair:

This is a biannual fair that focuses on the fashion, lifestyle and home furnishing sectors chiefly vis-a-vis Indian handicrafts. The 54th (Autumn) edition of the five-day event is to be hosted in Greater Noida in October this year. Organized by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts, the fair is a congregation of manufacturers and exporters invested in products for gifting and routine needs and attracts a varied audience, including international buyers and professionals. EPCH is also dedicated to providing a boost to its members in the industry, thus incorporating various resources and guides to outline the developments, trends and hurdles in the field and bolster competition.

9. Plastasia:

A leading and one of its kind exhibition solely dedicated to the future of plastics, this exhibition drives global participation to discuss and showcase the upcoming tools and technology in the processing and manufacturing of plastics and petrochemicals. Usually a four-day event hosted at Pragati Maidan, Delhi, the Plastasia Exhibition attracts a diverse audience of industry specialists, professional buyers, exporters and the environment-conscious who are eager to stay in the loop about the key innovations and opportunities in the industry in India. Offering valuable opportunities to know the market better, generate leads and carry forward profitable negotiations, the exhibition is a hub for the sharing of ideas and a bridge between the government and private sectors.

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10. Zak Glass Technology Expo:

This international trade fair deals in glass production, technology, accessories, etc. and is a four-day event held in Mumbai and Delhi. Organized by the Zak group, with years of experience in hosting exhibitions around the globe, it is the largest glass exhibition in the country and brings together companies and buyers whose interests range from housing and façades to artistic glass products. As the fair takes place concurrently with the Doors & Windows Expo and Aluminum Extrusions Expo by the same organizers, tons of networking and buying opportunities across business sectors present themselves to the exhibitors, who can also participate in workshops and conferences simultaneously.

11. India Foodex:

Held in Bangalore, this is a three-day international exhibition that, as the name suggests, houses exhibitors dealing with food processing, packaging, preservation, transportation, hospitality, organic food, catering, etc. Considering the massive scope of the F&B industry in India, Foodex aspires to…

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12. Fashionista Lifestyle Exhibition:

With fourteen years of experience amassed at organizing shows across the country and several accolades to its name, this is certainly a leading exhibition for the fashion and lifestyle industry. Fashionista promises exhibitors access to its rich database and exposure, what with diverse groups of visitors and even celeb attendees frequenting the shows and extensive promotional activities. A brand unto itself, the exhibition acts as a valuable interface for designers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs in various sectors. The numerous locations also allow for regional variation and are facilitated by the organizers’ understanding of the markets, enabling newer businesses to share the spotlight with established brands.

13. Beauty & Spa Expo:

Famed as India’s largest beauty trade show, this is a gold mine of opportunities for businesses catering to wellness, personal care, spa treatments, aesthetics, cosmoceuticals, etc in production, packaging, technology and equipment. The expo incorporates several stage and talk shows, conferences, dedicated hair trends and makeup looks showcases to provide an all-encompassing, educational, motivating and thoroughly beneficial experience to the participants. It also has an allotted foreign pavilion to host trade show booths by international brands leading the beauty and wellness sectors. Buyers frequenting the event vary from individual salons to hotel chains.

14. Annapurna ANUFOOD India:

As the leading exhibit and business matchmaking platform for the food and beverage industry in the India subcontinent, this exhibition receives support from Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, its co-organizer. The show organizes culinary sessions, round table discussions, international pavilions and is sectioned into sector-specific conferences and pavilions to guide the flow of visitors and enable participants to gain the maximum from their interactions with niche experts and respective industry specialists. Special attention is showered on start-ups, organic and gourmet products and wines. This three-day exhibition in Mumbai is co-located with several others particularly oriented towards ingredients, packaging and logistics and together, they have no dearth of collaborative chances and widening horizons to offer to the exhibitors to expand and grow under able guidance and exposure.

15. Asia Jewels Fair:

Usually held in Bangalore, this prominent jewellery exhibition in South Asia is organized by HRS Media. Glamorous as the event is, it is sought frequently by visitors with high purchasing power and is an optimum occasion for brands from anywhere in the country to present their collections to prospective customers in person. Exhibition booths usually follow a curated theme but products, as usual, look to the needs and desires of a wide demographic and varied lifestyles, thus offering gifting solutions and other personalized jewellery options to explore. Popular as both a B2B and B2C platform, Asia Jewels steals the limelight with its precious, high-end jewellery, latest collections and trendsetting designs.

16. India Consumer Electronics and Home Appliances Exhibition:

This CEI expo in Mumbai is meant to cater to B2B needs, helping boost trade and providing a platform to entrepreneurs to connect with manufacturers. The show attracts exhibitors from several industries dealing with electronics and appliances who are exposed to valuable opportunities of tie-ups and sales in the Indian market and with manufacturers abroad. Mindful of the dynamic sector and its e-commerce potential, the organizers of the exhibition are known to bring together a host of professionals to strike collaborations and have built upon extensive research of the Indian market to analyze its scope and trends.

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17. Auto Expo: The Motor Show and Auto Expo: Components:

With partially overlapping dates, these twin shows, the former held in Greater Noida and the latter in Delhi. The Motor Show comprises not just vehicles, but also a host of AI, Analytics and Robotics-related exhibits, all concerned with the rapid transformation and breathtaking future of automation of movement. Special emphasis is laid on green technology, safe and smart assistance for automobiles, and catering to the overall growing lifestyle standards of the people. The event promises an exhilarating experience to its attendees with numerous engaging activities such as go-karting and Augmented Reality. It is a star-studded event where one can enjoy scrumptious items and branded Auto Expo takeaways, and several brands deem the Expo a fitting occasion for new releases. From aspirational youngsters to dedicated connoisseurs of technology, the attendees are a fun-loving crowd you can easily engage. Jointly organized by SIAM, ACMA and Confederation of Indian Industry, and arguably Asia’s largest automotive show, its counterpart is Auto Expo: Components, a four-day ‘technovation’ event focusing on auto parts and technological innovation.

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18. India International Fashion Jewellery and Accessories Show:

This annual exhibition held in Mumbai since 2007 has cemented its reputation as a semi-official collaborative space for B2B interactions and ventures in the costume and fashion accessories industry. Exhibitors range from precious metals and stones to packaging and machinery, and can connect with designers, fashion houses, exporters and wholesale buyers. Amid celebrity chief guests, showcases, varied experts and seasoned professionals analyzing trends and mapping the industry’s future in the country, and an extensive trade directory published each year with comprehensive data about suppliers, manufacturers and global trends, IIFJAS is a mighty event to market your business and establish a strong foothold in the fashion industry.

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19. India International Hospitality Expo:

Indubitably India’s biggest exhibition of its kind, IHE has become a familiar name in the hospitality and F&B industry. Having amassed experience in both on-ground and virtual expos, IHE draws in hundreds of exhibitors dealing in accessories, fittings, décor, wellness, linens, confectionery, refrigeration, landscaping, food processing and packaging, etc. and visitors invested in hotel and restaurant chains, luxury and travel businesses and other industrial purchasers. With exciting and informative events like forums and masterclasses by experts from different sectors such as mixology, catering, hotel operation, meet and greet and an award show occupying slots all through the four days, this show leaves no stone unturned in guaranteeing its participants a well-rounded experience of the realm they’re looking to expand in.

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20. Cosmo Tech Expo:

Lauded as the largest manufacturing solutions trade show in Asia in sectors concerning personal and home care, pharma and perfumery, CTE is a two-day exhibition that doubles as a complete B2B sourcing platform for companies in the industry. With a host of educational seminars and discursive panels informing about the latest trends, demands and technology for manufacturing, testing and packaging, it draws in a rich, international audience and facilitates exchange of products and ideas. Exhibitors can interact with thousands of manufacturers from around the world and engage buyers dealing with cosmetics, toiletries, machinery, etc.

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Conclusion

Participating in exhibitions is a decision you must not make in a rush. Do your research well and take budget, time and workforce-related factors into consideration. Read the organizers’ previous year reports, survey the sponsors and hosting partners and visit prominent buyer profiles to gauge the audiences, interests and niches you will be exposed to. Being an exhibitor is a challenge, albeit one you shouldn’t shy away from if you wish to expand as a brand and wish for adequate exposure and on-site experience to hone your team’s skills. With the best exhibitions and trade shows in the industry concerned, you can quickly register your presence across various interest groups through a mix of traditional and experimental strategies.

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