If there is an industry for it, chances are there’s a trade show to go along with it. You can find expos highlighting products in just about any industry imaginable – from healthcare to manufacturing, and everything between.
That means you can find some strange trade shows out there, and although one would wonder who in their right minds would visit a show like this, people do. Here’s a collection of strange trade shows from around the country.
You don’t want just any Elvis impersonator at your party – you want the best of the best. Find him at either the Sunburst Convention in Orlando, or The Celebrity Impersonators Convention in Las Vegas!
At the Sunburst Convention, you’ll find tradeshow exhibits of agents, cruise lines, casinos, tour companies, and event planning companies all gathering under the same roof in order to find the very best impersonators money can buy, as well as members of the general public coming just to see what it’s all about. Your ticket gets you drinks at the Red Carpet Cocktail Hour and freebies, free seminars, an awards night, and tips on how to be the best celebrity impersonator you can be. If you’re really good at impersonating a celebrity, you might find yourself walking away with new work!
In Vegas, The Celebrity Impersonators Convention is the place for look-alikes to network and learn the trends in the industry. Talent buyers will be on hand in tradeshow booths to make deals with those they fall in love with, and impersonators can enjoy a night out on the strip with their colleagues. Numerous shows will be held to showcase the talent on hand, and there will even be an awards ceremony!
Xena Warrior Princess Convention
Sure, there’s the Star Trek convention, but what about the ladies? Some might be represented at Comic Con, but a true warrior princess doesn’t miss the Xena Warrior Princess Convention, held in Burbank, Cal.! It’s coming up in February of 2015, and celebrates this strong woman from TV and the big screen. And the upcoming Xena convention celebrates 20 years of Xena, a must-see for fans!
Besides checking out the tradeshow exhibit booths, enjoy the Xena Celebrity Cabaret Show for pure entertainment pleasure, and join Hudson Leick (portrayed Callisto on Xena) for some yoga classes to channel your inner warrior princess. Leick, member of the California Yoga Teacher’s Association specializing in Kundalini, Hatha, and modified Ashtanga, will also be holding a 5Rhythms dancing workshop. Watch or join in the costume parade, participate in Karaoke night, and enter the music video contest. There is also a disco party, complete with prizes!
ScareFest Horror & Paranormal Convention
With Halloween fast approaching, it’s fitting this convention is mentioned. It takes place in Lexington, Ky., (sorry, you’ll have to wait until next year – it was September 12-14!) and features the scariest of the scary, from costumes to movies. Besides checking out the scary wares at the tradeshow booths, you can find guest speakers covering topics like ‘Helping the Haunted and the Haunts,’ ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gettysburg & Its Hauntings,’ ‘Conspiracy Theories: The Good, The Bad, & The Ridiculous,’ and ‘Writing Horror Movies.’
Catch midnight showings of horror movies throughout the convention, the pre-scarefest party and costume ball, and don’t miss The Portal: Gateway to the Ultimate Fan Experience if you’re a gamer. You’ll find tournaments taking place in games like Dungeons and Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, Magic the Gathering, and a slew of other games. Meet your favorite celebrities from scary movies and TV shows as well!
International Independent Showmen’s Association of Gibsonton, FL
The Gibtown Extravaganza and Trade Show, affectionately called the Carnie Trade Show, is a gathering of tradeshow exhibits just for those in the carnival industry. If you run a fair, festival, amusement park, carnival, or other tourist attraction, this is the tradeshow for you!
You’ll find carnival ride manufacturers, sign companies, game suppliers, concession trailer manufacturers, and other fair and carnival-related items here. In fact, there are over 300 exhibitors on display! IISA members receive free admission.
Have you visited a strange tradeshow? We want to hear about it!