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L&D trade show

Even if you only exhibit at one trade show a year, L&D buyers will be exposed to your brand, giving you leads to work in the following months. And if affordable, exhibiting at one show per year will build your brand recognition, which will build your lead-sales funnel. Before you commit, research the shows and plan in advance, to set up your business for success.

Here are our top 5 trade shows in the learning and training industry, where you’re most likely to reach your buyers.

SHRM Annual Conference & Expo, by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)

Along with ATD, SHRM is one of the largest HR organizations in the US, and its annual event is arguably the largest. It focuses on all areas of HR, learning, development and training. With a whopping attendance of more than 25,000, and 650 exhibitors, you’re very likely to reach your target audience at this trade show.

In such a large venue, it can be easy to get lost as an exhibitor, so book early and try to get a booth on a corner, and near another large exhibitor (who will draw people in), the food court, or a doorway to another hall or the conference area.

ATD Annual Conference, by the Association for Talent Development (ATD)

Designed to “educate and inspire professionals in the talent development field,” this show has been running since 1945 and is renowned worldwide. It moves around the country and is held in a different city each year, so you can reduce travel costs by waiting till it is closer to you.

With a full program of educational sessions, tracks and keynote speakers, the expo enjoys a lot of traffic. Aside from COVID years, it averages 10,000 attendees from 80 countries, which means your target audience likely attends.

HR Technology Conference & Expo, by Human Resource Executive

One of the largest HR events in the world with more than 10,000 attendees annually, this event is a combination of learning, technology, discovery and fun. It delivers the full gamut of learning sessions (150+), a robust trade show (400+ exhibitors), and fun activities.

Similar to DevLearn, it features the newest technology, apps and systems, making it a great show for companies selling software, training, and learning tech.

DevLearn Conference & Expo, by The Learning Guild

Designed for professionals to educate themselves about tools and technology specific to learning and training, it is produced by one of the top industry associations, The Learning Guild. Although the attendees are less likely to be management-level than at the other conferences on this list, it’s still large enough and well-attended.

Like the HR and Technology Conference & Expo, it caters to software and training vendors, and is great for those types of companies to exhibit. Co-located with at least 5 other summits and forums, and delivering about 150 sessions, DevLearn draws a good-sized audience of 4,000 on average.

Learning Technologies, in London, by Learning Technologies Group

If you’re selling across the pond or want to – and we encourage you to do so (we can help with that!) – this is a great show to get started overseas. Europe’s largest learning and development event, it draws more than 10,000 attendees annually and has space for more than 200 exhibitors in two halls.

The show focuses on learning technologies and systems, learning designed to improve performance, content resources, and people development. You might even combine a mini-vacation with your business travel to get the most out of your trip.

These L&D conferences offer a multitude of opportunities to connect with your target audience and showcase your brand. Whether you choose to exhibit at one or more of these top trade shows, remember that thorough research and early planning are your allies on this journey. Check out the first steps to take before booking a trade show.

Each of these events – from the massive SHRM Annual Conference & Expo to the specialized Learning Technologies in London – holds the promise of invaluable connections and leads that can drive your business forward. As you embark on your exhibiting adventure, seize the chance to stand out in the crowd, engage with industry leaders, and make a lasting impact.

Here’s to a successful year of exhibitions in this year and beyond!

About the Author

Barbara Sanner is the Founder of Complete Marketing Solutions. They specialize in business-to-business marketing for organizations around the world, delivering marketing strategy and implementation, from advertising to webinars.

Contact Barbara Sanner.