March Trade Shows Tout Promising Growth, Robust Participation

April 16, 2024

Three major U.S. trade shows reported successful – and in two cases, growing – editions in Las Vegas, Orlando and Philadelphia last month. Take a look at our roundup of major U.S. trade shows held in March.

The NGA Show 

Who, When & Where: The NGA Show, March 10-12, Caesars Forum Convention Center 

Key metrics: 3,600 grocery retail industry professionals (a new attendance record), 350+ exhibitors and sponsors, spanning 55,725 square feet.

Looking Back: The exhibit hall grew substantially from the prior year, which saw 290 exhibiting companies and more than 45,000 sq. ft.

NGA Show

Best new features and products: The sold-out exhibit hall showcased products and services from store design to innovative food products – with support from several large food wholesalers and distributors. The VIP Experience meeting program enabled retailers, wholesalers and service providers to schedule meetings both in-booth and in provided networking zones. Nearly 50 education sessions took place throughout the event on topics including BIPOC independent grocers, labor issues, food as medicine, connecting with Gen Z, role of AI in marketing and more. 

Beyond the show floor: The event kicked off with the popular Technology Summit and Financial Symposium led by industry experts as well as a session honoring NGA’s Creative Choice Awards for excellence in marketing and merchandising. Delivering an enthusiastic kickoff to the show, celebrity chef Carla Hall, entrepreneur, author and Food Network star presented the opening keynote address. 

What they are saying: “The NGA Show is truly the place where grocers gather – and gather they did, in record numbers,” said Jaime Reesby, vice president for generation and grocery at Clarion Events. “Working closely with NGA and its members, we continue to enhance our offerings, from education to networking, to help grocers navigate today’s competitive environment. Initial responses have been glowing and we look forward to continuing to meet and exceed those expectations.” 

Looking ahead: NGA Show 2025 will return Feb. 23-25  to CAESARS Forum. 


Who, When & Where: 2024 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition, March 11-15, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla. 

Key metrics: The event attracted 26,800 healthcare technology professionals and 971 exhibitors across 440,066 sq. ft. 

Looking Back: In 2023, HIMSS drew in 33,329 attendees and 1,103 exhibitors spanning 449,050 sq. ft.

HIMSS 2024

Best new features and products: Alongside cybersecurity, robotics, interoperability, policy and many more global health topics shaping healthcare, generative AI solutions took center stage at HIMSS23, with multiple technology companies debuting AI-backed software aimed at creating better workflows and experiences in a clinical environment. A Global Policy Leaders’ Summit and panels featured government agencies, global Ministers of Health and other leading policymakers discussing AI in healthcare and the challenges of balancing cybersecurity and patient privacy issues while also improving digital health information exchange. 

Beyond the show floor: This year’s conference marked a watershed moment for HIMSS, with the passing of the HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition stewardship to Informa Markets, and for the first time this year, the conference featured a hosted buyer program for providers.

What they are saying: “We are delighted by the continued growth and influence of the HIMSS Global Health Conference and our successful partnership with Informa to improve and expand the event,” said Hal Wolf, HIMSS president and CEO. “HIMSS24 brought together all aspects of the healthcare world, including C-Suite executives, healthcare IT developers, nurses, researchers, government officials and many more to harness a new era of information and technology and to shape the future of health together.”

Looking ahead: HIMSS24 European Health Conference & Exhibition is slated for May 29-31 in Rome, Italy, and HIMSS25 will take place March 3-6 at The Venetian Resort & Expo, CAESARS Forum and Wynn Las Vegas.


Who, When & Where: PACK EXPO East, March 18-20, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia.

Key metrics: As its largest show to date, PACK EXPO attracted 7,977 attendees and 503 exhibitors across 119,085 sq. ft. 

Looking Back: In 2022, the event drew in 6,615 attendees and 403 exhibitors spanning 94,510 sq. ft. 


Best new features and products: As the premiere regional show for consumer packaging and processing companies, PACK EXPO East’s show floor showcased the latest innovations and solutions, including machinery and equipment, used by markets including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, industrial and agricultural chemical, personal care and cosmetics.

Beyond the show floor: In addition to the technology on the show floor, PACK EXPO East offered educational opportunities with the Innovation Stage and Industry Speaks. Attendees also had the chance to connect with their peers at the Taste of Philly opening reception and the Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network and Young Professionals Network receptions. 

What they are saying: “PACK EXPO East’s continued growth has solidified its place as a vital event for packaging and processing professionals in the region,” said Jim Pittas, president and CEO of PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, which owns and produces the show. “While we celebrate this growth, our focus remains on delivering the high-quality experience our shows are known for. This includes offering solutions for more than 40 markets and tailoring experiences to meet the needs of the industry.” 

Looking ahead: PACK EXPO International 2024 will take place Nov. 3-6 at McCormick Place in Chicago, while PACK EXPO East will return to the Pennsylvania Convention Center Feb. 17-19, 2026.


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