EXHIBITORLIVE Preview: What You Need to Know Before You Go To Nashville

February 20, 2024

For the second time in its history, EXHIBITORLIVE will be held in a city other than Las Vegas. Last year’s event was held in April in Louisville, Ky. while this year’s event is set for Feb. 25-28 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville. 

It’s the first show under the leadership of David DuBois, CEO, president and publisher of Exhibitor Group, who took over the reigns on Oct. 1, 2023, after serving as president and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) for 11 years. 

“I am pleased to report that our attendance will surpass the 2023 version in Louisville,” said DuBois. “Similar to our industry’s trends, close to 50% of our attendees tell us this will be their first time participating in EXHIBITORLIVE.”  

He continued, “The exhibition will be very vibrant as we host tech tours, a career center with coaching sessions, flash education sessions in the Square (in the center of the hall) and an opening networking reception. The closing reception will feature the CTSM Graduate Recognition and our Exhibitor Awards.”

To help you prepare for the event, here are 10 things to know before you go. 

  1. Get out and about. If you haven’t been to Nashville lately and you are looking for things to do, check out the Visit Music City website. Boasting 180 music venues, Nashville will offer a wide variety of concerts while EXHIBITORLIVE is town. Attendees can choose from Asleep at the Wheel, Jamey Johnson and Lainey Wilson at the Grand Ole Opry; John Batiste or Godsmack at Ryman Auditorium; or Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Ricky Martin: The Trilogy Tour at the Bridgestone Arena. For sports fans, take in an NHL game on Tues., Feb. 27, when the Ottawa Senators play the Nashville Predators.
  2. Fitness + Wellness. In addition to the world-class Relâche Spa and a state-of-the-art fitness center, the Gaylord Opryland Resort offers a 1.8-mile fitness trail outside of the hotel. The Gaylord Springs Golf Links features a Scottish links-style, par-72 layout, which offers an 18-hole golf course bordered by limestone bluffs and enhanced by federally protected wetlands in Nashville. Nearby, the Cumberland River Greenway features 6.5 miles of trails that runs from Downtown Nashville to North Nashville. 
  3. EDPA ENGAGE 2024. Produced by the Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA), the annual mid-year event will be held 6:30-9:30 p.m. ET on Sun., Feb. 25 on the General Jackson Showboat. This event is all about networking, connecting and having fun with other EDPA members. Join EDPA for a dinner cruise and entertainment.
  4. Education. The four-day conference features more than 90 sessions and workshops. Speakers we are looking forward to seeing include: Glenda Brungardt, consultant with GBrungardt Events; Dax Callner, strategy director, Smyle; Andrea Christopherson, vice president, SearchWide Global; Robyn Davis, trade show strategy specialist, Exhibitors WINH LLC; Nancy Drapeau, vice president of research, Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR); and Jillian Fafard, director of marketing, Aluvision — to name a few.
  5. Peer-2-Peer Lunch. All-Access badge holders can register for a Peer-2-Peer Lunch, which takes place on Mon., Feb. 26. Submit discussion topics during registration, and then discuss your challenges with your peers over lunch. Space is limited.
  6. Exhibit hall. New in 2024: The exhibit hall will be open for two days instead of three. Featuring 108 exhibitors, the show floor will be open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Tues., Feb. 27, and 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 28. Last year’s memorable exhibitors who are returning in 2024 include: Aluvision, Hamilton, Spiro, Exhibitus, BlueHive Exhibits, Fern and Highway 85 Creative. View the most current exhibitor list here
  7. Women in Exhibitions Network (WIEN) Meetup. On Tues., Feb. 27, the North American Chapter of WIEN is hosting an in-person meetup 6-8 p.m. at The Listening Room Cafe in downtown Nashville. The networking event will feature cocktails, conversations, connections and a one-of-a-kind concert experience only available in Music City. Seating is limited. RSVP to hello@womeninexhibitions.com
  8. Networking. EXHIBITORLIVE is hosting an opening party and for the first time, an awards ceremony and closing party. On Mon., Feb. 26, the opening reception will be held 6-8 p.m., with opening remarks planned for 6:45 p.m. A first-timers reception will be held 5-6 p.m. before the opening reception. On Wed., Feb. 28, EXHIBITOR will announce the Best of Show winners, the 2024 Find-It Top 40 recipients and recognize the most recent CTSM graduates. Dance the night away to the sounds of a local Nashville band.
  9. Women in Exhibitions Breakfast. The 6th annual Breakfast will be held 8-9:30 a.m. ET on Wed., Feb. 28 in the Connection Zone located in the Exhibit Hall. This breakfast networking event is designed to promote education, information and networking opportunities among women in the industry. Hamilton Director of Human Resources Sarah Sparks will facilitate an exercise on how to harness the power of personality to transform relationships, improve communication and reduce stress. Register here.
  10. EDPA Chapters Collide. The 4rd annual reception will take place 8-10 p.m. ET on Tues., Feb. 27, at The Lookout at Ole Red, a venue by Blake Shelton, in downtown Nashville. This multi-level, 26,000-square-foot entertainment space features a two-story bar and restaurant, retail area, performance space and dance floor. On the roof, find 6,000 sq. ft. of private event space featuring an indoor-outdoor bar and restaurant with dramatic views of Lower Broadway.

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

What are you looking forward to at EXHIBITORLIVE? Please share in the comments. 


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