New York's Top Trade Shows & Conventions 2010

By Michael O'Connell & Anna Sekula January 11, 2010, 12:30 PM EST

New York Comic Con

Photo: Jessica Torossian for BizBash

1. New York International Auto Show
A trying year for American automakers and consumers did little to dampen the city’s largest annual trade show. After once again attracting around one million attendees to the Javits Center for its 2009 outing, the 2010 auto show returns April 2 to 11.

2. New York National Boat Show
Following a one-off move to December in 2008, a slightly retooled incarnation of the boater’s ultimate playground returns in 2010 with a new five-day format, from January 20 to 24. An estimated 1,000 watercraft are expected to cover the floor of the Javits Center for the show’s 105th anniversary.

3. New York Comic Con
In just four years, this East Coast pop-culture fest has proven to be real competition to its venerable (and unrelated) San Diego predecessor. A 13,000-person jump in attendance to 77,000 last year also makes it one the city’s fastest-growing events. Publishers, fans, filmmakers, and cult stars will have a dilemma in 2010, though: The new October 8 to 10 slot is in direct competition with newcomer Big Apple Comic Con.

4. New York International Gift Fair
The biannual gathering of niche retailers did its best to combat shrinking sales in 2009, drawing 2,700 exhibitors and 31,000 guests in its August outing. To maintain momentum for its 2010 return to the Javits Center and Pier 94 from January 30 to February 4, show organizers relaunched the show’s Web site to build community among attendees year-round.

5. The Greater New York Dental Meeting
The more than 57,000 health-care professionals and 1,500 technical exhibits at the November 27 to December 2 congress make it the city’s biggest annual medical assembly by far, and the largest dental gathering in the country.

6. American International Toy Fair
With 350,000 square feet on the show floor, 100,000 products—including 7,000 launches expected this year—more than 20,000 attendees, 1,200 exhibitors, and an additional 1,000 members of the international media, the toy fair touts some hefty numbers. The 2010 incarnation hits the Javits Center from February 14 to 17.

7. National Retail Federation Annual Convention and Expo
“Retail’s big show” meets for the 99th time January 10 to 13 at the Javits Center. The expected 17,000 attendees will have the chance to hear from a diverse group of speakers, including designer Tory Burch, former J.C. Penney C.E.O. Allen Questrom, and Dunkin’ Brands Inc. executive chairman Jon L. Luther.

8. PDN PhotoPlus International Conference and Expo
Canon, Kodak, and Nikon are just a few of the exhibitors who plan to court the estimated 27,000 attendees at the 2010 summit of photography enthusiasts and professionals. The industry’s biggest event is scheduled to run at the Javits Center from October 28 to 30.

9. International Vision Expo East
The 2009 gathering of opticians brought more than 14,000 to the Javits Center, where it returns March 18 to 21 with a conference and exhibition focused on education, fashion, technology, and advice for improving business in an unfavorable economy.

10. National Stationery Show
If it’s made of paper, you’ll probably find it at this 64-year-old trade show. Producers anticipate similar numbers to 2009’s 12,000 buyers and 900 exhibitors when the show returns to the Javits Center from May 16 to 19 with more than 10,000 product lines.

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