Southern California's Top Trade Shows and Conventions 2008

February 29, 2008, 7:00 PM EST

Lincoln introduced its 2009 MKS sedan at the 2007 L.A. Auto Show.

Photo: John Hayes/Courtesy of the Los Angeles Auto Show

1. Los Angeles Auto Show
Running with a November date for the second consecutive year after moving up from December in 2006, this widely popular, century-old show doubled its media exposure last year and broke records with more than 40 vehicle debuts. The Los Angeles Convention Center hosted the 101st show, which drew more than a million attendees.

2. Comic-Con International
This giant comic-book and pop-culture event attracted more than 125,000 attendees in 2007 to the San Diego Convention Center. The 2008 show will feature the comic industry’s Eisner awards, exhibitors, artists, authors, and other special guests. Comic-Con will take place July 24 to 27, with a preview night on July 23.

3. The NAMM Show
The largest music-products trade show in the United States, this event brings together members from all facets of the music industry. The 106th for-NAMM-members-only show took place at the Anaheim Convention Center from January 17 to 20. More than 85,000 attended the show, which featured more than 1,500 exhibits.

4. Los Angeles Boat Show
One of the longest-running boat shows in the country, this event, put on by the Southern California Marine Association, occupies more than half a million square feet and exhibits more than 1,100 boats. About 80,000 attendees crowded the Los Angeles Convention Center from February 9 to 17.

5. American Film Market
Produced by the Independent Film & TV Alliance, the American Film Market brings together entertainment pros for deal-making, screenings, seminars, premieres, and parties. Last year’s conference at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in November brought an all-time high attendance, with more than 8,000 participants; even more are expected to attend in 2008 for the eight-day networking conference.

6. E3 Media and Business Summit and E For All Expo
The now-defunct Electronic Entertainment Expo was replaced in 2007 with the down-sized, invitation-only (but still buzz- generating) E3 Media and Business Summit, as well as the E for All Expo, which was open to the public and offered attendees the chance to test video-game products before they hit the market. This year’s E for All Expo is scheduled for August 28 to 30.

7. California Gift Show

Twice a year, the Los Angeles Convention Center hosts 22,000 buyers and 11,800 sellers at this show. The show had a new floor plan for 2008 and featured more than 3,000 product lines, as well as education programs, from January 18 to 21. The next show will take place from July 18 to 21.

8. The Los Angeles Times Travel & Adventure Show
The West Coast’s largest travel show visited the Long Beach Convention Center on February 9 and 10. Three years ago, travel show producer Adventures in Travel Expo merged with The Los Angeles Times to host the event in L.A. for the first time. This year’s show drew 18,500 attendees.

9. Southern California Home and Garden Show
The largest home and garden show in the Western United States will revisit the Anaheim Convention Center from August 20 to 24. Launched in 1954, it’s the longest-running show in its industry in the state. Remodeling, decorating, and landscaping products, services, and advice to homeowners are among the draws.

10. San Diego Boat Show
The San Diego Convention Center & Marriott Marina hosts this show, which offers attendees the chance to see and buy boats, gear, and accessories. This year's show took place January 3 to 6, with more than 300 boats and yachts on display and sailing rides offered along the San Diego bay.

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