See Where It Happens in the Southeastern United States!

The Southeastern United States is full of beauty and history—and trade shows and conventions! Cities like Orlando, Atlanta, and New Orleans have become popular trade show destinations over the years, hosting a long list of large events across a multitude of industries thanks to their massive convention centers and nearby attractions. Smaller venues throughout Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, and the Carolinas are also attracting more and more events each year. When you exhibit at or attend a trade show in the Southeast, you’ll be treated to the stunning beauty, rich culture, and outstanding venues this region offers.  


Georgia World Congress Center 

Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center has become an extremely popular trade show and convention venue thanks to its downtown location and massive, modern campus. With over one million square feet of exhibit space across 12 exhibit halls—plus 98 meeting rooms, 2 boardrooms, 2 ballrooms, and 3 auditoriums—this convention center also features multiple outdoor plazas designed to host events. While you’re at the Georgia World Congress Center, take a break to enjoy the adjacent Centennial Olympic Park or walk a few blocks to take in the world-renowned Georgia Aquarium. As an international travel hub, Atlanta always attracts tourists from all over the world. And with the convention center’s space and amenities, the city has also drawn large shows such as MODEX, Coverings, SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, and METALCON. 


Broward County Convention Center  

Fort Lauderdale, FL is no longer just a vacation destination. Thanks to the Broward County Convention Center, it has become host to expos like the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, The Yoga Show, and the Florida Bridal & Wedding Expo, in addition to a variety of annual sporting events. An expansion project slated for completion in 2025 will increase the convention center’s main Exhibit Hall to 350,000 square feet, add a 65,000 square foot ballroom overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, and include a new outdoor plaza event space on the water. And for convenience, there will be an 800-room hotel connected to the convention center. Although it currently serves as a great venue, the renovation will add size, beauty, and cutting-edge technology to further enhance its attraction.  


Greenville Convention Center  

South Carolina’s convention history dates back to 1915, when downtown Greenville hosted the First Southern Textile Exposition. Nowadays, the Greenville Convention Center continues the tradition. Featuring 280,000 square feet of exhibition and event space including a 30,000 square foot ballroom and plenty of meeting rooms and areas, this venue is conveniently located near downtown and the GSP International Airport. Greenville plays host to events such as the Upstate South Carolina Boat Show and Quilt Fest each year.   


Miami Beach Convention Center 

A massive renovation and expansion project from 2015 through 2020 has not only enhanced the size and amenities of the Miami Beach Convention Center—it has created a beautiful, sprawling campus with state-of-the-art technology. The facility has come a long way since it hosted an infamous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston in February of 1964. It now offers four exhibition halls totaling over 490,000 square feet, plus a grand ballroom, four junior ballrooms, and 84 meeting rooms. While you’re on a break from your convention, enjoy the on-campus Miami Beach Botanical Gardens and Pride Park or walk just a few blocks to the world-famous Miami Beach itself. Attendees at conventions such as NACHA, eMerge Americas Conference + Expo, and the World Travel Expo have enjoyed every moment of their time at the Miami Beach Convention Center.  


Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center  

A waterfront setting on the Mobile River and convenient access to downtown and nearby hotels has made the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center the busiest expo venue in Alabama. Its 16 meeting rooms, two ballrooms, and two exhibit halls totaling 100,000 square feet have attracted events like Hope for Healing, the EcoWild Outdoor Experience, and the Utilities Technology Council. Visitors to the convention center get to enjoy both the venue’s amenities and the city of Mobile’s beauty and history. 


Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

Nashville, TN’s Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center isn’t just a great event venue—it’s a perfect getaway for exhibitors, attendees, and their families. During the expo, showgoers will enjoy almost 760,000 square feet of exhibit space, 86 event rooms, and 106 breakout rooms. The Ryman Exhibit Hall on its own is over 260,000 square feet, which makes it the largest in-hotel, non-gaming exhibit space in the world. The onsite hotel, spa, water resort, and luxury dining options let visitors relax after show hours, and Nashville’s nightlife simply can’t be beat. Perhaps that’s why shows like the Self Storage Association Spring Conference & Trade Show, CONNEX National Conference, and ELECTRIC POWER have called Nashville home.  


Ernest N. Morial Convention Center  

New Orleans is unlike any place on earth, and its Ernest N. Morial Convention Center celebrates the city’s culture. One of the largest convention centers in the United States, this venue offers 1.1 million square feet of contiguous exhibit space, which can be used for large conventions or divided into multiple small venues. In addition to exhibit halls, The Great Hall, the La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom, and the New Orleans Theater, this venue is home to the Louisiana Civil Rights Museum, where attendees can learn how the state’s residents inspired change with boycotts and sit-ins throughout the 1950s and 1960s. And, since the convention center is located close to the city’s historic French Quarter and beautiful Mississippi River, New Orleans habitually draws meetings and conventions for many groups and industries, including the National School Board Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Coffee Fest, and the International Oil Spill Conference.  


Orange County Convention Center 

Boasting 2 million square feet of exhibit space across the West and North-South Buildings, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, FL is one of the largest and most popular trade show venues in the American Southeast. In addition to its exhibit halls, the OCCC offers plenty of options for smaller events. The 62,000 square foot Valencia Ballroom, 70 meeting rooms totaling over 470,000 square feet, theater, and lecture hall are perfect for panel discussions, breakout sessions, and corporate events. Huge windows that let the Florida sun stream into the building and indoor aeroponic gardens bring Orlando’s beauty inside the convention center. Thanks to multiple pedestrian bridges connecting the convention center to surrounding hotels, the OCCC is a welcoming and convenient venue for shows like NPE, Global Pet Expo, and The PGA Show.  


Raleigh Convention Center  

The Raleigh Convention Center is a gorgeous venue that invites visitors to experience North Carolina’s beauty and culture. Its 500,000 total square feet include an exhibit hall, meeting rooms, and a 32,000 square foot Ballroom. Additionally, the building features a striking granite lobby and large windows where attendees can enjoy views of downtown. Art pieces from the City of Raleigh Municipal Art Collection are placed throughout the convention center, which is conveniently located near the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts, the Red Hat Amphitheater, and several hotels. These features have attracted trade shows including the Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo, the Women’s Leadership Conference, and Techtextil North America to North Carolina’s capital. 


Tampa Convention Center  

Exhibitors and convention attendees get to enjoy more than a trade show at the Tampa Convention Center. Located in downtown Tampa, FL and boasting gorgeous waterfront views, this venue welcomes visitors to enjoy the beauty of the city. In addition to 200,00 square feet of exhibit space across the East, Central, and West Exhibit Halls, the Tampa Convention Center offers four ballrooms, waterfront meeting rooms, and the stunning Sail Plaza for outdoor events. These amenities have led conventions including The Great American Franchise Expo, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the METROCON Annual Convention to call Tampa their host city. 

Top Beginner Tips for Exhibiting in the Southeastern US 

Trade show venues in the Southeastern US are expanding their facilities and enhancing their capabilities. This means that many companies are exhibiting in conventions within the region for the first time. If you’re new to exhibiting in the Southeast, we can help! Here are some key areas to focus on when planning your event:  


When you exhibit at a trade show in the Southeastern US, you have the choice between renting or purchasing your display. If you plan to attend multiple shows each year, purchasing is likely the best option for your budget. And if you’re only exhibiting at one show, you might choose to rent. We offer custom exhibits for both purchase and rental. Whatever your budget, brand, and style, Booth Design Ideas will meet your needs and exceed your expectations!  


Your trade show exhibit is a representation of who you are as a company, so it’s important to set aside plenty of time to plan your display. Generally, 6-8 months prior to the expo is ideal. Preparing for a convention can be intimidating for new exhibitors, so the more time you give yourself, the better. And we’re here to help! We’ll handle details like the pre-show exhibitor manual, roundtrip shipping logistics, installation and dismantle services, and even post-show cost reconciliation so you can focus on putting your company’s best foot forward at the show.  

Show Size 

Some first-time exhibitors prioritize show size over show quality. Buying or renting a large exhibit for a huge convention can produce impressive ROI for certain companies, but it’s not for everyone. Be selective about which trade shows you exhibit in, and keep in mind that sometimes less is more. When done correctly, a beautifully designed 20x20 island display that caters to your target audience can perform as well as a larger exhibit that wasn’t as carefully thought out. 


Location, location, location!” isn’t just a real estate phrase. It applies to your trade show exhibit as well! Choosing the right location for your display is a huge factor in having a successful versus an unsuccessful expo. When you start planning early, you’ll have your pick of exhibit spaces on the show floor. Look for “sweet spots” like a booth space near the hall’s entrance or concessions, or at the end of an aisle. In other words, choose a spot in a high-traffic area so your display is visible to as many attendees and potential clients as possible.  

After the Show 

There’s plenty to do in the days and hours after your convention. Historical landmarks, engaging museums, and invigorating nightlife can be found throughout the Southeastern United States. Whether you’re exhibiting at or attending a show in a large city like Orlando, Atlanta, or New Orleans or enjoying a smaller venue in the region, you’re in for a treat.  

For more information on shows and venues throughout the U.S., check out Metro Exhibits. Here you can find a ton of information as well as exhibit products.