Attending trade shows are more than an opportunity to get away from the office for a few days. These events allow you to gain knowledge of new trends, meet other vendors and retailers in your industry and stimulate creativity. Below are the types of trade shows that are worth checking out in 2017.

  1. Technology Trade Show

Just about every business can benefit from technology on some level. Even if you don’t directly work with digital technology, keeping on top of the latest trends can help your business run more efficiently. Luckily, there are plenty of technology trade shows that you can attend throughout the year. To start, check out the wildly popular International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, January 5-8.

  1. Mobile Technology Trade Show

Mobile technology is a niche of the greater technology field, and it certainly deserves attention. Again, even if your business doesn’t directly sell products related to mobile, think about how consumers interact with your brand. The world’s largest Mobile Electronics Trade Show is in Hong Kong, April 18-21. It will feature over 8,000 booths from China and Asia.

  1. Professional Development Trade Show

Professional development trade shows allow you to connect with other professionals in your industry in a face to face manner, which is rare these days. You can learn a lot about what’s working for other professionals and also build supportive relationships. Check out the PPAI Expo that is hosting a Professional Development event on January 8-9, with exhibits opening on January 10-12 in Las Vegas.

  1. Invention Trade Show

Invention trade shows are high-energy and just plain fun to attend. It’s amazing to see new inventions, and it can also help you gain new perspective on how to make a product more efficient or useful to customers. Invention trade shows also shed light on some of the up-and-coming trends that others might not be aware of. The Chicago Toy and Game Fair is a great one to attend and is usually held in November of each year.

  1. Social Media Trade Show

Social media is another branch of technology that you want to be familiar with. It’s imperative that your brand has an active presence on the major social networks. This is how you market your product and build relationships. Trade shows such as Retail’s Digital Summit focuses specifically on the retail industry. Shows are throughout the year in a number of states, so you can catch one by you. Or check out Social Media Week in New York on February 27-March 3.

If you didn’t have a full calendar in the New Year already, you certainly do now!