Top Exhibition Venues in the US

What To Look for in the Top Exhibition Venues in the US

When an event runs smoothly and all the attendees enjoy themselves, that energy is palpable. There’s laughing, eating, phone numbers exchanged, and meetings put on the calendar to make sure this isn’t the last event. In order to put on a seamlessly successful event like this, there’s a lot you need to know about the venue first. 

After recently launching our Exhibitor Advantage program, the Overland Park Convention Center team has put together a guide on finding the top exhibition venues in the US. 

Whether you’re organizing a trade show or convention, planning to be an exhibitor at one of these events, or you’re simply interested in attending, here are the things that make an exhibition venue special!

Versatility of the space

A convention center should boast a space suitable for all types of events. We’re talking birthday parties to weddings; car shows to dance competitions; business conferences to anime conventions; and everything outside the box and in between. 

Versatility is important for an exhibition venue because there are millions of different things to exhibit. You need to be able to transform the space into whatever your event needs it to be! 

All of the top exhibition venues in the US should have:

  • Multiple loading dock bays
  • Easy access from loading dock to the exhibit hall
  • High ceilings
  • Rooms without a lot of columns (wide open space)
  • Simple online service ordering process for exhibitors


Ability for creativity cultivation

Before committing to an exhibition venue, figure out what you can do creatively with the space. Do they allow banners, signage, and other decorations? What can/can’t you bring? For safety and legal reasons, the venue likely has a handbook that outlines the policies and restrictions. 

It should be just as important to your venue as it is to you to have the creative freedom to transform the space and make your event come to life! 

Size/capacity restrictions

Of course one of the first things you have to know when planning an exhibition is how much space you need and how many attendees you’re expecting. As a show producer, knowing your numbers when looking for the top exhibition venues in the US is vital.

Can the venue accommodate you? Is the size of the venue right? You can likely find this information on the venue’s website, but the best way to find out if this venue is right for you is by getting in contact with a member of their team.

If the exhibition venue is anything like OPCC, they’ll have an easy event planning tool that allows you to punch in your event logistics. Once you hit submit, you will receive a price estimate and accommodation information shortly.

Location/target audience

Another important piece of securing the right exhibition venue is the surrounding location and the area’s demographics. Depending on what kind of event you’re organizing and the types of exhibitors involved, you’ll want to make sure the area includes people who would be interested in attending your specific event.

If you’re planning a farming trade show in Chicago, you’re probably not going to have as good of a turnout as you would in a city that has more rural interest.

Before making any rash decisions, consider conducting some demographic research to figure out if the location and target audience is right.

If you’re planning a national event, it’s a good idea to have something centrally located so that people can easily make their way to and from the convention center. Plus, they have surrounding areas to explore!

You feel like a valued client

Any exhibition venue can talk the talk, but only the top exhibition venues in the US walk the walk. What kind of perks do they offer to show producers, exhibitors, and service contractors? These three groups are how the show goes on and the venue stays afloat. If you don’t feel like a valued client in even the first point of contact, look elsewhere. 

Here are some things you need to find out: 

  • What kind of services does the venue offer? (Internet, food, audiovisual, tools, equipment, on-site support, etc.)
  • Are there any discounts/perks for individuals working at the event?
  • What’s the parking situation? 
  • Is there easy access to lodging? 
  • Does wifi cost extra? 
  • Does the venue offer security? 
  • What is the venue’s location? Is it near the interstate?



This information is vital. The venue staff should be going out of their way to provide you with answers so you can feel in-the-know. 

The Exhibitor Advantage Program

At the Overland Park Convention Center, we are fully dedicated to our clients and the success of their events. 

To prove this, we are the first exhibition venue in the US to create an extensive list of perks that make cultivating an exhibition event simple and rewarding.

Show producer perks

When you use the OPCC space for an exhibition event, you can enjoy: 

  • Eligibility for a cash back loyalty program
  • A 50% discount at concessions (excluding alcoholic beverages)
  • Free high-speed internet access
  • A newly renovated show office with live video feeds
  • Time-lapse footage of your event to use for marketing purposes
  • Eligibility for a referral program (Up to $10,000)
  • A swag bag
  • Complimentary coffee and snacks
  • Discounts at nearby restaurants and attractions
  • Complimentary marketing services and photo backdrop


Exhibitor perks

As an exhibitor at an OPCC event, you will enjoy:

  • A 50% discount at concessions (excluding alcoholic beverages)
  • Free high-speed internet access
  • Tool sharing (drills, wrenches, ladders, etc.)
  • Dedicated exhibitor utility room
  • Eligibility for a referral program (Up to $10,000)
  • Entry into a swag bag giveaway
  • Complimentary coffee and snacks
  • Discounts at nearby restaurants and attractions


Service contractor perks

When you work at an OPCC event as a service contractor, you can enjoy:

  • A 50% discount at concessions (excluding alcoholic beverages)
  • Free high-speed internet access
  • Dedicated storage for show equipment
  • Equipment sharing services (lifts, vacuums, flatbeds, etc.)
  • Eligibility for a referral program (Up to $10,000)
  • Complimentary coffee and snacks

Only the top exhibition venues in the US build programs for their clients that go above and beyond. Working with a venue to plan an event should be a process that gets you excited rather than stressing you out to the point of dreading it. From the moment you first contact our team at OPCC to the final load out, you will feel right at home.


Generous, accommodating staff

When you’re working with the staff at an exhibition venue, how do they make you feel? Do they answer all your questions? Do they make you feel like you’re a priority? Besides all the flashy incredible perks they may offer, it’s important to reflect on how they’re treating you and your event. Because no matter how beautiful the venue is or how much free coffee and snacks you may get, being respected trumps it all.

If you’re in the hands of people who are listening to you and devising plans on how they can meet your needs and help you put on a killer event, you have our blessing.



Life exists outside of the event, too. All the top exhibition venues in the US provide amenities that respect needs outside of the physical space itself.

At OPCC, these amenities include:

  • Free on-site parking
  • Transportation services
  • Hotel recommendations (within walking distance)
  • Local restaurant and attraction recommendations
  • Accessibility
  • Directional signage
  • Plus more


Ready to plan your event?

We hope this provided insight on what to look for in the top exhibition venues in the US. At the Overland Park Convention Center, we have everything you need to plan a successful event, no matter what it is! Our professional and highly experienced staff don’t let any of the smallest of details slip through the cracks.

Get an estimate

Speak to a member of our team

Schedule a tour


Interested in being an exhibitor at an event?

In order to be an exhibitor, you’ll have to contact the show producer directly. Take a look at our calendar of events to see what we have coming up. You’ll find all of the different show producers’ contact information on the respective event pages.

Learn more about how we accommodate exhibitors once show producers sign you up.

About Overland Park Convention Center

The award-winning Overland Park Convention Center opened in November of 2002 on a 26-acre site in the heart of Overland Park, the largest suburban city in the Kansas City metropolitan and the second largest city in Kansas.

Adorned with over sixty original works of art and equipped with state-of-the-art communications systems, the 245,000 square foot complex features a 60,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall; a 25,000 sq. ft. ballroom; and 15,000 sq. ft. of meeting room space.

Natural light radiates throughout the unusually spacious (44,000 sq. ft.) pre-function and registration areas. Among the convention center’s many awards, the most recent include:

  • 2023 Best Small Convention Center in North America, EXHIBITOR Magazine
  • 2023 – 2020 North America’s Top Convention Centers, EXHIBITOR Magazine
  • 2023 – 2018 Prime Site Award, Facilities & Destinations Magazine
  • 2023 – 2002 Best Meeting & Conference Facility, Ingram’s Magazine
  • 2022 Best Small Convention Center in North America, EXHIBITOR Magazine
  • 2021 Best Customer Service and On-Site Support in North America, EXHIBITOR Magazine
  • 2020 Best Small Convention Center in North America, EXHIBITOR Magazine
  • 2019 Best Convention Centers in North America, Business View Magazine