I went to the Toronto show last year to look at speakers and it was very interesting. I was looking to convince my wife that we needed to keep our Magnepan MG 1.6 speakers even though she thinks they take up too much space. We heard some great speakers (including some $90K JM Focal speakers that made both of us cry within a minute of sitting down - yes, they were that good. Unfortunately we aren't EVER going to spend $90K on a pair of speakers 8^). The emphasis is on high end gear but there is some mid-level stuff too.
Actually my wife (!) made an observation that I think is quite profound. People are always arguing about how well their gear reproduces the sound of a live band/musician. She commented that the sound we heard from the $90K speakers was something else - it clearly wasn't a live orchestra (it was a classical piece) but it sounded so intense, really powerful - quite astonishing (literally) but no orchestra ever sounded like that.
We also went to the NYC show last year and it was also interesting. We just avoided thinking about buying anything there and concentrated on sound quality. Learned quite a bit. I can't imagine going every year but rather plan to go every few years to see what is going on in audio. Give it a go, I think you'll have fun.