Contest is people (or animals actually) competing against each other. There is either a judge or an obvious goal (and the first person to reach the goal is the winner). Contest can be physical (running speed, swimming speed) or intellectual (guessing or interpreting what the host tells them). The event can be called a competition, (tennis) match, race, etc. There are several subsidiary meanings of contest which are not part of the competition contest that we speak of here
Expo is the abbreviation of exposition, you expose (you show for other people to see). You exhibit. Most expos that the FLAAR Reports team attend are trade shows: printer trade shows, animation trade shows, 3D printer trade shows, etc.
Exposition is the long way of writing an Expo, as in a trade show. So expo and exposition are both (potentially) synonyms for each other. But also a public display of photographs (usually mounted on a wall) is called a Photo Exposition. Art events are usually called Art Exhibits. So each kind of public display has its own jargon.
Fair, is the word used in Europe for a trade show, for an expo (exposition) of products and/or services. For some reason (that we have not yet researched), most of the trade shows for books are called fairs: Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurter Buchmesse) and the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL, Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara) are the two that we attend.
Fair, as in Science Fair: these are grade school or more often high school events. In theory a Science Fair could also be at university level, but the most popular ones are “High School Science Fair.”
Game shows: Beat the Clock, To Tell the Truth, Name that Toon, The Price is Right, The $64,000 Question, Wheel of Fortune
Panel Shows: To Tell the Truth. I was on this TV show after spending 12 months as an archaeology student intern at Tikal (while a junior at Harvard). I am trying to find which episode so I can download the video).
Parody is defined on the Internet (via Google) as an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect. The more polite synonyms are: satire, lampoon, caricature, imitation.
Satire: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc. (www.dictionary.com). The reason we employ satire is to suggest how to improve cultural and personal traits.
Talent show, talent contest: best known are singing shows (American Idol) and dancing shows (Dancing with the Stars, for example). Wikipedia says “Most talent shows are performances rather than contests…”
Trade show is a synonym of expo, exposition. Trade show can be written as one word, tradeshow, or two words, trade show.