Inspire

The Return of the Trade Show Industry

It’s no surprise that the trade show industry has taken a pretty big hit this year. The stroke of bad luck is on its way out, though, and the trade show industry is rising to the occasion and will be better than before.

To learn more about the magnitude of COVID-19’s impact on the industry and begin to identify when and how trade shows and live events will resume, EXHIBITOR recently completed a three-part (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) research initiative that surveyed both corporate exhibit managers and suppliers to the trade show and events industry. The research initiative surveyed 1,000 respondents from both corporate exhibit managers and suppliers to the trade show and events industry. From show cancelations to overall sentiment toward the future of trade shows, here are a few things from the report we learned:

  1. Trade shows will be back – and sooner than you may think. In the report, 83% of respondents said they would return to live shows by the first quarter of 2021 and 95% said they’d be having live shows by the end of 2021.
  2. Trade shows will evolve in several ways. From having virtual options to smaller regional shows, the changes in the trade show industry are limitless. According to the data gathered in the report, “when asked what long-term industry impacts they expect to see as a result of COVID-19, corporate exhibit managers ranked more virtual/hybrid events, lower trade show attendance, fewer large/national events, and more small/regional events as the most likely outcomes.”
  3. The trade show industry as a whole has experienced a significant reduction in revenue. As a result of the worldwide trade show shutdowns, “seven in 10 vendors/suppliers expect their monthly revenues to drop by at least 71% due to ongoing postponements/cancellations. And 78% predict their annual revenue will drop by at least 50% compared to 2019.”
  4. Despite those tough numbers, worries from trade show vendors and suppliers dropped significantly from May to June. Also, those saying they were either optimistic or hopeful for the future both increased in the same timespan – even as the percentage of those believing they would be back to live trade shows/events before the end of 2020 decreased from 80% to 69%.

Additionally, the report states, “An increasing number of respondents indicate the absence of trade shows and other face-to-face marketing opportunities has helped to make the value of such channels more obvious to upper management, which hints at a bright — albeit potentially distant — future for the trade show industry.”

While it’s been a tough year for trade shows, hopefully, the comeback will trump the setbacks. And when things finally get back to normal, Exhibit Logistics will be there to help you make a big impression at your trade shows.


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