All around the world, so many eyes are on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Whether viewing on televisions, computers, or mobile devices, the world is watching athletes who have dedicated themselves to pursuit of athletic excellence. How many of those millions of viewers consider the parallel to exhibitions? There are so many ways large international trade shows are similar to the Olympic Games.

Vladimir Putin declared the 2014 Olympic Games could begin in a lavish opening ceremony. At many international trade shows, it is not unusual for public figures to cut a ribbon to open an exhibition. People travel from around the world to attend Olympic events. Delegates travel locally and from great distances to attend a trade show. Athletes are “exhibiting” their talent like exhibitors utilize a trade show to demonstrate their service and products to the audience. For delegates, athletes and attendees, a badge may be required to gain admittance to the venue at the Olympics or an exhibition.

Press coverage may be more visible at the Olympics but international media cover trade shows as well. The general public may be more aware of high profile shows with an impact on the consumer market. Many people around the world watch coverage of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) show because everyone wants to know about the next big thing when it comes to electronics. The Paris Air Show is for the aviation industry but includes days for the general public to see what is new in air travel. There are hundreds of shows that may not attract the public attention like the more “glamorous” shows but are just as important and are covered by media specific to each audience.

Closing ceremonies in Sochi will be on the 23rd and as the Olympic flame is extinguished hundreds will have already been to Euroshop while more will be preparing to open Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The winter Olympics are only every four years, but trade shows around the world go on every day.