The trade show and live event world have experienced many changes in the past twelve months. Digital formats will continue expand exhibiting companies’ presence by giving customers an option to attend outside of the live environment. Live trade shows will continue to increase their opening in the coming months and now it’s time to start planning now for your upcoming events even for dates in Q3 and Q4 in 2021.

Trade shows are regaining momentum in the post-pandemic world. This recent FORBES article highlights what you may already intuitively know. “Business-to-business sales can survive a year or two without trade show exposure, but the value of increased sales will eventually win out relative to costs savings. Waiting until travel fully returns to normal sounds reasonable, but marketers should weigh the cost savings against the benefit from being one of only a few businesses selling your particular products at a show.”  The Wall Street Journal also focuses on the return importance of trade shows. “Some of the biggest shows are planning to resume in person, with options for tuning in virtually. Mobile World Congress, which hosted more than 109,000 attendees in Barcelona in 2019, will return with a hybrid option in June after scrapping the event in 2020.”  Exhibitor Magazine reports 68% of the exhibiting companies surveyed in March 2021 plan to resume participation in live events by the end of the third quarter this year.  Download the full white paper here

Since many exhibit service providers are working with reduced staff which directly impacts production schedules, you’ll want to start planning ahead even if your trade show or live event isn’t until later this year or early 2022. Supply and demand drive pricing and availability and many material prices have increased. When planning the budget, be sure to allow for higher costs. Leisure travel is increasing along with business travel so the demand for hotels and flights are rising.

And finally, the safety of your staff and attendees is always important. Exhibitors and attendees will likely see new safety protocols for exhibitions and events. These could include required face coverings, temperature screenings, virus testing documentation, touchless entry, wider aisles, and hand sanitizing stations. Many exhibition venues and hotels worldwide now are GBAC (Global Biorisk Advisory Council) Gold Star accredited, which is a comprehensive cleaning protocols so look for this when booking staff accommodations. According to The Wall Street Journal, public gatherings may start as early as April due to the increased availability of the vaccines worldwide.

When you need assistance with your live or digital trade show program, feel free to contact us via email or call 817-370-1400.