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Future of Trade Shows Looking Bright as Many Shows Set New Dates


For some time, we have gotten used to seeing many trade shows updating us with statements such as: “This year’s show cancelled,” “Join us for our new virtual trade show,” or “Stay tuned for future dates.”

After the trade show industry halted face-to-face marketing for health and safety reasons and pivoted to virtual exhibits, it is encouraging to see several large shows forging ahead with their planned (or postponed) dates for next year. Although we understand that the status of these shows is fluid and changing almost daily, we are very encouraged to see so many doing what they can to ensure we can get back together again in 2021.

Here is a list of some of the larger trade shows in the U.S. that have rescheduled or are continuing to proceed as planned in-person next year:

SHOT ShowThe organizers of the SHOT Show in Las Vegas have made it clear they are planning to proceed as scheduled at both Sands Expo Center & Caesars Forum from January 19th to the 22nd. They have high confidence in the booth sales and sponsorships – with less than 100 booths left to reserve.

As of August 1, 2020, NSSF & SHOT show have updated their exhibitor guidelines on how they are continuing to update safety measures with guidance offered by the state and federal agencies. There are many health & safety and social distancing guidelines in place, as well as how they will be handling show floor navigation and educational sessions.

HAI Heli-ExpoThe HAI Heli-Expo has confirmed dates of March 22-25 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. This convention center was one of the first in the nation to achieve the GBAC, so show organizers are confident and doing everything they can to ensure the safety of everyone who is coming to exhibit and attend the show.

If you are in the helicopter or aircraft industry, this is a great show to gain exposure at!

Pri-Med West CME/CE ConferenceAfter cancelling their 2020 show, Pri-Med Conference has a scheduled date for 2021. They’ll be hosting Pri-Med West at the Anaheim Convention Center in California May 5-8, 2021.

The return of this in-person event for those in the healthcare industry will be a great opportunity to learn about hundreds of new products, treatments, and technologies. We believe there’s no better place to fully grasp new innovations than in-person.

IPW 2021IPW canceled its 2020 show, but now has a set date for their 2021 event in Las Vegas. The trade show will be held May 10-14, and they are confident in the diversity of the countries that this event will bring together as it has in the past.

National Restaurant AssociationThe National Restaurant Association has a new rescheduled date for their event to take place May 22-25, 2021. The show will allow exhibitors to share the latest food and beverage trends and technology in-person at McCormick Place in Chicago.

What’s even greater news is that nearly 75% of exhibitors who had planned to join the 2020 show have already re-booked their spot for the 2021 show.

Sharepoint FestAlthough SPFest had to cancel their 2020 show, they’ve been able to secure a new date in May of 2021. All registrations for SPFest DC have been automatically transferred to the 2021 date at the Walter E Washington Convention Center.

Retail’s Big ShowThe National Retail Federation decided to postpone their originally planned 2020 Retail’s Big Show to multiple days of virtual events in January 2021. Thankfully they didn’t stop there as they now have a set date for their in-person show in NYC in June 2021.

So as the NRF works to help their attendees find innovative ways to enhance human connection in retail, they’ll be working to do the same as they provide the opportunity for exhibitors to regain that human connection with attendees.

Music Tourism ConventionAlthough it’s a ways out, Music Cities Events has a set date for their 2021 Music Tourism Convention to occur September 29 – October 2 in 2021.

This event being held in Cleveland, Mississippi will be a great opportunity for the music and tourism sectors to come together and find ways to reunite people with live music.

In addition to the many events that have been able to secure a date in the near future, the EDS Leadership Summit has secured a date for May of 2021, the International Pizza Expo has set a new date in March of 2021, Rapid + TCT, North America’s largest manufacturing event has their new event date set for April 26-29, 2021, and the Offshore Technology Conference is now accepting proposals for their new event dates in May of 2021.

With this growing list of trade shows being rescheduled, it’s making the future of trade shows look very bright. Skyline is thrilled to see that new safety measures are being quickly put into place across the country, allowing for shows to open back up and for the world to begin trading once again. We certainly can’t wait to get back on the show floor with you soon.


About the Author

In her experience at Skyline's corporate office in St. Paul, Minnesota, Briquelle Neyens immersed herself in trade show research and the ins and outs of exhibit sales firsthand. She also engaged with Skyline's wide-array of products and services from an insider's perspective. Her blogs portray her expertise on what it takes to be a successful trade show marketer. She enjoys generating information that will help all trade show marketers in their decisions to become successful on the trade show floor.

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