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Summer 2021 Trade Show Successes


The past year and a half have certainly been a whirlwind for any industry that relies on being able to have face-to-face interactions. While we understand we certainly aren’t “in the clear” yet with a few more recent cancellations of trade shows such as AORN, RILA, NAFEM and the NY Auto Show, we are choosing to stay positive and focus on all of the good that has happened for the trade show industry this summer!

Here is a recap of a few success stories from trade shows and events that took place in June and July 2021:

Dallas Market CenterIt was a record-setting June for the Dallas Market Center. The trade shows that took place as a whole experienced the most buyer traffic they’ve had in over 10 years! The hosts of this wholesale marketplace for B2B trade attributed this success to a surge of new buyer traffic from across the U.S.

The Dallas Market Center is a marketplace for all things home decor, gifts, apparel, accessories, and much more. The trade shows that took place in June consisted of the Apparel & Accessories Market, Total Home & Gift Market, Lightovation, and KidsWorld. Overall, June shows experienced a 75% increase in first-time buyers from their 2019 shows. The Dallas Market Center even saw a massive increase in buyers from the West (31% increase), the Midwest (44% increase), as well as an increase in their Southeast buyers (58%). The CEO states that this success is partially owed to the many efforts taken to create a safe and inspiring marketplace.

  • According to a Trade Show News Network blog, The Apparel & Accessories Market, held June 15-18 sold out on exhibit space and experienced a 48% increase in buyers from their 2019 June show.
  • The Total Home & Gift Market which was held in late June had a 40% increase in new buyers.
  • Lightovation took place June 23-26 and welcomed the debut of many new and expanded showrooms from leading brands. The show was almost back to normal attendance rates from before the pandemic.
  • KidsWorld shared that there was a 50% increase in buyers during their June 23-29 show and welcomed retailers from 40 different states.

With Dallas Market Center’s traffic remaining at historic levels, significant boosts in sales from eager buyers, and a great momentum of high energy from top brands, there are high hopes for the continuance of trade show growth and success.

Atlanta MarketJuly 13-19 was one for the books at the Summer Atlanta Market. This market offers one of the nation’s largest mixes of gift products and is host to over 8,000 brands each year. Their July show brought on plenty of buying activity as they returned, beating industry expectations. The show reportedly had record-breaking sales in some categories like home and gift collections.

Again, similar to the Dallas Market Center, the Atlanta Market has been able to see its success because of the safety measures taking place. With the huge need for inventory, retailers and designers were quick to attend and help meet the demand they were facing.

There were attendees from all 50 states and additionally over 30 countries in attendance. With that, the Summer Atlanta Market surpassed the Winter 2021 Market in attendance by 55%. Sourcing from over 8,000 lines showcasing gift, home decor, personal care, and more, the 1,000 + gift and home decor showrooms welcomed almost 60 new, reloaded, and expanded brands.

With the show exceeding past numbers at a high rate, IMC CEO stated that the buzz around the market spread through the industry quickly, making the attendees who were not there, excited to visit future shows. This optimism makes the Atlanta Market confident in their future growth at their Winter Market in January 2022. With so many buyers eager to return to trade shows to see and experience brands and products first-hand, create face-to-face interactions, and build relationships, there is certainly no substitute that is able to keep trade shows at bay.

Additional ShowsBeyond these large and successfully returned “market” trade shows, there have been others who are seeing similar success. In Las Vegas, Connect and Bizbash returned and furthered a sense of normalcy amongst those in attendance. The Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa hosted the event. While the show was still able to host its prior event during the onset of the pandemic in May of 2020, the Vice President stated that in comparison to their previous show, that it was back to normal. Safety precautions were a large implementation that played a part in the success. He also stated that while safety was a focus, it was not on the forefront, which made things seem more normal and served as a reunion for the industry.

ISC West hosted a successful trade show July 19-21 in Las Vegas. They created optimism for the future of their trade shows on their website saying, “The ISC West Team would like to thank the thousands of security professionals who attended or exhibited at this year’s event. We would not be as successful without all of your support and we thank you for choosing to network, learn, and grow with us at ISC West. We look forward to seeing you at another ISC Security Event in the future!”

AWFS Fair, July 20-23, was another trade show this summer of 2021 to successfully create a safe and effective event among the woodworking industry.

While we are celebrating the successes of several shows that have taken place, Skyline is continuing to stay apprised of trade show cancellations and rescheduling. If you have any questions about an event you are attending, reach out to your Skyline Exhibiting consultant for guidance. Remember – we are your partner focused on brand strategy and marketing communications for exhibits, events, environments, services, digital solutions and beyond



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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