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Trade Shows Will Evolve, But These 5 Things Will Remain the Same


For years, trade shows have been a staple in the success of businesses across the world. They have planted seeds for growth and given businesses a chance to flourish. In some cases, certain trade shows have been annually allowing the world to trade on their show floor for 50 or more years. When a pandemic interrupted the many consecutive years that countless trade shows had been in business, it was only a matter of time until these large events found their way back to fruition.

The trade show industry has done everything it could to find its way back.

As exhibitors, trade show hosts, buyers, and sellers made as much peace as they could with the unfortunate result of canceled trade shows in 2020 and the beginning of 2021, they’ve begun to find ways to step back onto the trade show floor in a safe way.

While we can all expect new precautions, rules, and safety limits to create an unfamiliar aspect at trade shows compared to how we once knew them, there are numerous things that we can expect to remain the same.

Here are 5 things that haven’t gone anywhere when it comes to trade shows as we know them!

1. Real-life connections are still at the core of creating business relationships.

One major aspect of trade shows that hasn’t gone away is the power of connecting with people on a more personal level. In fact – if we have learned anything over the past year while social distancing, it’s that people thrive on face-to-face connections. Speaking in-person has the benefit of helping relationships grow much quicker through trust and organic connections. This is why there is no better avenue of communication than in-person. Creating connections with those who have a great interest in the products or services that your business offers is one of the key advantages of exhibiting at trade shows.

Since a majority of people prefer to work closely and trust those they are familiar with, it makes trade shows an ample opportunity for building strong business connections with current and future customers and partners.

2. Exhibitors can still generate interest through experiences.

A slight change we may see is that those who attend trade shows in the immediate future will likely be extremely qualified buyers with very specific intentions for attending shows. With this condensed audience of high-quality leads, it’s the perfect time to make your business stand out through a great brand experience. Implementing an attractive booth, a personable booth staff, and creating ways for your audience to interact with your products and services will give you a one-up on your competition. Since you have the attention of prospects who are likely already interested in your business, it will just be a matter of convincing them that you’re the best fit for their needs.

Demonstrations, immersive experiences, rewards, discounts, and interactive learning are all great ways to resonate with your target audience and become more memorable to them.

3. Small brands can still make big impressions at trade shows.

Trade shows will remain an even playing field for both small and large companies. Having the opportunity to be on the same trade show floor as large competitors gives businesses a more even playing field. With 91% of trade show attendees (most of whom have great buying power) looking to buy new products, it allows for great potential for every exhibitor to grow their business.

A tip for smaller exhibitors – this is where it becomes important for smaller businesses to choose the right shows with their most relevant target audience combined with a powerful exhibit. Attending fewer shows may be worth it if you’re able to put more of your budget into a show – or a few key shows – that are going to offer the greatest conversion rates.

4. Attendees will still appreciate eye-catching exhibits.

Nothing will have changed about the tactics that are needed to entice trade show attendees to step inside a booth. With so many booths to wander through, having an eye-catching exhibit that people notice from a distance will be extremely important.

It has always been important to create powerful graphics combined with a unique display, making attendees feel inclined to step inside for more information. This idea of appealing to people’s senses has not gone away.

5. People will still attend trade shows for the main reason of seeing and experiencing new products.

For the last 25 years, the leading reason to attend trade shows has been to see and experience new products. With a large majority of attendees having the buying power to purchase new products, this makes trade shows a continued, ample way to gain exposure to high-quality buyers.

Launching new products, growing brand awareness, and creating authority in the industry can still all be done at trade shows. There’s no better way than in-person to influence big decision-makers who are looking for products just like yours.

Although it may be difficult for businesses to get back on their feet as trade shows resume, it’s important to keep in mind that not attending trade shows where many competitors are present, could hinder your business’s growth. With no presence at trade shows, this means that you may not even be considered as an option to a buyer if they meet and are impressed by other companies at a trade show that you could have attended as well.

Contact Skyline Exhibits to get back into the trade show world and start creating an exhibit that will leave a lasting impression for some of your most qualified buyers.