Trade shows and sales events went into a steep decline when the COVID-19 pandemic ran rampant in the first quarter of 2020, putting all face-to-face events on hold and giving rise to social distancing measures. Now, almost a year after and with vaccines going into production, countries are gradually lifting quarantine restrictions, leading one to wonder about upcoming trends to look out for in the future with regard to trade shows.

It will still take a year or two for live events to go back to normal, but that doesn’t mean that sales events like trade shows, conferences, and expos have to stay dormant. In fact, many organizers and companies have found ways to hold such events while keeping everyone as safe as possible.

Future Trade Show Trends to Expect

Trade shows are where businesses introduce their new offerings, where sales people meet potential clients, and where start-ups can cultivate their network. Most people also attend trade shows to stay updated with industry trends and connect with others who share the same interests. In fact, such sales events are quite popular that 9,400 B2B trade shows were recorded in the country in 2019 alone, contributing around $101B to the national GDP, as reported by the Center for Exhibition Research.

Hence, it’s no wonder that companies have thought of ways to still hold trade shows despite the pandemic. Trade shows are back, yes, but they are definitely changed.

Less Events, Less Audience

Some states have eased their quarantine measures that live events are now slowly being allowed. However, safety is still the priority and social distancing must still be observed. 

That means trade shows are allowed, but still limited. If an event used to happen every other day, chances are it would be held just once a week (or once a month) now. The number of attendees is also controlled to allow for a healthy distance during the event. 

Also, gone are the days when you could casually drop by at an event you saw while walking around town. While many trade shows allowed walk-in before the pandemic, expect most of them to be invite-only. Such change is to make sure that the number of people stays manageable at all times and that the venue doesn’t get too crowded.

Digital Trade Shows

Classes aren’t the ones that have gone digital during the height of the pandemic. Trade show organizers have also adapted and taken such events online.

To make sure that digital trade shows offer an experience similar to a live one, interactive platforms are often used together with the usual video conferencing tools. Once you log in, expect to see a “lobby” that leads to other “rooms,” like the main hall where attendees can listen to speakers or a booth area where you can browse the different participating businesses. You can even join games and win prizes!

If you’re an organizer and not sure yet how to do an online trade show, there are also companies specializing in such digital events.

Whether it’s a live conference or an online trade show, Blink can be your trusted agency when you need charming and smart ladies to host a convention or promote your brand in Las Vegas. Talk to us today and let’s see how our trade show models can liven up your next event.