Last week, after a long 31 months, we finally had the opportunity to attend one of our favorite shows: EXHIBITORLIVE. For this year’s Exhibitor Live 2021, It was great to reunite face-to-face with many of our long-time colleagues and, in addition, meet some of the new emerging leaders. While not yet at total capacity in terms of attendance, there were still plenty of insights to gain about the trade show industry’s current state and where it is heading. Overall, the atmosphere is hopeful and forward-looking.
With that said, here are five key takeaways you missed at EXHIBITORLIVE 2021:
1. Sales is Strong
Though the quantity of attendees is down, the quality has improved. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere on our blog, the kinds of attendees traveling to shows during this time are serious buyers. And while the volume of potential clients is low for the time being, the number of exhibitors remains strong.
2. Companies are Facing Similar Internal Challenges
Growing pains and adjustments post-COVID are not uncommon as trade shows are one of many industries facing delays in shipping, hiring staff, and shortages of materials. However, as this year’s theme suggested, we reconnected with our species to discuss new ideas for pivoting around these common obstacles.
3. New People are Joining the Industry
Many people are using last year’s pandemic to change their work environment. For some, that means staying home and working, but it means finding a new job or changing professions altogether for others. The trade show industry is not an exception, and there have been many new people to join the industry.
4. Experiential Marketing is on the Rise
The hot topic at the event was experiential marketing. If it continues to trend–and you can expect it to–be prepared to see more exhibitors include some interactive or immersive components with their display. However, for now, many are merely talking the talk.
5. Everyone is Hopeful
To top it off, almost everyone in the trade show business is feeling optimistic about the future. And there are reasons for excitement. With sales remaining solid and new leaders appearing on the scene developing new teams and new marketing trends, enthusiasm is waxing, not waning. All this indicates a renewed sense of focus and purpose.
What insights about the direction of the trade show industry can we glean from these takeaways? In short, there might not be a better time to get into the business of trade shows than now. Yes, there are challenges, but how the industry is adapting to changes in the marketplace, client profiles, and safety concerns is genuinely remarkable.
To conclude, The Trade Group is excited to announce we will be returning to next year’s EXHIBITORLIVE 2022 in June with a larger spot on the exhibit floor. To keep up with news about where we will be next year at EXHIBITORLIVE, or information about everything related to the Trade Show business, as well as tips and tricks for improving your ROI, read our blog and look for our free, informative White Papers.
If you are interested in creating a branded environment in an existing space or creating a new trade show exhibit or pop-up, our experts at The Trade Group are here to help. Give us a call at 800-343-2005 or contact us here to learn more about the exhibit design, interactive experiences, and services available at The Trade Group.
Cameron Wilkinson is a writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. His writing for the events industry pairs with his interests in sales and marketing. He also holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of North Texas.