Back in the day, trade shows were popular. That is because these events allowed businesses to generate quality leads and create more profits. But, somehow, trade shows lost their importance and ability for success mainly because of the famous and notorious COVID-19. However, the pandemic has redefined the future of trade shows.
Let’s be honest, 2020 has brought an unprecedented year for all of us. Businesses are affected due to the lockdowns and SOPs. To cater for this, industries have shifted towards remote operations, thanks to ZOOM, Microsoft teams, and other video apps. They have transitioned the way of interacting with clients and customers.
The same is the case with the trade shows industry. Organizers have adapted to the latest technologies, allowing them to conduct events. But, the question is how are these tools helping the trade shows industry.
To help you understand, let’s talk about what trade shows events are. Trade shows enable brands and customers to get together face to face in a physical environment. They allow businesses to promote their services and products at places where customers are actively looking for a solution.
Trade shows were going perfectly fine and businesses were generating good leads until 2020 happened. Due to the COVID SOPs, trade shows lost their ability to succeed among businesses because there was no way to conduct meetings.
To help exhibitors meet their potential leads, organizers started integrating digital trade show tools. At first, that was not the perfect solution. But, as technology started advancing, these tools became the new normal.
The future of Trade shows
Now, we can say proudly that these digital tools are here to stay and aren’t going anywhere. The reason is that there are plenty of advantages of these technologies. Let’s move forward and discuss the future of trade shows, without wasting any more time.
Virtual is the future
In response to COVID-19, many trade shows went virtual. And, it seems like it will continue to move forward in this direction. According to the reports by Bizzabo, 93 percent of the industry leaders started investing in virtual technology.
The same report shows that about 97% of the event industry is expecting to see a growth in hybrid events. This means that exhibitors will set up a physical as well as a virtual booth to cater to the queries of the audience.
The reason these numbers are high is the limit of attendees in an event. Let’s be honest, not everyone can afford to attend the trade show event, mainly because of financial/time issues. Virtual events have allowed attendees to attend the event from anywhere in the world, without affecting their pockets. From the exhibitor’s side, they don’t have to invest that much in their booth as they can deliver messages using online platforms. These along with many other advantages are demonstrating that virtual is the future of trade shows.
Trade show technology advances
Another important factor that COVID-19 has changed is the way we interact with people. Back in the day, exhibitors had placed brochures and tags on the booth that contained information about a related product. Attendees used to pick these up and read along. But, now due to social distancing, it cannot be done. Thanks to technologies like RFID and smart USB cards, there is no need to do that. That is because now attendees can place their cards on the booth and can download the required information.
There is no point in setting up a booth at a trade show if you cannot present your product or service. To cater to the pandemic and social distancing, exhibitors are incorporating augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) to give an immersive experience of the show. For instance, medical companies are commonly using VR to allow professionals to test out the product in a hospital room environment.
In 2021 and onwards, we expect to see more cool gadgets and technologies that are solely diverted towards the trade show industry.
More creative market space is becoming the normal
Traditional marketing techniques like simple bill/sign boards are not going to exist in the future. That is because attendees are getting a taste of what it’s like to live in the future because of these new gadgets and tools. To get attention, they should be presented with something that catches the eye and that is what marketers are doing.
For instance, trade shows are integrating 3D signs to present the product to clients who were not originally interested in the service. Another example is interactive panels. This keeps an attendee busy as they can interact and see what the fuss is all about.
Basically, these bright lights, amazing sounds, and unique colors make a booth stand out from the rest of the booths, making passersby attracted to the booth. Seeing the results, creative marketing will surely stay in 2021 and will keep attracting leads for a very long time.
Trade shows will become more specific
The expectation here is not related to any technology or tool. However, it is important and will change the future of trade shows. As technology is advancing, trade events are more likely to host smaller yet more focused events. So instead of marketing to the whole industry, the events will be directed towards a niche to control the crowd size.
This is a perfect opportunity for businesses to connect to new segments and expand their reach within their own market. The important thing here is to keep an eye on new events and consider entering into a niche specified market.
Trade shows events are gearing up for the popularity that they used to have. Exhibitors need to be prepared to make the most out of it. To get back in the game, it is important to follow and keep a check on the latest trends because it will help in standing out from the rest- virtually or in-person.
AladdinB2B has realized the potential of trade show technologies and has developed a modernized trade show app that caters to the needs of exhibitors. To get and learn the services of AladdinB2B, contact the genie by navigating towards the contact’s page.