Right now Sales and Marketing professionals all over the world are discussing and planning methods to get back up to speed as quickly and effectively as possible, once we begin to return to the “new normal”. Should that include planning for trade shows in your marketing mix? The answer is YES.
It will take time and patience, determination and resolve, but at the end of the day, your business and our business, along with the exhibition industry, will quickly re-emerge as the same prosperous & productive industry it was only a few months ago. We seem confident? We are.
Trade shows still remain one of the most profitable B2B media strategies, and the best platform to launch new products. They will be back; Here’s why!
Now, the real question is: Will attendees show up? Again, the answer is YES. Start planning your trade show booths for the months to come. We base our assumption on a recent survey done by Enigma Research, with the collaboration of 2 000 live-event attendees*. It is worth the read, but here are our key highlights.
Willingness to return to shows
An overwhelming number of show-goers (94%) answered that they miss live events, including trade shows. Sights and sounds, and energy from the crowds are greatly missed. Can you feel it too? We do miss that energy.
75% of respondents report that they are extremely (or very) likely to head back to trade events once large gatherings resume. However, only 36% mention that they are immediately willing to return to the trade show floor, while the majority will delay their return. A challenge for event organizers in the near future.
Increased safety precautions
You have probably come across a variety of debates regarding the safety precautions, which show and event management should incorporate as they plan to reopen. We each have our opinion on the subject, but the bottom line is that security and comfort is at the center of these debates.
The survey shows us that while increased hand washing and extreme sanitation and cleaning at venues are largely viewed as necessary, attendees are more split on other safety measures. For example, the requirement to wear masks for all attendees. 39% mention that they are more likely to attend, whereas 30% are less likely. Either way, we can be assured that attendees will visit.
The live events of the near future are going to be different, centered around safety. This said, no reason to compromise the exhibitor’s and attendee’s experience. Freeman is offering you a sneak peak of the event of tomorrow; Take a look.
What are trade shows without the travel industry? -From airlines, hotels, travel agencies to restaurants, they have all been impacted by the slowdown of our industry. As some borders are remaining closed, many industries are waiting for the return of business travels.
The survey shows that 68% of trade show attendees would be extremely or very likely to travel to another city for an event. Is this your case? Would you be willing to restart your travels shortly?
You have heard or read multiple opinions on this subject in the past few weeks. Virtual events have been around for many years, but do not seem to get much attention. A worldwide pandemic is certainly a great way to fast forward their popularity.
However, 74% of those surveyed believe alternatives such as live streaming or virtual experiences are poor substitutes for live events.
At Archex, we are part of the 74%. Of course, tradeshows will return in an adjusted and enhanced form. That will translate into hybrid shows, meaning a great balance between a live show and virtual components. These hybrid shows will attract more attendees, the virtual components allowing non-travelers to be present for educational sessions, networking groups, etc. -A perfect blend between physical presence and virtual presence. Dust off your tradeshow display and plan to revamp it; It will shine again soon!
The survey found that a COVID-19 vaccine is not a requirement for attendees to resume their participation in live events. 53% of attendees are willing to return to trade shows before a vaccine is available. However, 17% mentioned avoiding live events before a vaccine is available. Security and health will remain at the hearth of the trade show industry for many months to come.
Our industry today
In the past few weeks, live events have been held here and there in various countries, from China to Germany, and even the United States. Local and international trade shows are in the works. We are watching these events with hope and a little bit of envy. The attendance statistics are good, for example, the Dallas Market Center announced an 85% attendance over last year for one of their live consumer events.**
In a very short time we will be back, busy, better informed, hopefully ready. Now is the time to remain positive about the future, but it is equally important that now is the time to prepare for that moment. Will you be ready?