The future of trade shows is a topic that has been explored by many. The question: Do trade shows still matter in 2022?
The answer is yes. Trade shows can be an effective way to reach your target audience and introduce them to new products and services. But you need to know how to use them effectively.
Trade shows are not the same as they were in the past. They’ve evolved into events where people can interact with brands, try out products, and get information about new developments in their industry.
You might think that social media has made trade shows obsolete, but this just isn’t true. Social media is good for some things (like building brand awareness) but not others (like getting people into your booth or communicating new product launches).
So what do you need to know about trade shows that will help you make them work well for your business? Let’s take a look!
The Evolution of the Trade Show
Although the trade show industry has existed for longer than any of us have been alive, it’s still changing every year. It’s safe to say that the trade shows of today are different from those of yesteryear. Just compare one of the first trade shows in history with a contemporary show—one took place by a river in ancient Greece, while another might happen at an exhibition center in China. The difference between these two is more than just location:
- The venues themselves have changed over time. As mentioned above, many early trade shows were outdoors and/or fairly temporary in nature. Today, they’re often held in exhibition centers or convention halls that dedicate permanent space to hosting such events.
- The length of time that a typical trade show lasts has also changed over the years. In ancient Egypt and Greece, many trade shows would last for weeks or even months at a time; as our economies evolved and sped up, so did our attention spans—it’s not uncommon nowadays for an event to last only three days or less!
- Finally, consider how many attendees come out to a particular event on average: whereas once upon a time, hundreds or thousands would flock together down by their local riverfronts during the trading season, now millions can attend some events each year!
Trade Shows Over 2022
As the world recovers from the pandemic and we all return to our “normal” lives, there are three trends that will likely emerge:
- Trade shows will become more focused on end-users. Their main goal will be to attract customers and give them a space to try products, ask questions, and engage with brands. Trade shows will also be held at larger venues, allowing for greater attendance and more space between exhibitors.
- The number of trade shows per year will increase as companies recover financially from 2020 and 2021. They’ll want to increase their marketing efforts in order to build brand awareness and get an idea of what other companies are doing in their respective industries.
- As consumers gradually become more comfortable attending in-person events again, there will likely be an explosion of new trade show concepts that take advantage of this opportunity for interactivity. These new concepts could include educational opportunities (think TED Talks), virtual reality experiences within booths, interactive games, or competitions between exhibitors—the sky is really the limit here! You can visit the Exhibits NW website to learn more about the latest trends in trade show exhibitions.
Why Do Trade Shows Matter?
- Trade shows allow attendees to experience a brand’s product or service first-hand. The opportunity to touch a product, see it in action, and speak with an employee about its features creates a memorable experience that can’t be replicated online.
- Engaging in face-to-face conversations allows you to build lasting relationships with potential and current customers. You may also spark partnerships with other businesses as well as new ideas that can help your company reach the next level.
- Trade shows give you the ability to establish your brand’s voice and personality, further strengthening customer loyalty.
- It’s one thing to read about a new product online; it’s another thing entirely to be able to engage with that product at a trade show event. This will help you build anticipation for your latest service or gadget among industry experts and consumers alike. If you’re looking for effective ways to launch your newest baby, then look no further than attending the next big trade show event!
- A trade show is an ideal place for all kinds of networking opportunities, from meeting like-minded brands who have similar interests and goals as well as meeting investors who are eager to support innovative ideas they come across on the floor of the convention center!
Types of Trade Shows in 2021 and 2022
Trade shows are classified in several ways. They can be categorized according to their industry, the region they serve, the venue where they are held, and the attendance they draw (exhibitors and attendees).
Trade shows that serve a specific industry include:
- Industrial trade shows
- Automotive trade shows
- Aerospace/aviation trade shows
- Agricultural trade shows
Geographically defined trade shows include:
- A regional trade show that serves a certain geographic area like North America or Europe. These might also be known as national or international events.
- Local/citywide trade show, serving a local city or metropolitan area. May sometimes be called regional events by those who live in smaller towns and regions.
How to Prepare for a Trade Show in 2022
Preparing for a trade show is an important process. You want to make sure that when you’re planning, you have a good plan in place. One of the things to consider is whether or not it’s a good idea to hire a professional to help you plan your trade show. What works for one company might not work for another company, so it’s important to figure out what kind of plan will work best for your needs and goals.
The bottom line is that preparing for a trade show takes time, but it can be worth the effort if you make sure that everything goes according to plan and ends up being successful for everyone involved.
Keep your eyes open for new, effective ways to engage an online audience.
One of the most important lessons you can learn in adapting to an online context is that “compelling copy” isn’t going to cut it. You need to create an experience for your audience—one that holds their attention and gets them excited about what you have to offer.
It’s one thing to create an engaging experience for a live audience; it’s another thing entirely when doing so remotely. The trick is finding creative ways of communicating with people who aren’t physically present while still crafting the same kind of intimate connection.