The trade show industry is a large marketing tool like no other. Yet, after the pandemic shuttered many events in 2020, those in the industry expect 2021 to be an impressive year, making trade show printing services even more important than ever.
The trade show industry was valued at $15.58 billion in 2019. Then, the pandemic hit. That led to a sharp decline in the industry to a value of $5.6 billion. While it may take some time to reach pre-pandemic levels, most experts in the industry expect to see impressive improvements in the 2021 season.
One key change that helped many organizations maintain operations, to some degree, in 2020 was the pivot to virtual events. Trade shows, and conferences alike, had no choice but to explore new methods to connect with “attendees”. From Zoom-like events to on-demand seminars, the move allowed organizations to continue to engage with buyers and sellers. What’s to come? How will the 2020 season impact this year and future years?
Trade Show Industry Come Back in 2021
As the pandemic seems to cool off, many organizations are looking at making a comeback in 2021. Every organization and trade show group will need to make their own decision about when the right time to come back is and how to do so.
Yet, as important as the industry is, some organizations have already announced plans to get back into in-person events. In cities like Las Vegas, where trade shows are a key component of the economy, there are promising signs of a resurgence, with venues beginning to book space at a rapid rate, though not quite at pre-pandemic levels.
One of the first groups to announce a comeback was the World of Concrete. World Education Congress, VDTA – SDTA International Trade Show and Convention, and Sweets & Snacks Expo have all made note of their plans to return this summer. The Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show, USA CBD Expo, and the Vision Expo East are also on the books to return this summer. Many, many others are set to go as well.
Many industries are making a move back into the trade show format. Some of them include:
- Healthcare trade shows – ENDO 2021, AACR Annual Meeting, and the American Transplant Congress events are all scheduled.
- Pharma trade shows – Clinical Lab Expo – AACC, American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering are all signed on to go.
- Wholesale distribution trade shows – Many events on the books for this industry, including the Mississippi Market Wholesale Show, GlobalShop 2021, and the Southern Association of Wholesale Distributors are planning events.
- Financial trade shows – Events such as the American Council of Life Insurers, the SIFMA 2021 Operations Conference & Exhibition – Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors are all hosting events.
- Associations related trade shows – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Expo, International Convention of Allied Sportsfishing Trades, and the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition.
These are just a small sampling of the many events that are likely to take place in 2021. While many groups are scheduled to get underway in early summer, there are many organizations that are planning for the fall months, which means they are confident that they can hold such events indoors.
Considerations – What Should You Expect?
There are a lot of changes to expect for the 2021 trade show events. Many organizations are taking steps to reduce risks while not taking away from the actual quality and impressions of the events. Finding new and creative strategies to reach people is a likely first step, and that means working with the best in trade shows printing and conference printing.
What types of changes can you expect to see? There are several key areas:
Health and Safety Measures
By far, this will be a big focus of such events. Because trade shows bring in such a large gathering of people and do so indoors, taking extra steps to minimize health risks and improve health standards is critical.
Many venues have put in place new strategies, including using professional cleaning companies that are working to minimize pathogen transmission. Trade show organizations, convention venues, and resorts themselves have taken a hit from the pandemic. They are likely to do whatever they can to remain operational by minimizing any risk to health and safety. This may include more frequent and deep cleaning, as well as the use of more professional services for minimizing exposure to employees.
Using Guidance for Organizing Large Events and Gatherings
Many organizations will still turn to local government organizations, health departments, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on managing events. That includes organizations handling the planning of events as well as those in attendance. It will be, by far, a time of changing rules and strategies. While the ultimate goal is not to slow down any event, there may be changes over time as conditions change or outbreaks continue to happen.
Many countries around the world are still limiting travel. Even in the U.S., where anyone can travel, there are still limitations on available flights and concerns about the development of hotspots. From an international perspective, organizations will need to rely on changing data as well, often at the last minute.
When it comes to travel restrictions, it may be important for those attending trade shows to book their events and travel plans early on to ensure they have availability. If airlines must limit the number of people flying, this could be a key concern.
One of the most impactful ways that trade shows are likely to be in flux heading into the heavy season is related to capacity. These events often attract thousands of people, but the number of people allowed within these spaces may change. In some locations, this will be based on the requirements set by the local health departments. Other times, it may relate to the venue’s changes in operations to meet health guidelines.
Are You Prepared for Your Trade Show?
Another key expectation for the trade show industry is a fast coming online. That is, organizations may begin to rapidly get these events scheduled, even with little notice, as conditions improve. That means organizations planning to attend simply have to be ready to go now.
That means getting all of your trade show and conference printing services in place now. That includes everything from your organization’s trade show banners to the flyers you plan to hand out. You’ll need to work hard with managed print services conferences like these often rely on months in advance. Now, you may need to get set up faster with less time for planning and management of the process.
Now is the time to start thinking about every component of your trade show printing and design needs, including:
- Booth development
- Marketing collaterals and materials
- Promotional giveaways
- Booth staff uniforms and clothing
If you did not invest in trade shows last year, but you’re ready to consider event print services to help you now, find an organization that’s ready to go. Work with them to create a branded, effective, and impressive display for your group today. Remember, everyone else is coming back strong, and you’ll need to do the same thing.
Ready to Get Started?
Some organizations, such as Premier Print Group, are ready to help you get your trade show printing and conference printing needs met right away so you can be a part of these organizations as they begin to be scheduled. As noted, most trade shows are getting set up as they are allowed based on local health requirements and changing circumstances. That means you may have less time than normal to get set up.
Our team at Premier Print Group is ready to help you today. We are your go-to resource for trade show and event print and promotional needs. We’ll work with you closely to ensure you can pull off a stunning trade show that reaches your most likely customers in the best light possible. The good news is we offer some of the best materials and innovative solutions to help you bring any idea or plan to life.
We’re professionals having served the industry for a long time. As a result, we’ve worked out the clinks and are easy to work with, making it that much easier for you to get your event planned and set up in no time. We’ll send off your completed materials in advance of the trade show with all mailing and shipping options to choose from, ensuring the very best outcome possible.
Take a closer look at our online storefront for custom branded promotional materials and items to help you get an idea of what we can do to help make this a successful trade show season.