We are all used to scenes like this, at the trade shows!
Years ago, people meet at trade shows as they went from stand to stand. They introduced themselves and exchanged information about current products. They saw new trends, learnt about coming innovations. They were fun for both the public and the trade people to go too.
The most critical aspects for a show was the location and the timing. The problem was that it often costs a ton on money to go. I had a client that wanted to go to the Chinese Gift show. He was adding up the costs of airfares, food, transport and lodging. His biggest problem was the timing of the show, which was not convenient for him. For the exhibitor, there was all this plus a lot more costs.
Well even before this pandemic hit, many of these shows were going. This was even before COVID-19 hit. I blame much of this on the internet. If I want to research an industry, I go to google. Why do I have to go to a trade show? Now in business, if it does not pay, people stop coming. This is what has been happening for years now. Attendance in most trade shows has been dropping.
So trade show organisers started experimenting with virtual shows. Results were very dubious. Part of the reason has been the organisers, have been asking for too much money from the exhibitors. Plus most exhibitors felt that Virtual Trade Shows were no substitute for the real thing.
Now there is another problem, COVID-19. This is why we recently got notified of another trade show cancellation, the Reed Gift Fair in Melbourne. It is hardly the only one; exhibitions all over Australia are cancelled.
So now people have to assess whether to make a virtual show or have no show.
It has a lot of benefits.
1. Reduced costs as a virtual show is much cheaper to hold.
2. Much more accessible for people to attend.
3, They can last longer, a suitable venue can only be booked for a short time, virtual shows can last as long as you want.
I saw a recent report, that stated "by 2025 more than 65% of traditional trade shows would be virtual and by 2030 this number will have jumped to 85%. "
So where are we going with this? Well, things are not going to back to normal. Face it, why would you want it to go back? I attended a virtual show recently on a new computer range with AI sensing. These computers promise to be much faster than current computers. I would never have attended as it was *held* in India, but with an internet connection, I could go. I asked questions and saw these computers in operations. I was sold and we intend to be selling them soon.
This is the future of trade shows, virtual!