The year of 2020 will go down in the history books, not only for the
devastation of the pandemic but
the vast number of processes to quickly adapt to the ever-changing
challenging environment. It was a
year of reflection, the digital revolution, a year of remote working.
Businesses had queried whether office space was worth the rent when
most, if not all of their
employees were working from home. Or, the number of advantages of
virtual audiences for a whole
host of events had been questioned, changing perspectives and paving the
way to a new normal. But
if there is one thing that has been truly missed… face-to-face
exhibitions and trade shows are at the
top of that list.
The absence of face-to-face exhibitions
Exhibitions are a powerful platform for businesses throughout a number
of different sectors. It is a
chance to come together with similar professionals and share
information, promote your business
and liaise and build communication with potential prospects.
The UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) website
identifies there are around
32,000 exhibitions per year globally. With this includes 4.5 million
exhibiting businesses and over
303 million attracted visitors per year, with a combined spend of over
£104 billion. That is a major
industry that is vital to the economy.
Exhibitions have kept with the curve and moved to virtual experiences
due to the pandemic. While
there has been a number of positives from this, including being able to
attend from your living room,
reduced travel cost and less strain on the environment – exhibitions
haven’t had the same positive
experience that they are used to.
The importance of face-to-face
If 2020 has highlighted anything, it would be the importance of
face-to-face communication at exhibitions. A physical event brings
business and consumer together on a different level. It’s more informal
and you can draw from prospects reactions. Face-to-face relations create
a lasting relationship and a more hands-on solution with your consumers
– which in turn converts to higher customer retention.
Another missed opportunity for face-to-face exhibitions is the
opportunity to understand your
competitors. The chance to collect important research of consumer
reactions, working methods,
marketing inspiration etc… of the competing businesses. This gives you a
clear view of where you are
doing well and the areas you may need to improve.
If you find your business/ service more of an ‘in the moment’ feature;
you desire that traffic of
people walking past your stall and thinking ‘Oh yeah, I need that!’.
Face-to-face gives you this
opportunity which was hard to convert to a virtual experience; we found
out this the hard way at DPRTE’s 2020 event back in September.
Face-to-face gives exhibitors and visitors… professionals and amateurs
the chance to learnt new
information, market trends, draw from other people’s stories and liaise
with likeminded people in
their chosen sectors. That time and information are invaluable. As much
you try to convert this over
to a virtual experience; nothing beats the paybacks you get from being
there in person.
The current state
The current climate is still in a risky state at the moment but the
success of the vaccine rollout has
brought new hope as the way out of this pandemic. It is still hard to
plan ahead or know what is
going to happen but we are hoping there will be a return to face-to-face
exhibitions still this year;
even if it is more towards the end of the year.
We know many businesses will be in the same position hoping for their
steady return. Face-to-face
exhibitions are a vital part of a lot of industries; especially in
manufacturing as it is a way of
showcasing products to a new network of prospects.
If you have any questions about the products that we hope to display in
exhibitions this year you can
call a member of our friendly team on +44 (0) 208 568 1881 or email