Planning and Logistics


Published on Mar 30, 2021 9:55:20 AM


why trade shows are business staples-1


For years, trade shows have been a staple in the success of businesses across the world. They have planted seeds for growth and given businesses a chance to flourish. In some cases, certain trade shows have been annually allowing the world to trade on their show floor for 50 or more years. When a pandemic interrupted the many consecutive years that countless trade shows had been in business, it was only a matter of time until these large events found their way back to fruition.

The trade show industry has done everything it could to find its way back. As exhibitors, trade show hosts, buyers, and sellers made as much peace as they could with the unfortunate result of canceled trade shows in 2020 and the beginning of 2021, they’ve begun to find ways to step back onto the trade show floor in a safe way.

While we can all expect new precautions, rules, and safety limits to create an unfamiliar aspect at trade shows compared to how we once knew them, there are numerous things that we can expect to remain the same.


Here are 5 things that haven’t gone anywhere when it comes to trade shows as we know them!


1. Real-life connections are still at the core of creating business relationships


One major aspect of trade shows that hasn’t gone away is the power of connecting with people on a more personal level. In fact – if we have learned anything over the past year while social distancing, it’s that people thrive on face-to-face connections.

Speaking in-person has the benefit of helping relationships grow much quicker through trust and organic connections. This is why there is no better avenue of communication than in-person. Creating connections with those who have a great interest in the products or services that your business offers is one of the key advantages of exhibiting at trade shows.

Since a majority of people prefer to work closely and trust those they are familiar with, it makes trade shows an ample opportunity for building strong business connections with current and future customers and partners.



If your Band is not a part of their Conversation, Your Brand will not be part of their Buying Process.

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2. Exhibitors can still generate interest through experiences


A slight change we may see is that those who attend trade shows in the immediate future will likely be extremely qualified buyers with very specific intentions for attending shows. With this condensed audience of high-quality leads, it’s the perfect time to make your business stand out through a great brand experience. Implementing an attractive booth, a personable booth staff, and creating ways for your audience to interact with your products and services will give you a one-up on your competition. Since you have the attention of prospects who are likely already interested in your business, it will just be a matter of convincing them that you’re the best fit for their needs.

Demonstrations, immersive experiences, rewards, discounts, and interactive learning are all great ways to resonate with your target audience and become more memorable to them.





Trade shows will remain an even playing field for both small and large companies. Having the opportunity to be on the same trade show floor as large competitors gives businesses a more even playing field. With 91% of trade show attendees (most of whom have great buying power) looking to buy new products, it allows for great potential for every exhibitor to grow their business.

A tip for smaller exhibitors – this is where it becomes important for smaller businesses to choose the right shows with their most relevant target audience combined with a powerful exhibit. Attending fewer shows may be worth it if you’re able to put more of your budget into a show – or a few key shows – that are going to offer the greatest conversion rates.


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4. Attendees will still appreciate eye-catching exhibits


Nothing will have changed about the tactics that are needed to entice trade show attendees to step inside a booth. With so many booths to wander through, having an eye-catching exhibit that people notice from a distance will be extremely important.

It has always been important to create powerful graphics combined with a unique display, making attendees feel inclined to step inside for more information. This idea of appealing to people’s senses has not gone away.


Why trade shows are here to stay - booth design





5. People will still attend trade shows for the main reason of seeing and experiencing new products


For the last 25 years, the leading reason to attend trade shows has been to see and experience new products. With a large majority of attendees having the buying power to purchase new products, this makes trade shows a continued, ample way to gain exposure to high-quality buyers.

Launching new products, growing brand awareness, and creating authority in the industry can still all be done at trade shows. There’s no better way than in-person to influence big decision-makers who are looking for products just like yours.

Although it may be difficult for businesses to get back on their feet as trade shows resume, it’s important to keep in mind that not attending trade shows where many competitors are present, could hinder your business’s growth. With no presence at trade shows, this means that you may not even be considered as an option to a buyer if they meet and are impressed by other companies at a trade show that you could have attended as well.

Contact us to get back into the trade show world and start creating an exhibit that will leave a lasting impression for some of your most qualified buyers.


This article was initially published in


Topics: Booth Design for Trade Shows, Trade shows, trade show attendees, trade show strategy

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number one
81% of trade show attendees have buying authority.  Which means more than 4 out of 5 people walking the aisles are potential customers for exhibitors.  Source:  CEIR: The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit Into The Overall Marketing Budget
 number two

78% of trade show attendees travel more than 400 miles to attend an exhibition, which means you are getting a national audience at many trade shows.  Source:  CEIR report ACRR 1153.12
 number 3

99% of marketers said they found unique value from trade shows they did not get from other marketing mediums.   Their 3 most valued aspects of trade shows were:  60% of exhibitors said they value the ability to see lots of prospects and customers at the same time; 51% of exhibitors said they value face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers, and 47% said they value the ability to meet with a variety of players face to face, such as customers, suppliers, resellers, etc.   Source:  CEIR: The Changing Environment of Exhibitions
 number 4
The top 3 goals for exhibitors at trade shows are brand awareness, lead generation, and relationship building.  Source:  Skyline Exhibits market research
The average attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing trade show exhibits at a show or exhibition.  That gives you plenty of opportunity to connect with your target audience.  Source:  Exhibit Surveys, Inc.
About 50% of the largest 200 shows in the USA take place in just 3 cities: Las Vegas, Chicago, and OrlandoSource:, The Trade Show News Network
number 5 copy
Average drayage rates have increased 488% from 1982 to 2010.  Average drayage rates have gone from $12.68 per hundredweight in 1982 to $74.54 in 2010 – a 488% increase.  Meanwhile, the % of Exhibit Design on the average budget has gone from 21% of the overall budget in 1982 to only 10% in 2010.  The savings on drayage, (and shipping, storage, I&D, and refurbishing) from modular exhibit systems (that weight 60% less than traditional custom exhibits) and portable displays have helped keep trade shows affordable for many exhibitors.   Source:  CEIR / E2MA
number 6
83% of exhibitors agreed that “Building, expanding brand awareness” is a high-priority marketing-related objective for trade shows.  The next two objectives tied at 63%: “New product promotions, launches” and “Brand awareness reinforcement.”  Source:  CEIR Changing Environment Study
 number 7
The top 3 sales-related objectives at trade shows are related to relationship management and engagement.  Above all else, exhibitors want to meet with existing customers, key customers, and prospective customers.  Source:  CEIR Changing Environment Study
67% of all attendees represent a new prospect and potential customer for exhibiting companies.  This means trade shows are always rich in new business targets for you.  Source:  Exhibit Surveys, Inc.
number 8
45% of attendees visit only one exhibition per year.  So when you exhibit at a show you will find unique prospects there you can’t reach at other trade shows.   Source:  CEIR Report ACRR 1152.12
The #1 reason for attending (not exhibiting) trade shows is to see new products.  92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new products.  It has been the number one reason to attend for 25 years!  So trade shows are a great place to introduce or feature your newest products.   Source:  CEIR: The Role and Value of Face to Face
number 9
46% of trade show attendees are in Executive or Upper Management.  That’s a lot of valuable attendees with top titles walking trade shows.  They certainly have authority to make buying decisions!   Source:  CEIR: The Role and Value of Face to Face
number 10
84% of exhibitors say “High quality of attendees” is the most important factor when deciding whether to exhibit or expand booth size.   Also, 54% say “favorable return-on-investment,” is an important factor when deciding to exhibit or expand booth size, while 50% consider “Positive."