This Week in Exhibit Industry News

This week, the exhibit world gathered in Las Vegas for the annual EXHIBITOR Show. Over the coming days, watch for some new discoveries from the show, but today we have some other industry news to cover.

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research has released a new report on how exhibits fit into the overall marketing budget. The study shows that although spending per exhibition is down, the overall percentage of marketing funds allocated to B2B exhibiting is up.

Chicago has announced new board members for the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), the owner and operating force for McCormick Place. (As of last year, the MPEA no longer operates Navy Pier.) The roster includes leaders from both the business and labor communities, offering a broad base of expertise.

It’s exciting that shows having bigger numbers is becoming more commonplace this year, but here’s one that deserves attention. MAGIC Marketplace, the world’s largest trade show for the retail fashion industry, reports that attendees, exhibitors, and space were all up at last month’s show in Vegas. Both attendees and exhibitors noted an increased energy on the show floor. All of these factors are important because it’s an indicator that the retail industry is recovering.

For those in the trade show business, travel is a major part of the job description. But a recent survey indicates that 62% of business travelers have guilty feelings because of all the time spent away from family, including missing important events.

The recent tornado outbreak across the Midwest and Southern U.S. affected thousands of people and businesses, including many of the hotels and attractions in Branson, MO. Fortunately, injuries were few because it isn’t the busy season — but the peak of storm season coincides with the height of travel season, which could prove a recipe for disaster. Living in the Midwest, I understand the importance of having a storm shelter and disaster plan. Yet there are many venues and event organizers who don’t seem to make that a priority. This should serve as a wake-up call to make it a part of every event planning conversation. You don’t want your trade show to become a casualty of Mother Nature!

Have you developed a safety and disaster plan for your event? If so, please share some tips in the comments below.

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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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