Weekly News & Insights: A Peek Into the Future of Trade Shows

These days it often seems that the future of trade shows is paved with partnerships. Many shows are either co-locating or combining forces in order to reach a larger audience. Two recent such combos:

Meanwhile in India, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Although it had been touted as the largest-ever exhibition in the nation, the Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show — which lasted for six days — failed to draw the anticipated crowds. The show featured 14 pavilions ranging from engineering, textiles, tourism, mining and jewelry.

So where do trade shows go from here? The ASAE Foundation, Exhibition Industry Foundation, Gaylord Entertainment, and PCMA Education teamed up to commission a study of trends and have now released their report, Scenarios of the Future: Convention Exhibits and Trade Shows of 2016. The research was conducted over a year and included face-to-face and online discussions with both industry and non-industry professionals, exhibitors and attendees. The report outlines Five Scenarios for the Future, Four Essential Elements to Create an Unrivaled Experience, Top 10 Takeaways for Updating Your Exhibits Plan, and Key Questions to Ask to Determine if You’re on the Right Track. The complete report can be accessed as a PDF on the PCMA site.

You know trade shows must be on the rise when full-service meeting management company HelmsBriscoe announces an expansion into the world of exhibits and hires industry veteran Adam Schaffer to steer the effort. Schaffer was previously the publisher of Tradeshow Week.

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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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