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:
- The CTIA Wireless Association will merge its spring and fall events into one single, larger show beginning in September 2014 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. The fall show has struggled with attendance, even after being renamed and refocused as MobileCON. Initial response to the announcement has been positive from previous exhibitors, citing that it will consolidate efforts and maximize exposure.
- The Craft & Hobby Association will partner with the National Stationery Show to provide co-located education and events during the show at the Javits Center in New York in May. In exchange, the National Stationery Show will provide a stationery and lifestyle products element to the CHA Conference & Trade show in January 2014 in Anaheim.
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.