In my 20-plus years of participating in trade shows as an exhibitor, show organizer, and now consultant, I’ve heard all kinds of gloom-and-doom predictions about the industry. When social media came on the scene a decade ago, people were saying that trade shows would die because everyone could get all the same benefits online. But the truth is … you can’t.
And so here we are, well into the 21st century, and trade shows (at least many of them) are thriving and even causing convention centers to expand to accommodate the growing crowds. Why is that?
Here’s a great infographic I found that spells out why trade shows still work. (NOTE: Some of the specific percentages may have changed since the graphic was created by Stroud & Associates, but the overall principles still apply.)
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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.