Post-lockdown Trade Shows: A New Era for Events

It seems strange that not long ago, we were navigating a new world of virtual meetings, waving at loved ones through windows and diligently keeping two metres apart whilst queuing outside a supermarket. And no industry was hit harder than events, particularly for trade shows and exhibitions reliant on filling large spaces with as many people and brands as possible.

After years of adapting to changing guidance and strict, often complicated restrictions, we’re moving into a new era of normality. But how have shows bounced back, and what trends have carried over from the Covid era?

The Return of In-Person Trade Shows

2022 saw a tentative toe-dip back into in-person events for brands and exhibition organisers, but many have managed to pull off a triumphant return. Organisers and attendees have both eagerly embraced the opportunity to connect and showcase products and services. Moreover, the post-lockdown era has highlighted the irreplaceable value of in-person experiences, reminding us of the power of face-to-face, real-time human connection.

Hybrid Events: The Best of Both Worlds

Recognising the benefits of virtual experiences, trade shows have embraced the hybrid model, combining in-person and digital elements. This innovative approach allows for a broader reach and increased accessibility, catering to both on-site and remote attendees. Hybrid events provide the best of both worlds, enabling exhibitors to engage with a global audience while preserving in-person trade shows’ unique atmosphere and personal interactions.

Embracing Digital Transformation

The pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of trade shows, leading to the integration of cutting-edge technologies. Virtual booths, interactive displays, and immersive experiences have become integral to the event landscape. Both organisers and exhibitors are embracing augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), live streaming, and other advanced tools to enhance impact and provide unique experiences for attendees.

Sustainable Practices and Environmental Responsibility

Environmental sustainability has taken centre stage in recent years, and trade shows are stepping up to the challenge. Organisers and exhibitors are adopting sustainable practices, including minimising waste, using recyclable materials, and promoting energy-efficient solutions. In recent years, organisations like isla have provided guidance and frameworks for agencies and brands to manage an event’s environmental impact.

The Future

As trade shows continue to evolve, they offer unique opportunities for networking, collaboration, and showcasing innovative products and ideas. Attendees can look forward to exciting experiences combining the best in-person and digital experiences while embracing a more sustainable and accessible approach to exhibitions.

If you want to get in touch to discuss how we can support your next event or exhibit, contact us: