Trade Shows: Do They Have a Future After COVID-19?

May 27, 2021

COVID-19 has caused many ripples of disaster to spread throughout the world. People are dying, businesses too are dying. Understandably, it can be hard for even the bigger companies to get some marketing done when many are too busy tending to their own safety. Due to the need for social distancing, the wearing of masks, and the heightened sense of alarm over the disease, every large-sized event was under the pressure to cease operations until things got safer. This included conventions of every kind, including trade shows.

But as 2021 came around and there was a rise in optimism about a recovery from the pandemic, trade shows began to reassess whether they should make a reappearance. Some have decided to try. Others are still holding back as the Delta Variant has become more prominent and is infecting people in greater numbers and faster.

The Rise of the Delta Variant and Its Effects

One example of how trade shows in 2021 are now being affected—In February of 2020, one of the year’s early tradeshows known as the Mobile World Congress had chosen to cancel the event due to the potential COVID-19 disaster that could happen with tens of thousands all gathered. It was a wise decision and was one of the earliest cancellations of the year 2020 before others followed.

But as 2021 came around, the Mobile World Congress decided that they were going to go ahead and try having their event in June 2021. They had taken action to be prepared for the pandemic’s effects. Social distancing reminders, mandatory mask-wearing, health questionnaires, facial recognition for touchless contacts, and even mandatory rapid tests that required a negative result. They were taking every measure possible to ensure a safe 2021 Mobile World Congress.

Originally, the people organizing the Mobile World Congress expected 40,000 to 50,000. But when the Delta Variant began taking its toll, the organizers reduced their expectations to around 30,000. In the end, workers on the convention floor estimated that only around 10,000 actually showed up. To give a sense of how much has changed at the Mobile World Congress, the 30,000-person estimate was just a quarter of the usual attendance numbers before the pandemic. That means only roughly a twelfth of original attendance numbers showed up in June 2021.

The Future of Tradeshows in a Pandemic

Things aren’t all doom and gloom, however, for trade shows. The way that trade shows have had to adjust themselves in a pandemic-effected world has opened new doors to how businesses can get the exposure they need, and possibly tap into an even greater audience! Many conventions across the globe have adopted either a hybrid or an entirely online experience, providing a quick and safe way for businesses and consumers to have a look at their products and services. It isn’t perfect, but that’s only because the hybrid and online convention event experience is still young, but the most successful ones thus far may become the ones to establish how the future of trade shows and conventions will look like.

There are benefits to the hybrid and online trade show and convention model—there’s a significantly smaller footprint left behind. Less waste is generated over the course of a hybrid or online event as people don’t have to travel or less materials are needed to be transported to achieve the whole trade show experience. In a world where climate change is pressing down on humanity, this can make for a positive change for all.

Transport All Your Trade Show and Convention Materials with Reliable Couriers

Whether you’re planning a full in-person trade show or a hybrid presentation, Reliable Couriers has the same day trade show delivery services to help with the safe and secure transportation of your trade show and convention materials. Our rush courier services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—whenever you require our services, we’ll make sure to have the right vehicle and bonded driver for your display booths, boxes, and all your other business materials! Give us a call today and receive a free, zero-obligation price quote for your next trade show!