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Are Trade Shows Still Relevant?

It can be seen that there has been a significant decline in trade show events in recent years, largely due to the pandemic, leading to the assumption that the era of trade shows is coming to an end. However, in reality, it is quite the opposite, with 95% of exhibitors preferring to attend in person events as opposed to those in the virtual world*. In this article we shall look at what the future holds for trade shows and the level of truth surrounding their decline.

It has been found that the impact of digitisation is the second most important issue facing the exhibition industry, as shown in figure 1. The pandemic resulted in the rise of virtual events, solely reliant on computer screens and media sharing platforms, but it appears that the future of this sector is shifting towards a hybrid alternative, combining elements of traditional communication with that of modern technology.


Statista Most imporant issues facing the exhibition industry worldwide - Are trade shows still relevant?

Figure 1

For instance, a virtual environment cannot replicate the sensory cues present in an exhibition hall as well as tangible elements such as physical interaction and engagement. It has been found that 92% of trade show attendees have stated that their main reason for attending a trade show is to witness and experience new products in their industry**, which currently remains difficult to achieve in a virtual setting. In spite of this, virtual features should not be neglected as they can be used in collaboration with physical trade shows as part of an overriding marketing strategy. Technological components such as social media advertising are essential in today’s market in order to generate interest and excitement around an event, demonstrating a new, collaborative approach to the future of trade shows in which virtual elements will be used to enhance in-person events.

Virtual Exhibition Article Graphic - Are trade shows still relevant?

However, although trade shows can still be considered as relevant, another issue that is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society is that of sustainability, which is a challenge facing the exhibition industry. Thousands of tonnes of waste can occur as a result of the physical factors of this sector and it is vital that reducing this number is seen as a collective goal for the industry in order for it to move forward and progress with the times.

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Showplace is proud to uphold various standards regarding sustainability in order to maintain eco-friendly practices throughout the planning and execution of an indoor exhibition stand. For example, the aluminium structure of the stands is 100% recyclable and the tension fabric graphics can be reused multiple times until they are no longer required, in which they can then be recycled.

Showplace has been creating and building stunning designs for indoor exhibitions, events and conferences for over 30 years. We believe that there is a bright future for the trade show industry and we look forward to continuing to work with an array of clients across all sectors within the UK and Europe, using our expertise to ensure that clients can effectively communicate their brand, products and services in order to stand out from the crowd.


For more information about Showplace, please call 01789 333 950 or email


*Display Wizard Covid-19 Trade Show Report 2022

**Display Wizard Trade Show Exhibitor Report 2022

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