SO long as exhibitors need sales, attendees need solutions and organizers want to bridge these needs, trade shows are likely to remain viable, BUT …
I wonder if you have noticed your world changing. The old way of doing things does not quite seem to work and what to do next is not exactly clear.
However, one thing that is more clear than ever is that our needs have not changed and fulfilling them in increasingly challenging, for all three stakeholders; exhibitor, organizer and attendee.
You might be thinking either; I wish this was easier or that I knew how to make it easier. While we are as unsure as anyone, based on our exhibitor, organizer and attendee interviews, our working hypothesis could be contained in a single word- engagement.
A very interesting word, so much so that I would encourage you to take a minute look to up the word engage on your smart phone; it has over 10 meanings. A few of the meanings apropos to our discussion are:
To interlock with or cause to come into frictional driving contact
To be a part of it
If we were to construct a sentence with these concepts it might be …
Trade shows are a promise that drives solutions by bringing everyone, buyers, sellers ad speakers into contact with each other.
If we were to recast our participation strategy in this framework … what might we do differently …