Ion Exhibits

Pro Tips Blog

What to Expect in Post-Covid Exhibition Industry Recovery

Posted By Susan Johnson
Back to News & Updates

What to Expect in Post-Covid Exhibition Industry Recovery

Fellowes Trade Show Display | Ion ExhibitsExhibitors have been witnessing the return of exhibitions in what is often referred to as the “Post-Covid” era. Until 2022 many companies were sending only top executives and decision makers. Exhibiting companies pulled back on, or postponed, their commitment to show space. Late entry into shows put tremendous pressure on exhibit houses. Shorter lead times could compromise design options and incurring rush charges while they were recovering from staff reductions.

As someone who has travelled extensively nationwide to large convention cities, I can attest to witnessing the resurgence in companies exhibiting and aisles crowded with attendee traffic. So it may help you to be aware of what to expect or what you could encounter as exhibitions continue their strong come back.

WINX Trade Show Exhibit | Ion ExhibitsFewer barriers to interaction. While sanitizing stations remain widespread, mask wearing is optional, seating is less than 6ft apart and the majority of shows are back to installing aisle carpet. This allows buyers and sellers to make more frequent connections.

Delays in show services. During Covid many event service company staffers left for other industries. Freight handling, electrical, labor, and rigging, to name a few, lost knowledge and expertise. Re-staffing is underway but services are struggling. Full recovery remains a process as new hires undergo training and gain experience. Until then, expect uneven and/or extended schedules.

Higher costs. As consumers we’re already familiar with inflationary prices on commodity goods. So it should come as no surprise that businesses are incurring increased costs in interest rates, materials, and labor. These increases trickle down to affect exhibiting prices too.

WR Meadows Trade Show Exhibit | Ion ExhibitsYour company can still benefit from the soaring trajectory of exhibitions, here’s how:

  1. Level up your pre-event promotion. Invite customers, prospects, partners, and press to meet up before, during and after the show. Use whatever it takes - text messaging, social media, email, and phone calls to ensure your message gets through to the people you want to connect with.

  2. Be patient. It may or may not take longer to get the services you need. Continue to schedule services on regular time rates but understand they may slide into overtime. Consider hiring your exhibit house to supervise installation so they can help stay on top of show service vendors.

  3. Look for ways to reduce costs. Save thousands on freight and drayage by using audiovisual monitors and LED tile graphics to tell the story about your large products. Use interactive kiosks to conduct personalized demos. Ask your exhibit house about custom rentals displays to facilitate renewing design, reconfiguring size, and repurposing graphics. If your budget doesn’t increase for inflation, try to reallocate funds from other line items.

As I travel to trade shows around the country, I meet many exhibitors and hope you will one of them. Until then, reach out if I can be of any help.