Trade Show Management Has Changed. Are You Keeping Up?


Trade shows are valuable because they provide a means where companies and organizations can showcase their products and offerings to attendees that are all relevant to their bottom line. It’s why, for many companies, trade shows are the only “marketing” that they do. Why? Because they often provide the largest return on investment.

But the trade show industry has changed. And in order for industry shows to stay viable, trade show managers have to change along with the times as well. Here’s a look at some of the latest trends that are trickling into the trade show playing field and what you, as an event manager, need to be doing to keep your shows successful:

Technology/Social Media

As the good ole’ boys of yesteryear gradually give way to the next generation of professionals in the trades, it’s only natural that these younger professionals are going to bring the technologies and mediums that they’ve grown up on wherever they go. That said, be sure you create Facebook, Twitter and Instagram handles for your trade show so that you can market it via these mediums and interact with companies who are actively using it.

Create a hashtag for your event so both attendees and exhibitors can follow along prior to, during and after the event. On the same note, creating a free app that exhibitors and attendees can download to make the show experience better is often worthwhile.

Help Exhibitors Succeed

Your trade show’s success is only going to be as successful as the leads and sales that your exhibitor’s make at the event. That said, many show managers are investing money in pre-event webinars and training that help exhibitors plan to get the most ROI out of their exhibition at a trade show. These instructional webinars cover everything from trade show booth design to capturing leads.

Listen to Exhibitors

If you’re not already offering attendees and exhibitors a survey to take at the conclusion of your event, start right now. By listening to the thoughts and feedback of those who make your trade show tick, you can gain some valuable insight in the direction that industries are headed in and what exhibitors and attendees are looking for in future trade shows.

As a trade show manager, it’s not enough just to carry out the show logistics. No, you have to dive in and have an actual beat on the industry and determine what things you can implement to continue the show’s track record of success or improve on a show’s lack of success.


In addition to social media marketing and direct mail marketing, as a show manager, you should also absolutely be performing e-mail marketing as well. Younger generations prefer this versus mail marketing. What’s more is that it’s easy and much more affordable than the alternative. So be sure that you have an e-mail marketing plan in place (and that you’re not ignoring mail marketing as well).

The trade show industry is changing and will only continue to change. Are you keeping up with it?


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