Each year (until 2020), U.S. businesses spent $24 billion to exhibit at trade shows.
According to American Express Global Business Travel, trade shows and conferences remained the most popular type of business meeting. In fact, 93% of marketers back in 2019 felt optimistic about using trade shows for face-to-face marketing, with 40% of exhibitors following up on leads within 5 days.
Face-to-face business meetings, local networking events, and press conferences also played a significant role in marketing in our pre-pandemic world.
And then covid-19, the novel coronavirus, struck.
The pandemic shut down many American businesses and made face-to-face marketing – not to mention in-person sales meetings or even working in an office with your colleagues – virtually impossible for many months.
Today, we continue to struggle with social distancing measures, the need for masks in public settings, and limits on how many people can gather in a space.
Even CES, the world’s gathering place for consumer technology, is going virtual. We were all shocked to find out the giant Las Vegas technology show, a highly anticipated event each year, will join the world of virtual event productions in 2021.
The pandemic is not going away.
And neither is virtual event production.
Virtual business meetings, virtual press conferences, and virtual and hybrid gatherings will be the new way of making connections.