The Return of Trade Shows

March 30, 2022

On with the Show.

Before the pandemic, there were two things you could always count on, year after year: taxes and tradeshows. One of the two was actually something to look forward to. But as the world began to shut down, trade shows were among the first of the dominoes to fall as safety took precedence over face-to-face contact. Business went on, but not as usual.

Time persevered, and we’ve finally started to make it out the other side. Mandates loosened and lifted as the world gradually became vaccinated and boosted. And while it’s still not business as usual, and might never be again, things are finding their way back to some semblance of normal. And as the saying goes, the show must go on. So now that trade shows are back, what’s changed? What do you need to know, and how can you get the most out of your next show?

The rise and fall, and rise again.

In 2019, the US B2B trade show market was worth 15.58 billion U.S. dollars. As Covid-19 became more prevalent, tradeshows saw a sharp decline, dropping to 5.6 billion dollars in 2020. Now, nearly two years later, trade shows are seeing a rebound. While attendance is lower than pre-pandemic numbers, it’s slowly growing as experts project the market to grow back to nearly 14 billion dollars by 2024.

Is lower attendance a bad thing?

The growth of attendees is gradual, and while there are more shows planned for 2022 and beyond, many professionals are still hesitant to travel and gather in large crowds. But is lower attendance enough to drive you away from upcoming shows? Not necessarily. More to wit, it might actually be an advantage. Given the obstacles potential attendees might face, those who do invest their time and money to go to a show are there for a reason. In addition to fewer attendees, there are also fewer booths at most shows. That means attendees are likely to spend more time at your exhibit, engaged in productive conversations that become qualified leads. Lower attendance could be a great opportunity to capitalize on deeper, more lucrative exchanges.

Laclede Chain is back at it.

2022 is a year of new starts, and triumphant returns, and Laclede Chain has been back out in the wild making valuable connections and spreading the word about the American drive that continues to drive America. We proactively seek to understand our customers and their needs on a deeper level, for stronger relationships; it’s how loyalty is born and built. Meeting with our partners face-to-face allows us to form relationships as strong as the links we forge. Kicking off February, we joined vendors from across the country at the Wheatbelt trade show, bookending the month in Orlando at the Orgill Spring Buying Event. The floor was full of great people looking to connect, and it was nice to get out and stretch our legs a bit. With spring and summer just around the corner, we’re just getting warmed up. Our April is filling up with a trip to Houston where we’ll join more than 60+ vendors at the AWRF Spring General Meeting.

Are you joining us this year? There’s never been a better opportunity to make meaningful connections in person, and as the tradeshow season really kicks off, now is the time to register and plan for your next show.

To learn more about Laclede, and where we’re going this year, reach out to one of our dedicated team members. We’ll see you at the shows!