Concept To Realisation.
Three exhibition trends forecasted for 2020 that can be thrown right out the window!
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2020 was expected to be an exciting year for events and exhibition marketing. New elements with respect to booth design and customer experience were expected to become a part of exhibition marketing. In addition, a lot of new technologies were expected to become a staple at exhibitions and events. However, given the unfortunate circumstances, the forecasted trends are unlikely to translate into reality. All the plans have gone kaput for exhibitors, exhibition organisers, and exhibition stall designers in India and all over the world. Here are three such forecasted exhibition trends that can be thrown out of the window now:

1.   2020 will see more live event participation than ever before

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Events in 2020 were expected to draw in huge numbers. The Dubai expo alone expected to have 25 million attendees. However, most events in the upcoming months stand canceled. Even if we see events being held by the end of this year, the number of attendees will be significantly low. Government regulations, including foreign travel restrictions, are likely to keep the visitor turnout fairly low. In case of exhibitions being held, social distancing norms and public sentiment, too, are likely to reduce visitor turnout. Exhibition stall designers need to think of booth designs keeping in mind the new parameters. They will need to rethink, rework, and redesign booths for maximum efficacy.

Before the pandemic, about 85% of enterprises preferred in-person events with virtual events being considered as something for the future. However, this sentiment is likely to change. Virtual events are expected to take center stage until things go back to normal again, and may become commonplace sooner than expected. Many exhibitors are now turning to innovative premium exhibition agencies to design a virtual booth. Even when traditional events resume, virtual exhibitions will co-exist and provide individuals that couldn’t attend the live event an opportunity to attend them.

2.   Touchscreen technology will be an integral part of interaction and communication

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Touchscreen technology for user-interaction was on the rise. The technology provided an engaging method of interaction for visitors. They were being used for attendee check-ins at the show floor, to individual exhibition booths for providing additional information, to other areas such as self-order stations at cafeterias. But, in the current scenario touchscreen technology is expected to disappear from live exhibitions. With public hygiene awareness, individuals are likely not to interact with shared surfaces such as touchscreen kiosks. It is expected that touchscreen technology will be replaced by other technologies such as voice and gesture-recognition that help individuals carry out the same tasks as before.

3.   Live events will be more social and bring people “closer together”

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Exhibitions were not limited to the show floor. Exhibitions were a ‘bleisure’ opportunity for most attendees. Exhibitors provided clients engaging experiences beyond the exhibition floor. This included organising outdoor activities such as yoga sessions, workshops, guided city tours, and much more that helped create better connections. And this trend was expected to continue. Sadly, exhibition events will now be restricted to purely business purposes. Attendees are likely to spend minimum time at booths and other activities. While individual sessions might continue, we might see group activities might get canceled altogether. So, the experiences that increased socialising and brought people together are expected to stop at least in the foreseeable future.

2020 has not turned out the way we expected it to be for exhibitions and event marketing. But, we can adapt and improvise. Exhibitors, organizers, and exhibition stall designers in India will need to rethink their strategies. The current situation is expected to give rise to new trends altogether. Whatever the case, exhibitions and events marketing will not halt.

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