Global Exhibitions Day 2021 Celebrates Resiliency and Recovery
Global Exhibitions Day, set for June 2, offers an opportunity for the industry to remark about its uncanny resiliency and value, perhaps never more demonstrated than in the past year and a half.
Worth an estimated $551 billion, according to a joint press release sent by Clarion Events and UFI, the global association of the exhibitions industry, trade shows and exhibitions are poised to stage a grand comeback at a time when economies across the world need them most. While in most parts of the world, vaccination news is encouraging and travel restrictions are being lifted, economic recovery is moving at a slower pace. The United States’ latest jobs report proved disappointing, and hotels and other hospitality-related businesses are struggling to fill jobs.
Enter the events industry to re-employ talented workers and spark greater business dealings.
According to UFI officials, “The business events industry is a ‘meta-industry’: It empowers literally each and every industry globally through the marketplaces and meeting places that it operates around the world – from machine tools in Australia to consumer goods in Europe, from construction materials in Asia to consumer electronics in North America.”
Such events are valuable not only for the industries they serve but also for travel and tourism, particularly for host destinations. Revenue generated from visitors and exhibitors has a total impact of $334 billion when factoring in the impact on the organizing companies, venues, travel organizations, restaurants, retail and more.
As some 33,000 exhibitions have been held virtually due to the pandemic, the successful re-start by giants like Clarion, Informa, Reed Exhibitions and Tarsus Group have brought undeniable optimism that events are poised to regain their foothold as invaluable face-to-face experiences where vital business gets done.
Las Vegas reopens on June 1, with World of Concrete to follow soon behind. California, New York and Chicago, buoyed by news that its marquee auto show will occur in July, are near full reopenings as well.
But rather than longing for future events, this year’s Global Exhibitions Day will also be a chance to reflect on the determination of organizations to restart the industry in a safe manner. The world’s leading event companies have developed an industry-wide and medically-vetted approach to safety known as the All Secure Standard, which has been effectively put into practice at shows across the globe this year, allowing the events to occur while promoting positivity and confidence for the exhibitions to follow later this year.
Among the success stories:
• Informa Markets has since seen a strong recovery in China where trade shows have been running since June 2020. CBME, a leading platform for the baby and maternity industry, attracted more than 90,000 visitors.
• Tarsus Group has also seen attendance numbers at recent Chinese shows surpassing pre-COVID levels and just hosted Expo Manufactura in Mexico. Said Emilio Cuervo of Bricos: “It is very important to be at this exhibition because it allows us to be in direct contact with our current and potential clients. The impact of the lack of this event last year was very clear for us as several of our clients and leads are generated by Expo Manufactura.”
• Emerald reinforced the value of in-person gatherings with Surf Expo in January at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Jeremy Serwitz, of PULL Watersports, noted: “We are a ‘touch it, feel it’ retailer — nothing replaces that or the face-to-face relationships with our suppliers.”
• Reed Gift Fairs, Australia’s premier trading platform for buyers and sellers in the gift and homewares industry, occurred in Darling Harbour from April 17-22, drawing more than 8,400 attendees. Said Lee Drury, founder of Glass on the Grass: “I love having buyers and sellers in the same space at the same time, it is electric. As a small business owner who develops their own products, being able to meet with customers face-to-face is critical. And the Reed Gift Fair is the best place to do that.”
• Clarion’s Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show resonated with long-time attendees. “We need the ability to meet with our vendors to see the actual product and work on the artwork that is specific to our location,” said Donna Steakley of Fossil Rim. “We are seeing a huge increase in customers and sales and know how important the face-to-face environment is to be able to write a large amount of orders.