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Trade Shows: What’s the Difference?

Trade Shows: What’s the Difference?

2 May 2019
Author: Jasmine Waters

London, Paris, Amsterdam… choosing where to visit when it comes to trade shows is never an easy subject to navigate. As luck would have it, the Anton Dell team are seasoned professionals when scouting out the ‘best of the best’ of the show scene. So what hits, misses and differences can we expect to see next season?

What show is right for me?

For any visitor or exhibitor, the first important thing to consider and research is what sort of audience your chosen trade show is inclined to attract. Paris and Berlin shows tend to bring in a broader international audience, while shows in places such as Italy cater more to showcasing ‘homegrown’ brands. It’s also beneficial for attendees to assess what they think a show can do for them, perhaps getting advice from previous visitors and keeping up to date on social media to see what the atmosphere might be like. Equally as important is taking into account global ‘differences’ – for example, trade shows in the USA will more often than not have a larger focus on selling, whereas the visitor experience may feel somewhat secondary.  For the Anton Dell team, some standout shows last season include Maison et Objet, with a great combination of home, giftware and fashion, an extremely modern exhibition centre and a lot of noticeable care and attention directed towards buyers. Modefabriek also rates highly with the team, attracting a high percentage of buyers from both Holland and Belgium, again with updated and new facilities.

What are other show differences?

As we are all well aware, trade shows seem to be in a state of constant jeopardy. Numbers across many events are dwindling, with shows such as MAGIC in Las Vegas downsizing to one centre after previously occupying five. What many shows (both in Europe and the USA) do have in common are smaller issues that may add up to creating the bigger problem. Many of the shows are not well curated with very few similar products together, a low number of areas to rest, and services such as food often not living up to the potential they could easily have. Exhibition fees are also common, although some American shows only require you to prove your profession, arguably making them more accessible. There are signs of shows making an effort to offer more to visitors, providing additional advice consultation services, presentations and talks with independent consultants on buying tips and new retail trends. Having said this, very few new exhibitors are offered advice and information on how they can attract visitors to their stands. This asks the question: do exhibitors only ‘seem’ to care about selling space, rather than providing a real service to exhibitors and visitors?

When considering attending a trade show, many of the problems that exist in the industry as a whole can be seen at most, if not all, shows that currently make up the circuit – there is no ‘dramatic’ difference. Find out what works well for you and stick to it, and we’ll see you next season!


Photo credit: www.edfenergy.com 

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