Graphics companies have been hit hard by the cancellation of events, trade shows, and conferences in 2020. Here are just three steps that event-industry thought leaders and organizations are taking to encourage an event-industry rebound.
Promoting the Economic Impact of Events to Legislators
The Go Live Together coalition is working to ensure that when the COVID-19 health crisis is over, the voices and concerns of the live event industry will be addressed in local, state, and federal recovery funding. Coalition members come from exposition management companies, associations, convention and visitors’ bureaus, event venues, and exhibiting companies.
The coalition contends that events are a massive incubator for innoavtion and economic growth. Recovery funding will not only help the events industry, but the recovery of the economy as a whole.
Go Live Together members are using press releases and infographics to help local, state, and federal lawmakers understand the economic impact of the trade show and events industry. For example, here are some statistics published by Go Live Together.
The trade show and events industry:
- contributes nearly $1 trillion annually to the U.S. economy
- employs 3 million workers,
- pays $130 billion in federal, state, and local taxes.
For more information, visit: https://www.golivetogether.com/
Planning a Three-Phase Comeback
In a post “How and When Will the Events Industry Get Out of This?” event industry strategist Howard Givner compares the comeback from COVID-19 to the event-industry’s comeback from 9/11: “Those of us old enough to have been of working age during the aftermath of 9/11 will attest to the fact that nobody can point to a date or even a period of time when the events industry started to feel ‘fully recovered’ from its effects.”
Givner suggests that the event-industry recovery will occur in three phases:
1) Pure Virtual;
2) Local Events that meet state guidelines for gatherings; and
3) Full-Steam Ahead (with instant on-site testing).
“One good thing to come out of all this is we finally – FINALLY! – have the entire world’s attention on the importance of live events,” writes Givner. Now that live events have been removed from our lives, “Everyone is pining away to attend their next music festival, industry conference, strategy meeting or trade show, to experience all those great things that events offer.”
Gathering Opinions from Corporate Exhibit Managers
An article by Travis Stanton in the June/July 2020 issue of Exhibitor magazine provides insight into when face-to-face marketing might resume.
In Exhibitor magazine surveys of corporate exhibit managers and trade-show suppliers:
- 52 percent predicted the industry won’t return to normal until the second quarter of 2021
- 13 percent said they don’t expect normalcy until 2022
- 5 percent questioned whether trade shows will ever return to business as usual.
One director of event marketing quoted in Exhibitor article pointed out that even if event ROI is difficult to measure, businesses were able to see the overwhelming value lost by event cancellations in 2020.
The full white paper “EXHIBITOR Insight Report: COVID-19’s Impact on the Trade Show Industry“ is available at www.ExhibitorOnline.com/COVID19.