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International exhibitions hold a significant authority as a tool for businesses to register growth in sales and their reach in new geographic markets. The business trip has been a tool in the arsenal of the smart businessperson since the invention of the train and it’s travelling for business that has given birth to the professional accommodation industry. For something as old as the trade fair, we have to ask why it’s still popular and where is it headed now that the world is connected more than ever through video streaming, social media and emails.

Why Do People Still Feel the Need to Attend Live Events?

Consider live events to be the Internet of your industry condensed to the fairgrounds of a single location. Among the chief reasons to attend is the immediate access to latest industry news as is the opportunity to meet with partners and customers face to face. Building relationships in such a setting is the foundation for longevity in any industry. However, there are prohibitive costs to such travel and you’re not guaranteed that the invested capital is going to lead to increase in sales leads or any valuable contacts.

The Classification of Exhibitions and Trade Fairs

Among the great diversity of live events across multiple industries, you find a common thread to group most events into two categories - business-to-business events and business-to-consumer events.

Business to business is known as B2B events are only open to industry professionals. The objective with this category is simple – managing the supply and demand within a specific industry further up the production process. Yes, products and services remain a focal point, but visitors here come with the intention to grow their professional networks. Long-lasting partnerships carry a significant value within the program’s framework. These events tend to be more specialized and it’s far more possible to get last minute hotel deals at good prices.

Business to consumer is abbreviated to B2C and these events are the kind of trade fairs that most people are familiar with since exhibitors showcase finished products meant for end consumers. All the home appliances and personal technology expos fall in this group. Access is given to both the industry insiders as well as the general public. It’s sales numbers here that motivate exhibitors and product launches are often the star feature. Attendance here tends to be much higher, so it’s best to get travel packages as early as possible to achieve savings.

What Are the Vital Issues Before the Global Exhibition Industry?

As easily accessible as air travel and modern communication technology have made live events to be, there are still fundamental challenges that pose threat to the growing global exhibition industry. In recent years, a study has polled companies who participate in trade fairs to identify the biggest issues for the exhibition industry. Results show that 25% of the respondents name the state of the economy in the home market as a huge barrier and cause for uncertainty. This is also coupled with 16% citing global economic developments as another big cause. Outside the economy, there’s the 21% of companies who place the risk of competition within the industry to make business travel of this kind as financially unfeasible.

How Does This Affect Changes in Spending on Corporate Events?

On a global scale, things are looking up as the global growth forecast on spending for corporate events track a five-year increase in spending over the period 2015-2020. Starting with a strong 6.5% increase, spending budgets follow a significantly stable trend that results in a strong 7% increase prognosis for the years 2019 and 2020.

However, once we leave the bigger picture and get into the specifics of individual spending among companies, there’s a lot less clarity. A survey for 2018 in the USA shows only a slight but positive inclination to increase spending. 13% are willing to increase their spending for road shows or hospitality events, instead opting to keep a level of savings. The bigger trend for these two event types is to maintain travel spending with 36% for road shows and 44% for hospitality events.

A Word to the Wise

Undertaking a trip to a live event in another country is a big decision. Costs can be prohibitive to most middle-sized and small businesses, but a good online travel agent makes all the difference. A travel package from Trade Fair Trips optimizes your spending in every aspect.

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