How can Trade Shows Thrive in the Digital World?

How can Trade Shows Thrive in the Digital World?

If there was any slowing down in the uptake of technology at trade shows, COVID put a stop to that. With lockdowns in place and physical meetings often impossible, global exhibitions had no choice but to take to the digital world and allow businesses and brands to show off their wares remotely.

Exhibitions utilised webinars and online events to maintain their communities and encourage engagement from their audience, trying to claw back some of the revenue lost from not being able to host in-person events.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to stay on top of technology-driven solutions. Now, trade shows can be held as normal, with little to no remaining COVID restrictions left to affect them. But, do people still want in-person trade shows? Or is the world of the digital exhibition our new normal?

Rather than taking away from attendees, digital solutions such as live streaming and webinars allow organisers to reach new and larger audiences and propel their product or message far beyond the halls and walls of the likes of ExCeL London or even the giant Hannover Messe.

Reaching a wider global audience is just one of the outcomes for trade shows embracing a more digital, hybrid model.

Going hybrid means trade shows can:

1. Reach a wider global audience. With technology reducing the need to travel, and journalist budgets being squeezed year-on-year, why not take footfall online and attract the eyes and ears of those who may not be able to attend a show in-person.

2. Adopt multi-channel live streaming power. Live events rarely schedule one speaker at a time, so why miss-out on a technology that can live stream multiple sessions around the world, all at the same time? Video-on-demand also offers audiences access to content around-the-clock and across different time zones.

3. Engage their audience throughout the year. A digital event platform can be used to host content such as breaking news, features, latest launches, and event highlights, bringing together the big stories to create evergreen content, including video-on-demand and social clips.

4. Maximise sponsor and alternative revenue opportunities. Just like a commercial TV channel or website, a state-of-the-art digital platform can play sponsored adverts, display advertorials and banner ads, and schedule commercial programming. Live and pre-recorded interviews with sponsors and stakeholders offer added value to current commercial offerings.

5. Collect and own their own data. Every event is individual and so too is the data and analytical reporting that organisers require to improve and add value each year. Obtaining bespoke analytics means organisers can also provide specific audience intelligence to have the insights for sponsor ROI.

How to Take a Trade Show to the Next Level

Trade shows are definitely here to stay, but by embracing the latest technologies specifically designed to take trade shows to the next level, innovations such as ContentLive can deliver your event to the world.

ContentLive is white-labelled, so your bespoke platform will look and feel just like your own brand. It offers endless features and opportunities such as live production, on-location presenting, social media integration. And, unlike YouTube, we create deeper reports on audience engagement, creating tangible marketing opportunities. It really is a one-stop shop that delivers in-person events to a global audience.

Trade shows are going truly global; all with a little help from TheNewsMarket.

If you’d like to talk to us about creating hybrid trade events, event PR or how best to support your exhibitors with their event news, you can call Delano Pansi, our Director of Media Solutions on +44 (0) 7795 363 500 or email

Heather Percival

Published: July 25, 2023

About the author:
Heather Percival is the lead Business Analyst for TheNewsMarket, remaining abreast of the news agenda and conducting research on industry sectors to grow TheNewsMarket’s business in existing and new markets. She has a keen analytical mind and works closely with the sales and marketing teams to develop and deliver effective campaigns.