What is the future of trade shows for the meetings industry?

Do you get the most out of MICE industry trade show activity…

By the end of March 2016, the conference and events industry would have been present at over half a dozen trade shows since the beginning of the year.  Conventa, Convene, AIME, ACE of MICE, Meetings Africa and several other industry led forums are held just in the first three months of the year spread over different continents. There is no shortage of platforms for international association executives and meeting planning agency buyers to go shopping for new meetings and events destinations and services.

But what makes a supplier/exhibitor more successful than his competitors at these shows?  The key is not the presence at the show itself although of course this is a pre-requisite.  Pre- and post-show marketing, lead generation and follow up is what generally secures the business.  The trade show is a fantastic stage upon which to promote your wares and co-ordinate lots of meetings that would not otherwise have been possible with potential buyers.

There was a time when the conference industry was worried that face-to-face meetings would diminish and yet, in today’s world of constant social media, the trade show is thriving.  A recent survey confirmed that despite blogs, e-newsletters, webinars and videos, in-person events are still the leading activity to get that business in the bag.


It’s always better to show people what you have to offer rather than just telling them.  Ensure that you have considered not only your stand design but the real value of any promotional gifts, cocktail receptions and how your branding might be interpreted by your potential client base.

I am always happy to answer any questions.  Please email me at julie@watterston.com if you would like a free consultation on your current marketing and research activities.  We also offer a service to secure International Association appointments at trade shows so do contact me if you are interested.


Destination representation, lead generation, in-market events, promotional activities, international association research, trade show marketing.


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