Live, Virtual and Hybrid: What the Future Holds for Tradeshows.

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Many industries were hit hard by the pandemic, but no industry may have gotten rocked harder than tradeshows. 2020 was a year of drastic and instantaneous change for the tradeshow world. However, the resiliency and adaptations of events give hope as we begin 2021.


Think back to the last time you went to a live event. Seems like an eternity, right? With different state regulations, the likeliness of attending a live event will depend on where it is being held. One thing is certain, measures to ensure exhibitor and attendee safety is the top priority for venues and organizations hosting shows in the near future. Thermal scanning, personal protective equipment requirements, and hand sanitizer stations are just some implementations that will be included in upcoming shows. The M+ tradeshow team is making sure that we stay up to date on all safety requirements, that way we’ll be ready to (safely) execute a successful show for our clients.


2020 was what we like to call the ‘virtual’ year. Virtual tradeshows were taking the place over cancelled live events. For some of our clients, this was an attractive alternative to still be able to reach out to their industry partners. The M+ team got to work on creating virtual booth spaces (see photo below) along with marketing materials to grab attendee’s attention and help attract visitors to the virtual booth.

Laurel Ag & Water Virtual Tradeshow Booth

One trend that is gaining momentum is that of hybrid events. The reality is that live events may not return to normal this year, so organizations are making sure that exhibitors are given the opportunity to take advantage of a hybrid show. The hybrid show is split between two events: a virtual event taking place before a live event. The virtual event is equipped with virtual booths, video/text communications and industry informational sessions. The live event is set to take place as a ‘normal’ show with the obvious added safety precautions. The goal is to utilize virtual and live platforms to give exhibitors and attendees the best chance at communication and building relationships.


With over 30+ years of tradeshow management experience, the Marketing Plus team is ready to take on whichever way our clients would like to exhibit. Are you interested in participating in a live, virtual, or hybrid show? Contact tradeshow manager Anthony Bonilla to find out which option is best for your company.