Trade Show Days Are Back!

Covid-Related Supply Chain Problems are Predicted to Be in the Rear View Mirror in 2023! 

Most everything in the year 2020 was plagued by Covid. It seemed as if overnight the world shut down. This curse was not lost on trade shows, as there was a 78.5% decline in the number of trade shows in 2020 compared to 2019. However, The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) is optimistic for a full trade show industry recovery in 2023!

Supply Chain Issues Worked Against Trade Shows 

Supply chain issues were a big problem for everyone in the year 2020, especially for companies looking to make a presence at trade shows. More and more people were ordering from overseas to avoid shopping in person which flooded the shipping market, making it nearly impossible to rely on goods to be sent anywhere. Without product or materials needed for a trade show booth, the entire industry took a hit. 


Insiders are saying those days are behind us; shipping times have improved greatly, businesses have inventory, and material costs are coming down. All of these factors are positive for a healthy trade show industry market. 

What’s Helping the Supply Chain Issues 

Changes have taken place in the supply chain industry to help turn around the shipping issues experienced during the height of the pandemic. Although supply chain problems are not completely solved, the pandemic forced companies to take a close look at how they conducted business and make pointed changes to alleviate some major hurdles. 


Shorter Shipping Times: The time needed to ship from Asia to the US was up to 110 days in October of 2021. That time was shortened to less than 88 days in October of 2022. That decrease in the number of shipping days has a huge impact on a businesses inventory, which in turn can have a major effect on trade show involvement. 


Increased Port Volumes: Employment at shipping yards, and in every sector, decreased greatly during the pandemic. The decrease in available workers to offload shipping containers negatively impacted the speed at which businesses could receive goods. 


That problem seems to have been resolved in 2022. Some major ports, like the Port of New York and New Jersey, are seeing record import volumes, with a nearly 12% cargo increase in 2022 compared to last year. An increased workforce means more product moving into the US, which positively influences trade show engagement. 

Companies Making Changes: Companies are changing the way they ship their products. Many companies who only used one port pre-pandemic have diversified their sites to use alternate ports. This influences shipping time, which again makes it easier for products to arrive in the US. This also helps companies plan for trade shows and encourages involvement in trade shows. 

Signs that Trade Shows are Coming Back!

Anyone who’s been involved in a trade show knows that trade shows are a lot of work. Months of planning, budgeting, organizing, re-planning, re-budgeting, and reorganizing only to hope it goes well can take its toll. However, the chance to get in front of prospective clients in-person is invaluable. Trade shows won’t die because they boost business, period. 


Cancellations are Down: According to the CEIR, cancellation rates for in-person events continue to drop as time goes on. In Q1 of 2022, there was a 9.2% cancellation rate compared to a 91.3% in Q1 of 2021! More in-person events are taking place than since the start of the pandemic. 


Attendance is Coming Back: Bloomberg reports that “Nationwide, about 11.5 million professionals attended business-to-business trade shows in the U.S. last year, a 55% jump over 2020.” 


Industries/Companies Want to Attend Trade Shows: Companies know that trade shows can have a very positive impact on the bottom line. Instead of averting trade shows like most companies did in 2020 and 2021, companies are looking to mitigate risk and get back out there. Companies know that the  inspiration and energy that comes from communicating in-person with clients is unrivaled! 


If your company’s goal is to make an impact at a trade show in 2023, look no further than Earnest Images. We’re ready to highlight your brand and attract all the attention at any trade show! 

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