Celebrating a Successful Restart for Regional Trade Shows and Events this Year

Celebrating a Successful Restart for Trade Show and Events this Year 

The trade show and event industry is ready for a return to live events. While the timeline is unclear for a full restart, smaller regional events have already begun. In early November, Emerald Expositions hosted IGES Pigeon Forge and Clarion held the Smoky Mountain Gift Show in Tennessee.  We had the pleasure of providing logistics support to show exhibitors. With a commitment to meeting all COVID-19 guidelines enacted by companies and events, we are helping our clients plan for a return to live events next year.

Since March, when most live events were cancelled or postponed in response to COVID-19, companies and show managers have responded with creative solutions.  From virtual events to refocused marketing and sales strategies, we are all working together to finishing 2020 strong. One thing we’ve learned this year is that virtual events do not provide companies with the same level of marketing value as live events.  

During virtual events, exhibitors are less likely to see networking success, purchase expensive equipment, sign business agreements, or build strong new relationships. A Global Recovery Insights 2020 report from UFI and Explori showed that exhibitors and attendees prefer the face-to-face event format. Survey respondents noted that the social aspects of face-to-face events and the ability to make connections are critical and cannot be achieved or duplicated in a purely digital format. 

The good news is that it is not a matter of “if,” it is a matter of “when” live shows will return. According to event-planning and consulting company Elevadas Inc, there is a consensus that larger meetings and events targeted for Q2 and Q3 2021 will go on. For now, many companies are showing interest in smaller regional meetings.

Positive Feedback from Smoky Mountain Gift Show and IGES Pigeon Forge

Legacy Logistics recently provided support to exhibitors attending the successful IGES Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountain Gift show. Annually, the Smoky Mountain Gift Show is one of the largest gatherings of wholesales and souvenir gift vendors. This year’s event was smaller, with about half of the usual number of exhibitors. Event attendance, however, was up 36% over last year.

“We have clients who only planned to attend one show and not caravan to other shows in the gift circuit, as they had in the past. After their recent experience, they committed to other shows,” said Kim Mitchell, Legacy Logistics Account Manager. “IGES and Smoky Mountain took safety to a new level, showing that large events can launch safely and successfully with the right safety measures in place. The shows were valuable to our clients, and given the ROI that the exhibitors achieved, highlights the importance of live in-person events to businesses.”

Despite the uncertainty that remains throughout the industry, companies are actively planning now for next year. Upcoming shows in the gift circuit include Grand Strand Gift (Dec. 15-17, Myrtle Beach, SC) and Surf Expo (Jan. 6-8, Orlando, FL).

Legacy Logistics is Ready to Support Exhibitors Returning to Events

At Legacy, we understand that companies face new logistics challenges due to COVID -19.  As trade shows and events return, we look forward to supporting our clients no matter their needs, timetables, or challenges. This month multiple COVID-19 vaccines are showing positive results in tests around the world.  As we look to 2021, we are hopeful that a return to large events is in our future.