top of page

It's Trade Show Season! Are You Prepared? Don't Wait!

While it may take some time to reach pre-pandemic levels, most experts in the industry expect to see impressive improvements in the Fall 2021 trade show season.

One key change that helped many organizations maintain operations, to some degree, in 2020 was the pivot to virtual events. Trade shows, and conferences alike, had no choice but to explore new methods to connect with “attendees”. From Zoom-like events to on-demand seminars, the move allowed organizations to continue to engage with buyers and sellers. What’s to come? How will the 2020 season impact this year and future years?

Considerations – What Should You Expect?

There are a lot of changes to expect for 2021 trade show events. Many organizations are taking steps to reduce risks while not taking away from the actual quality of the events. Finding new and creative strategies to reach people is a likely first step, and that means working with the best in trade show collateral and signage design.

What types of changes can you expect to see? There are several key areas:

  • Health and Safety Measures By far, this will be a big focus of such events. Many venues have put in place new strategies, including using professional cleaning companies that are working to minimize pathogen transmission. Trade show organizations, convention venues, and resorts themselves have taken a hit from the pandemic. They are likely to do whatever they can to remain operational by minimizing any risk. This may include more frequent and deep cleaning, as well as the use of professional services for minimizing exposure to employees.

  • Using Guidance for Organizing Large Events and Gatherings Many organizations will still turn to local government organizations, health departments, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on managing events. It will be, by far, a time of changing rules and strategies. While the ultimate goal is not to slow down any event, there may be changes over time as conditions change or outbreaks continue to happen.

  • Travel Restrictions Many countries around the world are still limiting travel. Even in the U.S., where anyone can travel, there are still limitations on available flights and concerns about the development of hotspots. When it comes to travel restrictions, it may be important for those attending trade shows to book their events and travel plans early on to ensure availability.

  • Capacity Limitations One of the most impactful ways that trade shows are likely to be affected is related to capacity. These events often attract thousands of people, but the number of people allowed within these spaces may change. In some locations, this will be based on the requirements set by the local health departments. Other times, it may relate to the venue’s changes in operations to meet health guidelines.

Are You Prepared? Don't Wait Until the Last Minute

Another key expectation for the trade show industry is quick scheduling. That is, events may be scheduled at a rapid pace, with little notice, as conditions improve. Organizations planning to attend simply have to be ready to go — getting all of your trade show and conference materials in place now. That includes everything from your trade show banners to the flyers you plan to hand out.

Important: Turnaround time to design and print these items can be anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Longer for larger displays. So plan ahead and don't wait until a week before your event!

Now is the time to start thinking about every component of your trade show design needs, including:

  • Signage (banner stands, tabletop signage, logo tablecloth, etc.)

  • Marketing collateral (brochures, flyers, business cards, etc.)

  • Promotional giveaways (SWAG items with your logo)

  • Booth staff uniforms (name tags, logo apparel)

If you did not invest in trade shows last year, but you’re ready to consider it now, find an organization that’s ready to go. Work with them to create a branded, effective, and impressive display for your group today. Remember, everyone else is coming back strong, and you’ll need to do the same thing.

Ready to Get Started?

Some organizations, such as Creative Instinct, are ready to help you get your trade show design needs met right away. As noted, most trade shows are setting up quickly based on local health requirements and changing circumstances. That means you may have less time than normal to prepare.

Creative Instinct is ready to help you today! We are your go-to resource for trade show and event design and promotional needs. We will also coordinate print production for you. We’ll work with you closely to ensure you pull off a stunning trade show that reaches your target audience effectively. We'll make it easier for you to get your event planned and set up in no time, and get your materials shipped to you in advance of your event.

Have a safe and successful trade show season!

Need some help preparing for your trade show?

Creative Instinct can help! Contact Gwen Canfield to arrange a free consultation at


bottom of page