3 biggest problems facing trade show organizers (and how to beat them)

The trade show and exhibition industry breathed a collective sigh of relief when global trade show revenues forecasts for 2023 were announced - 87% of pre-pandemic earnings. (How’s that for a comeback? 🎉)

That being said, the storm is far from over. An economic downturn has led to budget cuts, layoffs, and a whole lot of uncertainty. To help you weather the storm, we’ll be presenting the three main challenges you will be facing as a trade show organizer in 2023 and how you can beat them.

What is a trade show?

A trade show (also referred to as a trade fair, exhibition, or expo), is an event in which industry members meet to showcase and discuss their services and products. Trade shows provide a space where key players in a niche industry can network, discuss emerging trends, develop new partnerships, and promote their products and services. 

This article will be focusing on the challenges that are most relevant to trade show organizers like you. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Swapcard_Eventapp_In Trade Show

Complex setup and management processes that waste time and resources

Traditionally, setting up and managing trade shows and exhibitions is a nightmare. 

There’s one tool for registration, a separate tool for reporting, and a third tool for live streaming.

In the aftermath of the pandemic when businesses cut staff in an effort to recover losses, you can’t afford to spend time learning three new tools or trying to set up these systems individually. You want a tool that does it all, is easy to learn, and doesn’t cost the earth.

Choose a self-serve solution that gives you full control of your event. The time you previously spent waiting for support to make some changes for you can now be spent delighting your audience.

  • Swapcard has a built-in registration tool that allows tiered ticketing, self-check-in, badge printing, and session scanning (SwapAccess). Creating the perfect registration experience for your events has never been easier.
  • Bridge the gap between onsite and virtual attendees with a mobile app that allows you to network with other attendees.
  • Swapcard’s centralized analytics dashboard allows you to improve your event performance using event metrics such as data meetings booked, networking requests, sessions bookmarked, and leads scanned.

In-Article – G2 Client Review (3)

Difficulty generating enough revenue to deliver a healthy ROI

A second major challenge that organizers face at trade shows and exhibitions is generating more revenue. 

Due to an increased awareness of sustainability, traditional methods of generating revenue are at risk. For example, event books used to be heavily monetized, but as more and more events try to go “paperless”, event organizers must look at how to leverage the power of tech and data in order to generate more revenue.

GL Events, an events organizer and services provider with over 40 years of experience in the three main event markets, partnered with Swapcard to create a Standardized Digital offering for exhibitors for a majority of their B2B Tradeshows.  Through our Marketplace feature, trade shows such as Global Industrie, Sirha Lyon, CFIA, Piscine Global Europe (and many more) were able to showcase their products and services resulting in more meeting opportunities, leads, and sales.

Here are three ways you can reach your revenue objectives using Swapcard:

  • Automate the sales of your digital services: 
    Treat your sales team to a well-deserved coffee break while Swapcard takes care of your ads, push notifications, logo upload, etc. Imagine exhibitors being able to purchase lead scan licenses from the exhibitor center and assign them to their team members, without you having to lift a finger!
  • Offer additional features for a fee: 
    Swapcard offers a range of features that exhibitors and sponsors can access as an optional add-on. From lead generation features to booth fees to AI-networking capabilities before, during, and after events.
  • Monetize your audience: 
    Running a smart event allows you to monetize both your in-person and hybrid trade shows. Some examples include; selling exhibitor ranking in the directory based on sponsorship level, selling targeted app and website ad space, or selling space in your marketing emails to your top-level sponsors.
    Find out how to monetize your event and audience with Swapcard.


Difficulty retaining and growing an audience

Exhibitions and trade shows typically struggle to retain their audience year after year. To combat this, trade show organizers can increase their marketing expenditure. However, with customer acquisition costs (CAC) at an all-time high, organizers must find more cost-effective ways to increase brand loyalty and reduce churn. 

Enter Swapcard Community - the ideal solution for those looking to nurture and grow their audience all year long. Cost-effective and easy to use, Swapcard allows you to transform one-off event attendees into a highly-engaged community. 

Think of Swapcard Community as a hub for ongoing conversations, networking, live and on-demand content, exhibitor meetings, and more. 

Swapcard_Trade_Show_Community Module
Trade shows that create and nurture a community retain their audience, gain a thorough understanding of how people consume content, and collect valuable new data that enables them to make informed decisions.

Final thoughts

To come out on top as a trade show organizer, you must adopt a strategy that allows you to do more with less. This means opting for a comprehensive yet easy-to-use platform, monetizing your audience, and providing a digital space where you can interact with your audience throughout the year. 

Want to learn how Swapcard can help you to generate more revenue, save you time, and help you build an engaged community?

Get in touch

Blessing Lola A.
Blessing Lola A.

Blessing Lola is a multilingual content marketer with a passion for the art of storytelling. For her, stories are the bridge connecting a brand with its audience, and she takes pleasure in using them to inspire, educate, and drive growth. When she isn’t crafting killer content for global brands, you’re likely to find her pondering the gender of an inanimate object in a random German supermarket. Die Nutella or Der Nutella? Das ist the question.

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