A New Business Model For Trade Shows In The Future

A discussion about the future of trade shows with Cathy Breden, CEO, Center for Exhibition Industry Research; Paulo Octavio Pereira de Almeida, Managing Partner, Live Marketing Brasil; and Baptiste Boulard, CEO, Swapcard

Trade Shows have been hit especially hard by the global health pandemic. But a 100% online trade show can be valuable and profitable for planners, exhibitors and attendees with the right tools and the right scalable business model. During Swapcard's 3-day online event, Evolve: The Virtual Event for Planners, we had some experts discuss in detail what's next for trade shows, post-COVID and far into the future. Cathy, Paulo and Baptiste, 3 event experts, dive into this topic backed with survey results and years of experience to make things a little clearer for trade show organizers.

They show that only 10% of the revenue at current trade shows is digital and discuss the room for growth in embracing technology. The group presents a brand new business model - an omnichannel, year-long event platform that can drastically increase revenue and provide a better value proposition and ROI for exhibitors at trade shows. Cathy, Baptiste and Paulo discuss in detail how to build this event format and how to get the most out of it.

They present data that shows 46% of event organizers are working on a contingency plan - the ability to pivot online in case of another emergency. It shows that 41% of trade show planners are implementing a hybrid model and embracing technology to increase their reach. This means it's more than a trend; it's an evolution.


The trio gives plenty of tips and guidance on how to successfully rebuild your trade show's business model so that it's more sustainable in the future. If you're interested in watching the whole interview and accessing all their notes and presentations, simply sign up to Evolve for free. Evolve is a year-round online community where you can network with event experts from all over the world and access exclusive content. You'll be able to watch all the sessions on-demand and also be the first to know about new content coming up in the Evolve Series. The first new session will take place at the end of July and you'll be able to attend live, ask questions to the speakers and interact online.

Watch the full interview

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