March 6, 2020
This should have been a blog about the great time had at the biggest travel trade show in the world, ITB. I would have loved to tell you about the news and views from around the industry that were shared, but unfortunately coronavirus stole this opportunity.
In this, ITB is not alone. Three days before the show’s opening the organisers of the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS), regretfully announced: “The 90th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show will not take place. […] This is a case of “force majeure”, there are circumstances over which we have no control.”
Covid-19 also made FIBO, the world's largest trade show for fitness, wellness and health, postpone the show to the second half of the year. Baselworld, the trade show of the international watch and jewellery industry, even put back the opening to next year and leading trade fair for industrial technology Hannover Messe has been postponed to July. Coronavirus caused Mobile World Congress, which should have taken place late last month, to fall silent. We had to learn the high-tech news in other ways.
But why do these cancellations hurt industries so much?
According to AUMA, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, trade shows are still one of the most important communication instruments in the marketing mix. Even in times of increased digital communication, companies benefit from physically connecting with potential customers and other target groups.
Trade shows are often anchor points for diverse communication activities. The exhibitors there carry out sales activities and sales promotion, advertising and image work, public relations and press work and internal communications.
Events appeal to all the senses, something that online sites and advertising cannot do. For this reason, they are ideal vehicles to address new and existing customers, to demonstrate reliability, build trust, respond to individual requirements and establish a dialogue.
The sad cancellation of a number of events this year has been a blow to many industries. At Finn Partners, we look forward to the safe return of the trade show and other events in due course.