Small (Trade Shows) Are The New Big (Opportunity)!

May 12, 2021
Small (Trade Shows) Are The New Big (Opportunity)!

I know we all rolled into 2021 with open arms and big expectations; things can only get better right? YES! Now that we have settled into 2021 things are looking up. 35.5% of the American population have been fully vaccinated, people are reporting back to the office, and live trade shows are happening with more opening late summer and fall. The new normal is here!

You are probably wondering what I mean by that. Well, things are not exactly BC 2019 (before covid). Things are still going to be different for the foreseeable future, or at least into 2022, but they are a new different. So put the sweats and bedroom slippers away, dust off your best business outfit and come along for the ride!


Smaller events are going to be the new big thing for a while. Balancing your event program with some smaller regional events for the next 6- 12 months might be a wise idea. With many companies still imposing travel restrictions, it might be more achievable for your team to target smaller regional events. It is also a good idea to supplement your event calendar with these smaller events to help offset lost leads and face-to-face time from last year. Keep in mind, if you are not staying in front of your customers and prospects your competition is.

You can easily find new opportunities with smaller events. If can’t find any to attend, create your own! Producing your own networking opportunity doesn’t have to be a complicated production, you can simply take your portable display and marketing materials on the road to visit client, create regional hotel meetings and invite your customer in, or hold an open house at your office. Whatever make sense for you and your brand, as long as you are getting in front of people and generating leads for your sales team.


No matter what size event you are participating in, most likely attendance will be lighter. Whether due to capacity restrictions at the venue or corporate travel restrictions, less people are coming. However, I strongly believe those smaller numbers will still be quality leads. More likely than not, if a company must pick one or two people to attend an industry event, they are going to pick the key decision makers.

Now, let’s talk about how to still capture the same number of people and leads as before, if not more!

With the expectations that fewer people will physically be attending shows one way you can ensure that your company still achieves a budgeted number of quality leads is to implement a hybrid plan – physical and virtual presence. Even with the smaller events you can still expand your audience and increase your ROI by integrating a digital virtual aspect. You can invite vendors in from anywhere to give demos and presentations. Livestream from your physical event and invite other customers, that might not be able to come otherwise, to experience your brand virtually through livestreaming from the show and present other branded content just like you do within your booth. This not only adds another level of quality engagement, but it also makes your company and team look high tech!

The morale to this blog is to stop waiting for other people or life events to define your team’s outcome. Create your own plan and help define your new normal! 

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