Ag Marketing: Are Tradeshows a Thing of the Past?

Ag Marketing: Are Tradeshows a Thing of the Past?

Big Ideas

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March 18 2022
Big Ideas

COVID-19 restricted travel and in-person attendance, causing the trade show business to struggle over the past year. As vaccines become more widely available and regulations loosen, the potential of in-person trade exhibitions appears to be resurgent. Even so, the way forward may not be obvious. Even after the pandemic has passed, questions about event safety are likely to persist. Similarly, after becoming acclimated to virtual trade fair experiences, some potential attendees may now prefer them. Trade show organizers face a hurdle with these tendencies. 


Trade exhibits are unusual in that they take advantage of the power of the human element. Tradeshows have historically been a huge part of Agri-Marketing. Hundreds of thousands of people attend trade exhibitions who are interested in specific products or technologies. Ag companies rely on such events to showcase and market their new products and innovations. Due to the Covid -19 pandemic, companies were forced to make some very necessary changes to protect the health and safety of their employees and customers. A lot of this relied on the shift towards all things Digital- digital tradeshows, webinars, product launches, etc. Here is a look at the future of trade shows. 


The impact of Covid-19 in Agriculture

Canada is the world's fifth-largest agri-food exporter, exporting half of its output for a C$56 billion yearly export value. The shock produced by the COVID-19 pandemic's fast spread, on the other hand, was unprecedented in both its speed and the magnitude of its disruptive effects. It was a key test of the agri-food supply chains' resiliency in both providing the home market and serving export consumers. If the ultimate measure of resilient food supply chains is providing safe, reliable food availability to the population, to avoid shortages and scarcity to the greatest extent possible, it is clear that Canadian agri-food supply chains have proven to be highly resilient to COVID-19's shocks. 


The future of trade shows: event trends to expect in 2022


1. Virtual and hybrid trade shows experiences

In the year 2020, the world's circumstances have given rise to virtual trade displays. While some viewers loved it, others felt it lacked physicality. With such a fragmented industry, marketers devised a new strategy: hybrid trade exhibitions. These hybrid trade exhibitions have enhanced accessibility and broadened the audience reach by providing additional networking opportunities.


Physical events are being transformed into digital experiences that are equally intriguing and engaging by both large and small businesses. Attendees believe that this is a better way to attend an event, while hosts discover that such events often enhance ROI and attendance, in addition to eliminating travel and other show-related costs. That's because virtual events can be more engaging than in-person events, and they're usually more scalable and adaptable to the needs of an organization.


A virtual conference requires more than just hooking up a webcam and hoping everything goes as planned. To secure third-party speakers, thought leaders, and experts, the same planning and attention to detail are required — everything from a script for presenters to handouts for guests and an agenda.


Benefits of hybrid trade shows

●       Increased audience worldwide

●       Hybrid trade shows are cost-effective

●       They are convenient

●       Improves metrics

●       Reduce your environmental impact

●       Improved return on investment.


2. Tradeshows technological advancements

Trade show technology is now an essential component of all events and exhibitions. From the commencement of event registration to lead management after the show, we leverage technology. And all points in between. Its role at trade shows has evolved. This is due to innovations as well as the unique requirements of exhibitors. The agricultural sector in Canada is confronted with several technological advancements that will help them better analyze attendee purchasing habits and lengthen the sales cycle. They are incorporating VR and AR into their trade show booth designs. This helps to give the audience a hands-on experience in a safe and controlled environment.


3. Innovative market spaces

 The agricultural sector is becoming more creative in its marketing tactics. The traditional marketing strategies, for example, banners and promotional logos are becoming a thing of the past. Organizations are now utilizing the marketing spaces during trade shows. Finding an appropriate 'fit' within this new landscape as trade shows resurface will necessitate continual experimentation across a variety of aspects. Empathy and originality are important, as usual, but trial and error will be what separates many in the long run. The playing field has not only been leveled, but it has also been leveled up.


4. Trade shows will become more targeted

It may be some time before events can safely host tens of thousands of people. Smaller, more specialized trade exhibitions are the norm currently. Instead of promoting the entire business, events are being held in specialty to keep audience sizes under control. Specificity as a coping strategy has the potential to create stronger connections and communities, as well as the ability to give more meaningful experiences with less waste. Agri-marketers are creating more exclusive, tiered offers, while others are moving on the roads exhibiting their products for increasingly distributed and localized versions and communities.


5. Booth designs with safety in mind

Trade show booths are a great attraction to visitors. Nevertheless, COVID is not going away. We're figuring out how to live with it. Vaccination and testing requirements are keeping the trade show industry going ahead and expanding. Most companies, clients, agencies, and show organizers understand how critical it is to  protect participants as much as possible. Also, rules and proof of vaccination status are  changing and being removed all together.  


Due to the Covid- 19 pandemic, tradeshow booths are now being designed with safety in mind.  People are now more concerned about following covid- 19 protocols. Wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing.  Designers are now coming up with ideas in exhibition stands. Here are some of the current trends in booth designs:

●       They embrace sustainability.

●       Draw attention to the top with fabric.

●       Create an ultimate interactive experience with virtual reality.

●       They evoke emotion.

In 2022, the live event and trade show industry is planning a big recovery. Exhibitors must be ready to make the most of the opportunity. Keeping up with the newest trends is an excellent method to ensure that your company stands out from the competition, whether online or in person.


Why choose us?

If you are looking for more leads that are well qualified, leads that result in higher revenue and a higher return on investment, Sherpa's in-house full-stack marketing team is dedicated to providing industry-leading, integrated marketing solutions that produce great results. The kinds of outcomes you'd like to see more of. Reach out to Glenn Cressman , our Chief Client Officer to see how we can help grow your business.

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