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Bluecube trade exhibition stand

A seismic shake-up: What is the future of exhibitions?

Expos have taken a hit in the last few years - and it’s no secret why.

But with covid restrictions firmly in the rear-view mirror, exhibitions are once again gaining ground.

With footfall on the up and physicality firmly back on the agenda, what does the future of exhibitions look like for UK businesses?

An end to excessive ambition

Pre-2020, exhibitions were visibly getting more ambitious and over-exaggerated. Businesses were prepared to go to great lengths to outdo their competitors - even if it meant renting a pop-up petting zoo to draw in the crowds!

However, the landscape has undergone a profound transformation, thanks in no small part to the seismic waves sent rippling through the industry by the pandemic.

Three years on and the closure of exhibitions has proven that sometimes, ‘business as usual’ is the real enemy.

As a commercial print and design company, we’ve witnessed firsthand the tectonic shifts that have reshaped the world of business exhibitions, leading to a reimagining of the very concept of showcasing products and services.

Less waste, more intent

Having been forced to reassess budgets, workforce and daily interactions, businesses realised that a lot of their ‘go-to’ marketing ideas were lacking focus, and are now carefully looking at exhibitions with a renewed sense of practicality.

For example, displays or costly graphics that would have been used once then consigned to a dark cupboard - or worse, thrown away - are long gone. As are excessive reams of printed leaflets to be handed to every passing person.

Businesses are instead investing in lasting marketing materials that are sustainable - from both an environmental and a profit perspective.

Whereas once you may have printed 5000 leaflets, now you might request 500 that are more appealing and of greater quality - targeting clear prospects and cutting waste. This is the case across the board, and it bodes well for the future of exhibitions and in-person networking.

Recently, exhibitions have been getting busier again and it’s clear these events aren’t going anywhere - but they are enjoying a long-overdue change. Not a simple face-lift, but a renewed focus as businesses battle to leave a lasting, meaningful impression.

Need some inspiration or looking for something bespoke for your next event? Drop us an email with your brief and we will help you bring your ideas to life.

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