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While Exhibition Industry is continuously debating if the Virtual and Hybrid Events are the solutions ahead of COVID 19 exit effect. Aeron Bludworth writes for TFT on how Live Events can’t be and wouldn’t be replaced. 

I recently gathered several examples that show the power of live events. They demonstrate very powerfully why events are the most effective medium to market, communicate, innovate, educate, and build communities. Live events can’t be and won’t be replaced. Reaffirming for me the message of the #goLIVEtogether campaign, “Nothing in the world will ever replace the power and need for live events.” Excerpts:

“My company attends numerous business events and trade shows annually, and most of our new business leads are discovered and developed at these events. Much of our ongoing relationship-building also happens at these events. Without them, we would grow much slower, and that growth would cost us much more. We wouldn’t even know of many of the opportunities, wouldn’t have the bandwidth to cover them, and wouldn’t have the platform to connect without events.”

“I worked for a smaller regional company and began attending the industry trade association’s annual conferences and participated as an attendee, learner, speaker, eventually as a leader, and developed critical relationships along the way. When I came to a transition point in my career, it was those relationships that allowed me to springboard quickly into my next career milestone. It would have never happened without having attended those conferences years prior. Since then, I’ve recruited some of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with at these very same industry events that built my career.”

“Networking at industry trade shows and events have allowed me to make connections that have led to many acquisitions for my business. Deals that wouldn’t have happened were it not for these events, as they were the incubators of the relationships that opened the doors. Events are where I observed people, learned whom I could trust, gained respect for, and established the rapport to initiate the conversations that led to these deals. Our business is much larger, more capable, and employs hundreds of more people because of the connections made at events.”

“I had the unique opportunity to acquire the company I had been leading but needed a capital partner to get the job done. After much searching and a national roadshow of meeting with potential investors and not finding the right partner, it was a conversation with a longtime friend at a trade show that led to a quick introduction to an investor who ended up being the partner we needed to make the acquisition. It was that face to face conversation that led to the funding after an exasperating process that was likely leading to failure.”

“I’ve seen the world, met kings, presidents, star musicians, and entertainers, and made countless business and life-enriching friendships because of events. My perspective on people, culture, politics, management, and even life is different because of the experiences and relationships that have come because of meeting face-to-face with people on the trade show floor, at a networking event, as part of international sport, etc. My life would be entirely different, were it not for these invaluable experiences.”

Go LIVE Together is a coalition of businesses and leaders representing the live events ecosystem. The stats below show the economic impact, making events one of the largest industries in the world.

· $885 billion in business sales output

· 6.6 million jobs impacted

· $117 billion contributed to federal, state, and local taxes

And our industry isn’t all about business — we uniquely bring together medical professionals and scientists from around the world to share discoveries, research, and more; events literally help to save lives and make our world a better place. It very well may be that scientists and medical professionals that learn to treat and cure COVID-19 built their knowledge and relationships at a trade show, events, and conferences.

So, beyond the power demonstrated in the examples shared above, the economy needs events. We must work together to save the industry and get people meeting again. The future depends on it.

One more thing, those examples cited above were just my personal experiences. I know the power of events, trade shows, and face-to-face experiences, they’ve formed my life.


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