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Paco Collazo's Global View
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EDPA

A Display of Confidence and Optimism

By: Paco Collazo

After what has felt like an eternity in our industry, we finally see a beam of light at the end of the tunnel—perhaps from those bright lights that illuminate our booths in venues around the world. 

This challenging time has provided us with a new perspective on the importance of hosting events in person and the real value of interacting with others. And being able to shake a hand has never been more meaningful.

I spoke with our partners around the world, and they shared their experiences and expectations for this year. Here are some of their thoughts:

Martijn Besaris, head of international sales and design at The Inside, says, “Europe is opening step by step. After a very long period of canceled and postponed shows, we see a really busy spring, summer and fall in front of us. Clients can’t wait to start exhibiting again, and we can’t wait to build beautiful booths in fantastic locations all over Europe.” 

Europe has has experienced more changes than most over the last year. Some countries remain closed and others have a few restrictions. Because of this, it is essential to have well-informed partners that will aid us in our mission to bring back exhibitions in a safe manner.

After months of being at a standstill, the recovery is certainly underway. We have clients reaching out again, itching to get back to business and searching for their next event abroad to showcase their products and services. 

Rohit Saraogi, co-founder at Design Desk India, perceives a lot of energy in his country. “Exhibitions are looking at a strong, V-shaped recovery. Exhibitors large and small are eagerly waiting to get back at domestic and international tradeshows. The absence of exhibitions during the pandemic has, in fact, increased the value of this face-to-face marketplace.”

Although the Asian region presents understandable hesitation, Christopher Dorn, managing director at Idea International, says, “Exhibitions are taking place throughout Japan and in most of the APAC region. Despite travel restrictions preventing attendees from other countries [from attending], the show numbers have been high. Japanese businesses depend on tradeshows to make personal connections, which is culturally important to doing business. We see signs of hope that travel will resume this year, and we’ll be welcoming global attendees. In the meantime, we are handling programs throughout Asia for companies that need market exposure, but are prevented from having their employees attend shows.”

Even after seeing successful virtual tradeshows, the face-to-face element of traditional events can’t be superseded. The significance of making connections in person, a very noticeable standard in countries like Japan, prevails in most countries no matter the region in which they are located. The feeling of a real interaction and the ability to read a person’s body language have yet to be achieved in the digital world, and I am hopeful that exhibitions and events are not going anywhere, at least not any time soon.

From our trenches, we are hoping to have a productive first and second quarter and keep this trend for the rest of the year. Events that had to be postponed multiple times are finally taking place in the upcoming months. I am looking forward to meeting you on the show floor, to reconnect and to build back a stronger industry together.

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