In a blog post in December, UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf outlined five themes that will shape the next 12 to 18 months. In a 2 part blog post, we will share strategies that UFI members are deploying around these themes in 2023.
For Part I of the 2023 Exhibition Outlook, we asked industry leaders to share their experiences on how these trends are impacting their businesses as the new year begins. For this second part, we identified the moves they are making to respond to current market conditions.
1. Doubling down on customer focus
Responding to evolving customer needs and shifts in the retail sector, The Toy Association is making the bold move of shifting from its traditional Q1 timeframe for Toy Fair, one of the top 100 trade shows in North America, to Q3 in 2023.
Time for change: After a two-and-one-half year hiatus due to Covid, Toy Fair will return to New York in its new timeframe, Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at Javits Center. “Toy Fair 2023 will feature an even broader array of programming and products designed to spark joy at every age,” said Kimberly Carcone, Executive Vice President, Global Market Events, The Toy Association. “But for all that’s changed, one important thing remains the same: the event’s legacy as the most influential and necessary toy, game, and play product experience.” For more on what customers can expect at this year’s show, read the release: Top 5 Reasons to Exhibit at Toy Fair 2023.
2. The Climate Crisis will hit
RX is taking a proactive approach to proving that business events are part of the solution to the climate crisis. Here’s how one North American show is leading the way.
Big picture: “In 2022, the National Hardware Show (NHS) was the most sustainable yet, with help from the Las Vegas Convention Center’s water conservation and energy-efficient light initiatives,” according to a website. “Specifically, NHS swapped paper for a digital directory; used sustainably sourced signage; and offered smart badge technology to enable attendees and exhibitors to capture information digitally, negating the need for printed brochures and business cards. The team also eliminated carpets from most of the event to reduce CO2 emissions.
“By restricting carpet to the two main aisles and lounge areas only, we prevented 18,656 metres of carpet going to landfill, which reduced our carbon emissions by 8.5 tonnes,” said NHS Event Director Beth Casson. “To educate our customers on the benefits of being carpet-free, we placed floor stickers around the show floor to highlight these and other statistics. Through our contractor, Freeman, we were also able to ensure that the main aisle and lounge carpets contained 25% recycled materials and were re-used at least four times.”
The event is partnering with other organisers to co-locate their complimentary home-improvement and construction events in Las Vegas so that visitors need to make only one trip to attend the shows. In 2022, NHS aligned with Coverings and IDAExpo. In 2023, it will bring its dates forward to February to become part of a five-strong group of simultaneous events, which also includes the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and the International Builders’ Show, offering customers even more value and opportunity while significantly reducing their travel emissions.
3. More data, less hype
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is embracing digital and data to make face-to-face marketplaces more successful for their buyers and sellers on and off the show floor with its CES 2023 digital experience.
What it means: CTA offered a digital-only pass to CES 2023, which included access to the Digital Venue featuring exhibitor activations and 50 conference sessions available live stream and video on demand (VOD). The in-person event featured 200+ conference sessions with more than 750 speakers. The keynotes with industry tech leaders and innovators were available via livestream and are viewable in the digital venue until the end of February. The digital venue featured a searchable list of the show’s 3,200+ exhibitors across every major industry from food and mobility to healthcare and automotive, as well as entertainment and beyond.
Beginning in December, attendees could preview the venue to check out the platform’s features and begin building their schedules and favoriting exhibitors. During show days in January, the venue offered four channels of streaming video live from Las Vegas, including all keynotes, select conference sessions and show floor videos. Registered media were also able to livestream select press conferences during Media Days. Additionally, all attendees could visit exhibitor digital activations and connect with company personnel and network with attendees. After the show, attendees could catch up on sessions they missed with on-demand video and continue to make connections with attendees and exhibitors through February 28, 2023. More information about the digital venue can be found here.
4. Staffing stays key
One way that Informa is looking to attract new skills, new talent and new perspectives is through a fellowship programme. Here are details on how the company is attracting the next generation of leaders to our industry.
Zoom in: Informa offers a range of opportunities for new and recent graduates, as well as apprentices. In the UK, the Informa Graduate Fellowship scheme is a dedicated two-year programme that sees graduate fellows work across different businesses and roles, following individual interests and learning fast. A rotational programme includes three six-month placements in the UK, and the opportunity to spend six months in a placement in one of our hubs outside the UK. In addition, fellows have full eligibility for Informa’s UK benefits, which include 25 days of holiday, rising to 27 days after two years, plus a day off for your birthday, paid time off for volunteering with a recognised charity, a discounted share scheme, health and wellbeing benefits and flexible working.
5. Accelerating change
In May 2022, Emerald launched Emerald Xcelerator, a division that is dedicated to launching and transforming brands that curate year-round communities through face-to-face and digital experiences. Find out how this new division is accelerating change for the public company.
What’s next: Xcelerator builds B2B and B2C brands in emerging industries with a focus on commerce and connection. In Q4 2022, the group launched reMind, the Psychedelics Business Forum that debuted on Nov. 15, 2022, held in conjunction with MJBizCon in Las Vegas. (Read the release about the reMind launch.)
In 2023, Emerald is launching Mentera, a new brand focused on developing more effective workplace solutions for addressing the nation’s growing mental health crisis. The inaugural Mentera conference and exhibition is scheduled for May 16-17 at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City. (Read the release about the Mentera launch.)