Data, Education and Wobbly World Economy Among Near-Term Trends for Trade Shows

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Baltimore, MD – More data, more education and economic uncertainty are among the top trends that trade show organizers will be focused on in the coming years, according to a white paper released by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) at Expo! Expo!.

The white paper, available on the IAEE website, is the annual update of “Future Trends Impacting the Exhibitions and Events Industry.” It was produced by the IAEE Future Trends Task Force and looks three years down the road and predicts major trends and potential obstacles.

“This white paper is key to show organizers and suppliers as they formulate their strategic plans,” said IAEE president & CEO David DuBois. “Show organizers are very adept at handling rapid changes, and having a fairly good idea of what to expect is a valuable aid.”

Committee Chairman Francis Friedman, president of Time & Place Strategies, Inc., said the previous “Future Trends” report produced some solid predictions that were becoming common on show floors, and the 2015 edition should be accurate as well. “We recommend referring to previous reports for what is happening now, and using this updated version to prepare for what is coming over the next three years,” he said.

The top emerging trends stretched from registration forms to the global economy:

Data: The world of Big Data is knocking on every show manager’s door. Knowing how to effectively gather and make use of this river of tidbits, factoids and vital statistics is necessity. The security of this digital trove is also increasingly critical in a world where hackers have become increasingly aggressive and brazen.
Education: Trade shows remain a key source of post-graduate education for many industries. Shows may need to upgrade their offerings to accommodate a wide attendee demographic where people have different goals and learning styles.
Economy: There are some bearish signs pointing to a developing slowdown in the red-hot Chinese economy  and continued sluggishness in Japan and Europe. The Middle East is stuck between widespread political instability and crumbling oil prices. Even the U.S. has issues, including a possible increase in interest rates that could vex corporate balance sheets.
Reach David DuBois at (972) 458-8002 or ddubois@iaee.com; Francis Friedman at (212) 879-6400 or tjfconsult@aol.com