A while back I wrote a blog article about globalization as a mega trend in the events industry and its impact on trade shows and exhibitions. Many event businesses have been responding to this trend by expanding their global reach and setting up an international strategy. Mega trend, indeed!
However, it is also true that smaller, local meetings and regional trade shows have a massive impact on the events industry and regional economies. As an exhibition and event organizer, you may want to think about “going local” rather than exclusively focusing on the big, fancy cities.
Regional Trade Shows From An Economic Perspective
Events play an important role in the economy, particularly from a macro-economic perspective. On their website, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) writes: "The regional economic effects at major international trade fair centers amount to five to seven times the organisers' own turnover. Trade shows thus secure a considerable number of jobs in the local region, particularly in small and medium-sized companies."
In addition to the local exhibition center and the organizer, cities and communities benefit from regional trade shows. The entire local economy is involved in the event: from catering and accommodation services to logistics, there are many service providers that benefit from an event being held in their city. Trade show visitors may use trams, taxis and trains; they may eat at local restaurants and stay in local hotels, depending on the duration and nature of their trip. The whole regional economy surrounding a trade show is impacted by the event.
How Generation Y Drives Regional Trade Shows
Globalization may be a mega trend and regionalization might be an underestimated side-effect of it – but there is another development that is hard to ignore: a new generation of young professionals coming along with a completely new mindset. Generation Y has different priorities and with that, their behavior strongly influences the economy and the events industry in particular.
Spending time with their families and friends is extremely important to the new generation of young professionals. Travel distances matter and they prefer short train rides to long flights. This change in mindset puts local (maybe even smaller) meetings and events in a much more favorable position than they’ve been in the past.
So how do regional trade shows serve your clients? Here’s how exhibitors and participants benefit from regional trade shows:
- Shorter travel distances, more time: Employees spend less time in trains or cars and save more time to work. From a personal view, they gain more quality time with their family and friends.
- Less travel expenses: The nearer, the better! With companies cutting travel budgets, the willingness to spend large amounts of money for long business trips is decreasing. Events being held in their regions require smaller travel budgets.
- New PR possibilities for local businesses: Regional sponsorships and partnerships are great ways to support employer branding efforts and shape a company's brand awareness within a particular region.
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