The Hybrid Future of Events

The big question on everyone’s mind is “what will the future of trade shows and events look like?” While I wish I had a crystal ball, I will say this… it will be different! It is foolishly optimistic to think that when the calendar page flips over to January 2021, or after the election in November, that suddenly everything will shift back to our old normal. Regardless of which camp you are in, we still must plow forward and make our best guess and best plan.

I always like to look up inspirational quotes for any blog or speech I write, and while researching thoughts for this piece I found this quote that I felt said it perfectly:

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln


While many things are out of our control, I do believe we can set our own path and form our own new normal with reasonable expectations and learnings. Throughout this year we have talked to you about how to stay in front of your customers and more recently how to create your own event. Those two concepts are just as important today as they were a few months ago. The biggest difference now is that we see light at the end of the tunnel, so now it is time for the next step – and having a plan is always the first step.

We believe that trade shows and events will be back, and some are already becoming a reality this quarter, however, expect many things to look different. So be prepared


Most likely attendance at trade shows and events will be lighter. Whether due to new capacity restrictions at the venue or due to corporate travel restrictions, less people are coming. Now before you get upset, keep in mind those who do attend are most likely to be more qualified. Now, let’s talk about how to still capture the same number of people and leads, if not more!

With the expectations that fewer people will physically be attending shows one way you can ensure that your company still achieves the same number of quality leads or more is to create a hybrid plan – physical and virtual presence. Using a product like Apple Rock’s new EncoreLIVE virtual platform as a supplement to your trade show booth will allow you to invite more people to experience your brand virtually through livestreaming from the show and presenting other branded content just like you do within your booth.


Balancing your event program with some smaller regional events for the next 6- 12 months might be a wise idea. You are more likely to find new opportunities and availability with smaller events. If can’t find any, create your own! Produce your own platform and invite vendors to give demos and presentations.

Even with the smaller events you can still expand your audience and increase your ROI by integrating the digital virtual aspect. Livestream from your event and invite other customers that might not be able to come otherwise, adding just another level of quality engagement for your sales team.

The morale to this blog is to stop waiting for other people or life events to define your business'es outcome. Create your own plan and help define your new normal! We can help! Connect with us today.