How to Prepare for the Return of Live Events: Part 2 (Updated 9.9.2021)

Our original post was written a year ago and it’s time to revisit the topic of in-person events. We hope Part 1 of this piece (check it out if you haven’t already) energized you and made you feel optimistic for the future. We believe in-person trade shows will return—but what will they look like when they do?

Fast forward one year and we’re still figuring out what the future of in-person events looks like. Trade shows are evolving and it feels like we’re heading in the right direction, even if we’ve hit a few speed bumps along the way. So, rather than predictions, we’re sharing what we’ve seen in 2021. The differences we anticipate fall under the categories of exhibitors’ individual booth spaces, show-level practices and policies, and human interaction. We have also provided some tips and action items from our team here at EDE to help you better prepare.

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Mastering the Art of Speaking Trade Show

Have you heard of Duolingo? It’s an app that claims to be “the best new way to learn a language.” It sounded intriguing, so we checked out what languages they offer, Spanish, French, German. Oddly, we didn’t find trade show listed. Ok, maybe that’s not so odd, but regardless of whether Duolingo recognizes it, we all know that trade shows have a unique language, and learning to speak it can be frustrating.

Mastering the Art of Speaking Trade Show
Mastering the Art of Speaking Trade Show

Can you interpret this?

Please grab the BOL for the EAC in booth 103 and read me the CWT?

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3 Ways to Use Data to Improve your Exhibit Design

3 Ways to Use Data to Improve your Exhibit Design
3 Ways to Use Data to Attract Quality Traffic to Your Booth

Trade shows are integral to any marketing strategy. Are you looking to build awareness? Launch a product? Maintain or strengthen relationships? Then trade shows are your answer! Not so fast, consumers are spoiled with choice so you’ll need to prove why they should visit and spend time at your booth.

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How to Maximize RFP Results to Get a Killer Design!

Have you ever wondered how some of the showstoppers figure out the request-for-proposal (RFP) process? They’ve created an impactful experience with an awesome trade show exhibit – the high fives all around say it all.

It's Not Rocket Science: How to Maximize RFP Results to Get a Killer Design!
It’s Not Rocket Science: How to Maximize RFP Results to Get a Killer Design!

Ok, fine, no high fives just yet. Just know you’re not alone. The RFP process can be overwhelming.

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Plan for the Return of Large Trade Shows: Stretching Your Exhibit Budget

Trade shows are rebounding, but how’s your budget looking?

As events see the light at the end of a pandemic tunnel, start to expect a flurry of in-person activity this fall.

Like many companies, you may find yourself having to plan for the return of large trade shows on a much smaller budget. Not to mention as show organizers rush to rebook, some of the events you have traditionally attended might overlap.

Don’t panic. Stop and take a deep breath. You can – no, you will – make this work!

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Driving into the Future – How to Prepare for Hybrid Trade Shows

Have you ever been walking through a parking lot and suddenly there is a car behind you? You have to do a double-take. Where did it come from? How is it so quiet?

You know where I’m going with this, right? Yep, the parking space stalker is a hybrid.

The United States is now the second-largest market for hybrid vehicles, making up 36% of global sales. For something so quiet, hybrid vehicles sure have revolutionized the auto industry.

If you’ve paid 30-seconds of attention to the event industry over the past year, it isn’t surprising that hybrid is sneaking up on us too. There is no doubt face-to-face interaction is invaluable, but virtual events are not going away. It’s time to find a way to work them into our exhibit strategy.

Merge into the carpool lane: accepting hybrid events as the future.

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Engaging Trade Show Attendees through Gamification

MHS's AMR robots delivered prizes to attendees that won a custom game

How to use gamification in your trade show exhibit to drive engagement and build community.

Who would have thought a show about chess would draw 62 million viewers in its first 28 days? I admit I haven’t watched the Queen’s Gambit, but I keep hearing people say they never knew chess could be so interesting. Is it simply chess that’s fascinating? Is it the quest to be the best chess player in the world? What is driving people to watch this show?

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How 2020 Proved That Sales and Marketing Alignment Matters

Sales and Marketing

2020 was the year that finally proved that Sales and Marketing must work together to achieve success. Trade Shows are lead generation machines and sales relies heavily on them to build their pipeline. One of the biggest challenges in 2020 was losing in-person events and the leads that come with them.  

While the in-person events went away, successful marketers used special events to fill that lost demand, while the companies that relied solely on sales lagged behind. Based on surveys from Exhibitor Online, we learned: 

  • 39% indicate that the downturn has made the value of trade shows and face-to-face marketing more obvious to members of the C-Suite. 
  • 59% indicate a lack of leads/sales opportunities due to the loss of in-person events. 

With that said, let’s start from the beginning. When you start any campaign or event planning, it is crucial that you start with one thing.  

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GBAC: What is it and why does it matter to you as an exhibit manager?

The return of shows means there will be not only expectations to make people feel safe, but requirements and procedures in place to ensure it. In continued efforts to prepare for the future, two of our team members at EDE, Max Maxwell and Shannon Dunne, have received their GBAC certifications.

So what’s GBAC?

It’s the Global Biorisk Advisory Council. It teaches you how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from biohazards in the workplace. Currently, the course places an emphasis on how to handle a post-COVID world of events. Places like McCormick Convention Center (Chicago), Orange County Convention Center (Orlando), Georgia World Congress (Atlanta), and Jacob Javits (NYC) have all been certified, proving the importance of the certification.

Why does GBAC matter to you?

As an exhibit manager, the return of shows is exciting, but also nerve wracking. Safety is everyone’s #1 concern, and quite frankly, the only way our industry we love will get off the ground. This certification will enable us (and you!) to take all of the necessary steps to ensure and manage the cleaning/safety protocols of your exhibit. By finding a trusted partner that is GBAC-certified, you can have peace of mind that your environment will be safe for everyone.

If you’re interested in learning more about the training, you can check it out here. Or if you have questions for our certified team members, please contact us at

How Experiential Technology Led to a 500% Increase in Trade Show Exhibit Traffic for MHS Global

MHS Global trade show exhibit at MODEX 2020

“It’s big, interactive, impactful, inviting, and fun!” A satisfied attendee in the MHS exhibit at MODEX 2020 excitedly summarized her MHS experience. The metrics showed that she wasn’t alone — the exhibit had a 500% increase in traffic and generated almost 6 times the number of leads from MHS’s previous show (Promat 2019). So how did they do it?

With 2020 being MHS’s first time exhibiting at MODEX, the company wanted to make its presence known—both as a leader in the industry and physically on the show floor. The company’s objectives were to increase brand awareness and to educate attendees on the newly defined “pillars” that encapsulate MHS’s disciplines. 

To achieve these goals, EDE teamed up with our AV partner Stamm Technologies to create several experiential technology activations. These activations made MHS a must-see on the show floor and educated attendees on MHS’s core business functions they have deemed their “pillars.”

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3 Ways to Create MASSIVE Impact Using Low Touch Experiential Tech

Ferrara trade show exhibit at Sweets and Snacks

Experiential technology has become a dominant force in trade shows and will be even more important when live events return. We already know how useful technology can be in creating memorable experiences. Now, we’re going to see how it will help live events become low touch in a post-pandemic world.

Low touch (or no touch) will be the new challenge as we adapt experiential tech to be safer and more comfortable. This might have you scratching your head a bit as you think, “How can I create an impactful interactive experience with technology that is low touch?”

We’re here to provide some ideas to get you started. The key to ensuring that your low touch experiential tech is effective is to keep these 3 things in mind: ATTRACT, ENGAGE, and INFORM. If it doesn’t fit within one of these categories, you should re-think its purpose.

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Why In-Person Trade Shows Will Return & How to Prepare: Part 1

Human interaction at in-person trade show

The big question we keep hearing is “will in-person trade shows make a comeback post-pandemic?” If you ask our team of experiential marketing experts, our answer is 100% yes; in-person trade shows will return.

We may not know when live events will return, and we don’t necessarily know what they will look like when they do. But we do know that the value of face-to-face marketing can’t be replaced. This two-part piece will focus first on the benefits of in-person trade shows that can’t be replicated virtually. In Part 2, we’ll explore some of the ways live events may look different in the future—and what you can do to be prepared.

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EDE Team Grows with Addition of VP of Sales & Engagement and Digital Marketing Manager

We are excited to announce the addition of two new team members! We would like to welcome Max Maxwell as VP of Sales & Engagement and Stephanie Coupland as Digital Marketing Manager. 

Maxwell comes to EDE with over 25 years of industry experience and a passion for bringing his clients’ visions to life. His background in visual communication and psychology enables him to communicate with clients on an artistic and spatial level. Maxwell’s work has been featured in various publications, and he has been a member of the Midwest Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) board for four years.

Coupland joins the team with three years of experience in live event marketing, with a focus on content creation and digital strategy. She has a deep understanding of creating memorable customer journeys and provides a fresh millennial perspective. Coupland’s role will support us in providing relevant and educational content to trade show managers and event marketers seeking valuable industry resources.

We can’t wait to see you both succeed and are happy to have you as part of the EDE family!

Virtual Trade Shows: 5 Key Elements to Keep in Mind When Planning

Static format of virtual trade show with informational hotspots

Due to COVID-19, event marketers have pivoted their 2020 marketing strategies and begun incorporating virtual trade shows. There is no doubt that we all miss the face-to-face interaction that trade shows offered us. But as we’ve seen virtual experiences take flight, we’ve learned that they can be just as impactful as an in-person show.

We know that the shift to virtual can be daunting. That’s why we’ve compiled what we think are some of the most crucial elements of planning a virtual trade show.

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Events and Coronavirus – EDE’s Guide to Re-Opening

Events and Coronavirus

During this period of uncertainty, we at EDE Corporation feel it is our role to help trade show managers and marketers keep up-to-date with the progress of the Events and Coronavirus. We chose five major cities we felt would be the bellwethers for guiding the reopening nationwide.  The following are reports and governmental links as to where each city currently sits, as well as the plan to open for larger gatherings. 

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Use Data-driven Design to Improve Trade Show Booth Performance

Trade Show Audience
Old World Industries Exhibit at AAPEX 2019

Are you struggling to connect with your audience at trade shows?

Your trade show booth might be innovative and attractive, but that won’t matter if your audience doesn’t like nor connects with it. Below we give you some tips on how to create a trade show booth that connects with your audience by incorporating a data-driven design methodology for your next big exhibit.

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