The impact of COVID on exhibition industry

Australia’s business events and exhibition industry was almost immediately shut down when COVID-19 hit Australia. With 96% of events scheduled for 2020 being cancelled or postponed, the impact of the pandemic is being felt by all in the industry including exhibition stand builders like us, Expo Centric, as well as exhibitors and suppliers (Lost Business Report: Impacts of COVID-19 on the Business Events Industry, McCrindle, April 2020.)

Almost all of the business events (96%) scheduled for 2020 have been cancelled or postponed. Just 4% have been held or are going ahead.

The total business lost in the events industry is estimated to be between $29.4 and $35.7 billon over the next 12-15 months. (Lost Business Report: Impacts of COVID-19 on the Business Events Industry, McCrindle, April 2020.)

Long Term Effects on the Exhibition Industry

The effects of COVID-19 will have a large impact on the exhibition industry long after restrictions are lifted.

  • Exhibition attendees will be reluctant to return due to fear of COVID-19 or similar.
  • Exhibitor’s budgets for marketing will be reduced, limiting the number of exhibitors at shows.
  • Suppliers of exhibitions (food and beverage, services etc) may not have the resource and staff to cater for events like they previously did.

In a survey conducted by Exhibitor Media Group, survey participants were asked what long-term changes they anticipated for the exhibition as a result of COVID-19. 75% of participants believed that there would be an increase in mixed/hybrid events (combining virtual and real life).  A large percentage also thought there would be lower attendance rates for future exhibitions.

55% of the survey participants thought there would be fewer events, 53% predict a shift from large national exhibitions to small/regional alternatives and 40% envisage temperature checks at large exhibitions and events.

59 per cent of event planning businesses now believe it will take a year or more to recover post COVID-19. (Value of Business Events to Australia 2018/19, Ernst & Young, March 2020)

Expo Centric has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, as have others in the events and exhibition industry space. The lockdown situation delivered Expo Centric many new challenges, which we contested and have viewed as unique opportunities for business pivots. From this, new products and businesses have been formed.

Health Shield Solutions – A COVID Solution Provider

The COVID-19 pandemic will change the way we live and work. Large scale social and behavioural changes will be seen for the foreseeable future.

Health Shield Solutions was born to offer large scale venues and retail stores comprehensive COVID protection services. These services ensure venues have the appropriate safety controls and protection products in place to shield staff and customers from COVID-19.

Check full range of products on our website

Furniture Manufacturer

Expo Centric is a premium exhibition, event and retail designer and builder. When COVID-19 hit Australia, we knew we have the facilities and machinery to create products to help businesses. Using our skilled team and manufacturing workshop we have designed and created a range of portable furniture.

These solutions have been made readily available to the Australian community through the creation on Expo Centric LITE. The products are easy to install and can be purchased in our online shop.

Shop our products online

Virtual Experiences

We have also expanded our Virtual Experience offerings. Expo Centric has always been heavily invested in the collaboration of design and technology. We incorporate VR/AR elements into thousands of diverse experiences in different shapes and forms into exhibitions stands. From the use of the Holocube to demonstrate 3D models of car parts, to using VR simulations to demonstrate vision reduction experienced by people with muscular degeneration, Expo Centric has been at the forefront of technology.

While these inclusions have been utilised successfully to engage exhibition attendees and form experiential relationships, prior to COVID-19 VR/AR experiences were predominantly seen and used as a gimmick, novelty or merely entertainment, rather than a real tool for exhibiting. Now everything has changed.

Interactive technologies and 3D animations are the basis of VR/AR experiences, therefore Expo Centric is again at the forefront in this next step in exhibition technology advancement.

Learn more about our virtual experiences here.

Need to discuss how we can help your business bounce back from COVID-19 with virtual experiences?


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