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Unpack Your Portable Pop Up Displays: Why Virtual Trade Shows Will Never Replace The Real Thing

We hear a lot about virtual trade shows these days. More and more frequently invitations to attend such an event pop up in our inbox or we read about one in our RSS feed. Although online events certainly have their place, there are many reasons why they won’t, and shouldn’t, replace physical trade shows.

The Rise Of Virtual Trade Shows

There are many reasons why virtual trade shows have become so popular. Widespread broadband Internet access, the portability of computers and the prevalence of smartphones and tablets capable of receiving live feed all make the simulated experience a less expensive alternative to the traditional setting. Smaller companies and businesses are more likely to be able to attend the virtual event, or at least send more staff members to attend it, than they could with a traditional exhibition.

Attending a trade show can be an expensive undertaking after you factor in transportation and lodging costs. It’s even more expensive for exhibitors because they’re paying to be there through their trade show booth rental costs. In addition to these factors, exhibitors need to provide an exhibit! If they don’t have portable pop up displays or even table top displays at the ready, they may decide attending an event in person is too difficult and opt for a virtual one instead.

This may all add up to more than small businesses can handle. Even larger businesses have shown an interest in the electronic route as a cost-cutting measure, but no matter how affordable a virtual show may be, it can’t replace the single most important function of the traditional events: face-to-face contact.

That Personal Touch

Personal connections and face-to-face contact are the biggest reasons why physical exhibitions will never be replaced by their virtual counterparts. Trade shows are and always have been about building relationships with current and potential clients. They’re about much more than shopping and selling. Questions and answers and conversation flow cannot be replicated in a virtual environment. Attendees can learn a lot from table top displays and testing out new products in person, but it is that personal connection that most often secures the sale and builds the relationship.

In addition to meeting the exhibitors and working your way around a floor full of portable pop-up displays, island exhibits and table top displays, meeting other attendees is helpful too. Most industries are smaller than you think and industry-specific events like this are an excellent place for colleagues to reach out and re-connect with each other. They’re useful for exchanging information with your peers, learning about the latest trends and challenges facing your industry and, again, solidifying, or building, relationships to help your business.

Let’s not discount the fun factor either. Many exhibitions are held in exciting locations that people want to visit and the simple act of getting away from the office can have a great effect on team-building and employee rapport. That cannot be replicated via a computer. Although intangible, these factors are worth remembering as they do provide value to your organization through employee satisfaction.

Pack Up Your Table Top Displays and Head Off to Start Building Relationships

Business is all about relationships, whether those are vendor-client relationships, peer-to-peer relationships or vendor-to-vendor relationships. Physical trade shows provide a common ground and meeting place to build up those relationships. Exchanging ideas and information in one-on-one conversations and small discussions over lunch are the kind of experiences that cannot be replicated with online events. It’s that kind of connection that makes exhibitions so valuable and why they’ll never be replaced.

Skyline has earned a reputation for cutting edge trade show exhibits and portable pop up displays ( If you’re looking for table top displays or even a trade show booth rental to get your business noticed, Skyline’s award-winning designs can help. Contact Skyline today to learn more at!

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