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Filament’s Top Predictions for the Future of Agriculture Trade Shows

05.31.22Jon Anderson

If there’s an agriculture trade show or industry event, you’ll likely run into a Filamentarian. We’ve seen it all — from World Pork Expo to Commodity Classic, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Conference to Western Dairy Management Conference and everything in between.

Armed with our first-hand event experiences, a bevy of “trade show inspo” Pinterest boards and those pre-event frantic energy vibes, we compiled our top predictions on what the future of agriculture trade shows will look like:

Prediction 1: Trade shows are here to stay

Most major events in the trade show world have returned this year. Attendance across the board is lower (about two-thirds of pre-COVID attendance), yet those who are attending are extremely happy to be there.

And while many attendees expect virtual options even if the show is held in person, digital fatigue and rural broadband issues are drawing attendees back in person. While the virtual events served as a nice band-aid that satisfied the times, there’s no substitute for in-person networking and conversation.

Prediction 2: If you don’t have a clear goal, don’t waste your time

The best trade shows are when companies come in with a clear strategy and objective for what they hope to achieve. Companies should make sure there is a purpose, not just a presence.

Evaluate your level of investment — what is your goal or business objective, and what do you expect to get in return? A trade show footprint that doesn’t align with the opportunity present is a wasted investment.

Prediction 3: A changing audience demographic will change the game

Farm consolidation, diversification and the next generation moving into ownership and decision-making roles all mean one thing — a changing target audience demographic.

These larger, high-value customers or prospects who commit to experiencing a trade show in person demand the event is worth their time from a networking, business and educational standpoint. What are you doing to meet their expectations?

Prediction 4: Engagement opportunities will be king

The biggest missed opportunity is not drawing in and talking to the available customers or prospects. Companies need to do whatever they can to engage people and pull them into the booth to share a message instead of walking past.

If trade shows are to remain for the next 10, 20 or even 50 years, demonstrations and “touch-feel-see” types of interaction will lead the way. It needs to be an amusement park, not just booths or islands. Get people to walk away with a memory, and it will enhance the odds people will engage with your brand again.

Let’s talk about your trade show marketing strategy and how we can help you make the most of your agriculture trade show investment.

Jon Anderson
Jon Anderson
Vice President