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GES' Interactive Global Event Tracker

The global pandemic has drastically affected the events industry. In fact, the pause button was hit for the entire industry as we watched face-to-face events vaporize in front of our eyes.

 

Nonetheless, events are an integral part of many industries and companies’ DNA. In this $101 Billion industry, attendees and employees gather to network, educate, and typically conduct some form of commerce. As our global population strives to emerge from the pandemic through vaccinations and PPE, events are slowly coming back.

Working with our clients, we are closely tracking both key activities and indicators as to if a city can host a face-to-face event. By participating in industry events, including virtual CMO round-tables, marketers of all levels are trying to figure out what cities or regions are likely to execute an event (e.g., trade show, conference, corporate event, association, etc.) for future planning purposes. After answering questions about where events are occurring, I realized the need for a Global Event Tracker. Our team quickly began tracking activity in key trade show cities, along with other indicators. For example, if a city has a professional sports team and they have fans in seats, there is a high likelihood a trade show can occur in that city.

How to Read the Global Event Tracker?

The Interactive Global Event Tracker covers key trade show cities and event attendance for the past 90 days and shares that information in an at-a-glance format. Using a stop sign analogy of red, yellow, and green, we have indicated where trade shows are occurring and color-coded based on attendee participation and mitigation requirements. In the city of Dallas, we’ve seen several trade shows occur with more than 2,000 attendees in the last half of 2020 and the start of 2021. In addition, when the Dallas Cowboys were playing, more than 25,000 fans packed the stands. As a result, Dallas is colored green to indicate it is a city that is up and running for live events.

I dream of the day when this entire map is lit up green. However, we know that will take time and we want events to return safely. As a global organization, we have teams and partners on the street in major trade show cities. They are watching what’s happening at the street level to gauge the likelihood of an event of occurring.

Here’s what we know from the Global Event Tracker:

  • The South is leading the US bringing live events back online:

    • Major trade show cities in Florida – Orlando and Miami - are hosting events of size. Orlando has recently hosted several conventions, Disney World and other attractions are open and Miami held the National Championship Game with 15,000 fans in attendance with PPE mitigation.

    • Dallas and Atlanta are two cities that have also successfully hosted conventions. Both these cities have venues that host large apparel and gift shows. These shows are important because it is where buyers and sellers come together to make seasonal or annual purchases by spotting the latest trends and touching the product(s).

  • Dubai has also been successful in hosting trade shows of sizes and there are even more scheduled to occur in the next couple of months. We’ve seen some corporations host hybrid conventions there by offering attendees a choice to participate in person or via a virtual conference. We’ve even heard that some PPE activities like temperature taking will be relaxed in the near future as well.

  • In Australia and New Zealand - where the sun is shining and the temperatures are rising - and the virus is being successfully controlled, events are heating up as well.

  • Shanghai, China is initially where we first saw trade shows occur and we are closely monitoring to see how they enacted safety and health measures, including social distancing and requiring masks.

Hopefully, the Event Tracker will provide some level of insight into what’s occurring at ground level around the world in trade show cities.

We can always use your help in letting us know what you are seeing in one of these global cities. We’ve included a feedback button feedback button to share local, feet on the ground information with our team.

Our goal, twice a month, is to update the Event Tracker and provide you with insights into what we are seeing at street level. We hope this will help you in planning or attending future events.