With so many technology events cancelled this year, RTS Thames Valley discussed the future of trade shows.
At a late-July event, ‘The future of shows’, Darren Woolfson of Molinare, Abby Parsall (Boxer Systems), Ciaran Doran (Rohde & Schwarz), MC Patel (Emotion Systems) and Mark Birchall (Tradefair) formed an impressive panel, chaired by Penny Westlake (Interra Systems).
The consensus was that trade shows were an excellent networking opportunity, but there were divisions on their future relevance, even allowing for the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Broadcast-specific hardware is diminishing in importance and software can often be demonstrated in better ways.
Trade shows have led to immovable deadlines that drive development engineers to deliver products and salespeople to sell them, yet technology now facilitates the continuous delivery of new features, with no reliance on shows. Online seminars are proving incredibly successful as they provide greater client reach – not everyone can attend IBC or NAB, but they can watch online.
Trade shows have long provided a critical service for vendors and broadcasters, but change was now inevitable, agreed the panel. The need for social interaction and networking would be key to their future.