When the Trade Show Must Go On

Cross-Border Collaboration Through Virtual Events

Trade shows are critical to both the seller’s and buyer’s journey and in fact, are the second largest/fastest-growing source of U.S. B2B revenue. Beyond immediate gains, these events also deliver long-term value stemming from the serendipitous interactions that spark opportunity and innovation.

It was no small thing, then, when organizers had to cancel or significantly postpone shows due to COVID-19. But now businesses are realizing there is another option – going virtual. With the robust solutions offered by today’s virtual meeting platforms, these shows can go on!

Case in point. This year Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the industry’s largest global trade organization, has moved their annual event, running June 8 – 12, to a purely digital platform. BIO Digital promises cross-border collaboration between more than 60 countries with 22,000 one-on-one “partnering” meetings between 5,500 delegates. Though attendees won’t be meeting face to face in San Diego as planned, they are nevertheless partnering up to face down some of today’s most urgent problems, including COVID-19. Organizers promise that “nothing stops innovation.”

It remains to be seen whether BIO and other trade shows, conferences and conventions return to traditional formats once the crisis subsides. But for now, it is good to know that even a pandemic can’t keep the best of minds from connecting and collaborating. And perhaps, even developing a cure or two.

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