Forced To Go Virtual By Pandemic, It Has Seen Rapid Dip In Business Generation
Having suffered a massive setback since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, the exhibition industry has its hopes pinned on 2022.
Restrictions on travel and the risks involved because of the coronavirus have forced meetings and conferences to move online. The economic cost of the lockdown has led to budget constraints which, in turn, resulted in further reduction in expenditures.
Conferences, seminars and exhibitions slowly moved to the digital space, which proved cost-effective but they never could see the kind of business these events brought when held in physical mode.
Physical meetings and face-to-face interactions were what brought business for companies participating in exhibitions. Though participation did not take much of a hit as exhibitions moved to the virtual space, financial transactions surely did.
This was partly because of international travel restrictions and also for the fact that most decision makers prefer watching a live demo with their own eyes before deciding to invest.
This, coupled with other reasons like vaccination and restrictions induced by the pandemic, led to the cancellation of several major international exhibitions. The trend was seen in India as well.
Restrictions on international flight operations, vaccine and quarantine regulations and COVID-19 protocols have caused many exhibition participants and visitors to withdraw their plans.
However, the crisis is expected to tide over by the year-end. With India rapidly vaccinating its adult population, the restrictions are being eased gradually. The country expects to vaccinate 100 per cent of its adult population by the end of 2021.
So, industry experts believe that from 2022, things would start turning for the glass industry and the exhibition sector. Domestic air travel restrictions have been lifted entirely, and with a fully vaccinated adult population, curbs imposed on international travel will surely be eased further.
And that would mean exhibitions can be held physically like before, bringing back visitors and participants from within the country and abroad. And as the shortage of raw materials is expected to be over, established businesses as well as new entrants would be back to the market, bringing their business with them. So it does look bright and shiny for the sector from the beginning of next year.
The current year saw organizers of major exhibitions worldwide schedule and then reschedule. Dates of events like China Glass, Vitrum, glasspro India, glasspex India, Glasstech Asia, ZAK and glasstec Germany were changed more than once.