Hybrid Trade Shows: Ideas & Survival Guide

The arrival of a global pandemic forced many trade show venues to move into the virtual realm. With the global situation improving, there is renewed demand for the return of physical trade shows. A middle ground solution was therefore devised by savvy marketers: the hybrid trade show.

Hybrid trade shows are a mixture of digital and in-person conferences and programming. A hybrid trade show can be an extremely valuable platform to expose your brand and receive valuable business opportunities.

These are several factors that vendors should consider when planning for their business to exhibit at a hybrid trade show or exposition. In this survival guide, the experts in trade show displays at totm exposition share ideas about how to stand out at a hybrid trade fair.

What are the benefits of a hybrid trade show?

With hybrid trade shows, your exhibit is accessible to all kinds of people from around the world and comes with numerous benefits that traditional trade shows cannot offer.

Convenience and accessibility

With the ongoing effects of the global pandemic, guests of trade shows may feel wary and uncomfortable entering into crowded spaces. Hybrid trade shows provide guests with the option of attending virtually if they do not feel comfortable attending in person.

Increased accessibility also translates to a larger audience that can attend no matter which time zone they are in from any part of the globe.


In-person trade shows involve planning costs for large venue spaces often in a different city. This includes expenses for travel, parking, accommodations, set up and dismantling, manpower, etc.

Since hybrid trade shows mean that a substantial portion of the audience will be attending virtually, exhibitors can easily cut costs related to planning since they require less physical presence at the venue. Exhibitors can also use a portable trade show booth, which is easier to transport and set up for a smaller team.

Better data insights

Virtual attendees make it easier to track event data at a trade show. With the help of a virtual event platform, exhibitors can access detailed reports to help accurately measure ROI and determine where adjustments need to be made for future events.

Hybrid trade show best practices for success

Now that you know how hybrid trade shows can be beneficial to your business, we will dig in to the top tips to keep in mind when preparing for your next trade show.

1. Provide on-demand content

Prioritizing the audience with hybrid conferences and trade fairs means partial programming will be accessible online. For increased accessibility, you can make the content of your business’s program available both before the conference and after the conference.

Oftentimes, trade show attendees are delegates on behalf of other businesses who are seeking advantages to better their own work. On-demand content provides these attendees immediate access to your product and service offering.

2. Customize your booth

One aspect of trade shows that remains just as important for offline and online events is the design of your booth. Having a custom trade show booth will significantly increase brand recognition and engagement, whether your audience is physically present or attending virtually.

Not sure where to start when planning your exhibit booth for a trade show? Consider these 12 ideas on how to make your booth stand out.

3. Network with attendees

Associations and organizations use trade shows to increase brand awareness with educational aspects as well as network with prospects to generate sales and sponsorships. The networking process is incredibly important for exhibitors since generating quality trade show leads is the main objective for most vendors.

Both on-site and virtual attendees can engage and establish connections with your brand, participate in trade show contests and provide feedback on programming. Be sure to take every opportunity you can to network with attendees that may be interested in your products or services.

4. Embrace technology

As a vendor at a hybrid trade show, you will need to consider the logistical aspects of technology with technicians and skilled professionals before, during and after the event. Be sure to coordinate with your team and the event organizer well before the event to avoid any technical support issues.

Here are some engagement-boosting ways that technology can be integrated into your exhibit:

  • Enable live chat capabilities for easy interaction with virtual attendees
  • Host live webinars that can be accessed by virtual attendees during and after the event
  • Incorporate an online store into your exhibit to facilitate direct purchases
  • Create a social media wall for your virtual event
  • Use artificial intelligence tools to drive engagement

Work with totm expedition for your next hybrid trade show

Hybrid events offer a bridge between the offline and online world. Partnering with an exhibit booth designer is an invaluable decision when your business sponsors or exhibits at a hybrid trade show.

The experts at totm exposition can design, manufacture and install trade show booths that will make your brand stand out in-person and virtually. Contact us today to bring creativity and innovation to your next trade show.