The year 2020 has been devastating for industry and trade shows. MWC Barcelona was the first large conference deciding not to open its doors due to Covid-19. Soon after, all the conferences around the world were cancelled, with many of them offering an online alternative. 

Now, already in August, many of us wonder what the future of conferences and exhibition shows in 2021 will be. One thing is certain, as we resume activities and meet again in 2021, most likely we will have to adhere to some basic new rules to keep ourselves and others safe. 

Handshakes will not be part of introductions any longer, unless people start to wear fashionable gloves. Or, instead, we can opt for a Vulcan greeting, just like Mr.Spoke in Star Trek; or just a simply verbal greeting will do. More people may opt to wear gloves, me included. 

This reminds me to how cool women look in older Hollywood movies, where gloves always were part of the daily attire. In that sense, past decades from the 1920s to the 1950s had not just glamour which is absent today but some social etiquette rules that protected people from certain virus and bacteria transmission. Such is the case of gloves.  

Today, we wear masks. Oh, yes! The evolution of fashionable masks is inevitable. Who wants to attend a technology conference looking like a surgeon just coming out from the theatre? For this reason, I have purchased what I call my 'business mask'. Just something less colourful and fun than my other pink masks, or the one with daisies. Although, I might make an appearance on a pink mask as well! 

Anyway. I bet many of us will find it interesting and exciting to get back to the shows. I can't wait to see what will be innovative and exceptionally outstanding in technology trends 2021. 

UPDATE: APRIL 15, 2021 

I have to say, that since the excitement of last August before pretty much the whole world saw new cases of Covid-19 emerging with even more lives lost, in addition to having spent most of the months since then in quite a strict lockdown, I have decided I will not be attending any live tech show or conference, or any live performance for that matter for the whole 2021. 

That's right. I will only resume my usual tech show/conference attendance sometime in 2022, and that will depend on how safe I believe that may be by then. In my opinion, the virtual shows have worked just fine and much better than expected during the year 2020. What's more, I have enjoyed the virtual shows much more without the hassle of the huge crowd, the stress of running around from hall to hall. I have especially enjoyed the virtual conferences when the weather has been not ideal. 

I believe from now on, the future of trade shows, conferences, meetings, and anything else will take the blended format of adopting both virtual and physical worlds.  

-Susan  

 

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