World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) organized a webinar on ‘Exhibition Industry in Post-Pandemic Era’ in celebration of the 21st WTCA Day on June 13, 2023. The webinar was conducted by the WTCA Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Council (RAC) and the Asia Pacific Regional Office (APRO).

Speaking on this occasion, Ms. Rupa Naik, Executive Director, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai outlined the key trends shaping exhibition industry in the post-pandemic period in India. She said the Indian exhibition industry displayed tremendous tenacity and creativity to meet the challenges thrust upon them post pandemic. Pointing to the latest technological trends in the exhibition industry, Ms. Naik informed, “New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT may replace some of the jobs in exhibition industry. Start-up companies are offering fully customized virtual 3D environments with meeting rooms, conference booths and auditoriums. Exhibition industry is also adopting sustainable practices by reducing use of paper through digital registration, digital tent cards and digital signages. Other sustainability practices being adopted by industry players are: managing food wastage, use of recyclable display materials, water recycling facility, rooftop solar panels and so on.”

Sharing her views on other trends shaping events and exhibition industry, Ms. Naik said, “Today, exhibitors demand more value for investment, more return on objectives and return on time. So, exhibition organizers have to deliver enhanced services than before for greater impact and customer engagement beyond exhibition stalls. Consumer behavior and expectation have changed dramatically in the last two years. Customers need personalized engagement with brands on social media. So, companies are engaging their customers with targeted contents on social media rather than sending mass mails or generic social media ads.”

Ms. Naik concluded her remarks by pointing out, “In conclusion, I would like to point out that digital transformation and sustainability will be the key forces shaping exhibition industry. At the same time, it is too early and premature to predict how exactly the digital technologies will disrupt MICE industry. WTC Mumbai is keeping pace with the needs of the industry and it aims to assure excellent experience in keeping with our objective of delivering world-class facilities at affordable cost.”

Mr. Scott Wang, Vice President, Asia Pacific, World Trade Centers Association New York delivered welcome address for the webinar. Mr. Wang informed, “WTCA Day was proclaimed 21 years ago by New York City Mayor Mr. Mike Bloomberg in honour of the contribution of WTCA in promoting world trade and peace. WTCA Day is celebrated by all the WTCs across the globe annually. This year, we organized this webinar to discuss the trends that will shape the exhibition industry and how different WTCs in the Asia Pacific are responding to these trends.”

Mr. Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director/CEO, UFI – The Global Association of Exhibition Industry delivered keynote address during the event by highlighting the factors shaping exhibition industry globally. Mr. Hattendorf pointed out, “The key trends to watch out for in the exhibition industry are: increased customer focus, impact of climate crisis on the industry, digital tracking of real-time data for lead generation and trends in staffing.”

The webinar was also addressed by senior officials from WTC Binh Duong New City, WTC Kuala Lumpur, WTC Metro Manila, WTC Seoul, WTC Taipei and WTC Shanghai.