Across the globe, exhibitions are on hold with little certainty on when they will be able to resume. The exception is the Middle East, which seems to have been better able to stem the spread of the virus. Many organisers have developed online platforms to continue working. However, these have not been successful. Uta Goretzky, Executive Director of IFES, believes that exhibitions work because face-to-face meetings engender trust quickly and effectively, allowing business to proceed. It’s much harder to build trust online. Since the global industry has largely been paused, there is a pent-up demand for trade shows. UFI’s research also reveals that more value is now placed on face-to-face marketing. Yet, the unknowns around vaccine efficacy, and how long it will take consumer confidence and marketing budgets to return, make it hard to know when exhibitions will resume. Across the board, it’s agreed that events will begin locally, followed by regionally and then internationally. They will likely be smaller with fewer visitors, at least initially, and will depend on technology to improve both safety and reach.