2021 Trade Shows — Virtual or Hybrid?

by | Feb 12, 2021

by Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect

Virtual or Hybrid? It’s the question all the industry trade shows targeting the professional tradesman are facing for 2021.

2020 was a rough year for industry trade shows, with a good chunk of them cancelling or postponing their events. And for shows that tried the “virtual” route, they were met with pretty poor results.

Typically, my first quarter is packed with various industry shows, but given the pandemic, here’s how three of these shows are handling their 2021 events.

International Builders Shows (IBS)

  • Co-located with KBIS, the International Builders Show typically draws anywhere from 50k-75k people
  • For this year’s show they’ve decided to go 100% virtual
  • I’m skeptical on the attendance and engagement for the builders and contractors for an event that’s 100% online

World of Concrete (WOC)

  • World of Concrete (WOC) is taking a “hybrid” approach, with a “virtual” education portion and then a “live” in-person event
  • I attended some of the live educational sessions (total of 18), which are now on-demand through the end of March
  • I think the in-person event, scheduled for early June, has a chance of happening, but a lot will depend on the vaccine rollout


  • The WWETT Show is also taking a “hybrid” approach with “virtual” educational sessions late February and the “live” event the end of June
  • The education sessions have always been a key part of this show in the past, so I would imagine the “virtual” sessions should have some success

If you’ve attended these shows in the past, I’m curious your plan for 2021 and how are you going to participate?

If you’d like more info about trade shows in 2021, visit:

Marketing Minute: Preparing for a 2021 without In-Person Events

Ways to Make Up for Cancelled Trade Shows and Missed Opportunities

Share this:

Related Posts

Subscribe to the Tradesman Insights Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with Tradesman Insights from Sonnhalter!

You have Successfully Subscribed!