Virtual Trade shows to deflect businesses & economy from COVID impact
The pandemic has resulted in an estimated loss of Rs 3,570 crore in Q1 2020 for the sector, which may further escalate if the crisis continues.
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Managing the health crisis and reviving the economy are the two biggest priorities for governments around the world today. Trade shows, especially, are critical in rebuilding the economy, as these offer a chance to companies to sell and source, a vital component of the business calendar and a key factor in building a network. Trade shows have long been a way for SMEs to enter global value chains. Global player, Alibaba recently said it is launching a series of 20 online trade shows in the United States for specific industries.
As India deliberates on the post-COVID era, the exhibition industry is geared up to lead by example. Recently a virtual event was organized by the trade body Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA) with Nitin Gadkari, Minister of MSME and road transport & highways, the members of the trade association. Taking a clue from the same, TradeIndia, India's largest B2B marketplace empowering SMEs/MSMEs is coming up with the country's first virtual three-day trade show, ''COVID-19 Essentials Expo India'', from August 5, 2020. The trade expo will be on the lines of a traditional exhibition but will be conducted via a virtual medium due to the COVID-19 pandemic concerns. The event is targeted to revive various micro, small, and medium enterprises, whose operations have been affected due to the coronavirus crisis, and help them maintain business continuity.
Many other platforms are looking at the scope of virtual trade shows. EPCH recently organized a virtual trade show “The Indian Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Show (IFJAS 2020)” which proved fruitful for its participants as well as global buyers. The organiser claims that 1,200 buyers, wholesalers and retailers from 81 countries and 500 buying agents marked their presence at the event.The Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA) estimates the market size of the exhibition industry at `23,800 crore. More than 550 such events are conducted annually in the organised sector. However, the outbreak of the pandemic has resulted in an estimated loss of Rs 3,570 crore in Q1 2020 for the sector, which may further escalate if the crisis continues.
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