Life, Be Bloomed: Trade Shows are Back

At ISE 2022, LG showcased a Magnit 136 inch UHD display. At ISE 2023 it is the Magnit 272 inch microLED 8K. Is this a sign of the might of expos as they make a comeback after years of social distancing?

Yes, we are traveling again because it is a holiday from the office, which is being used to force us out of our homes after the great pandemic, and frankly, we would rather go anywhere else but there. But you know, the real reason you go to a trade show is because it is the old school equivalent of a selfie, only bigger, much, much bigger.

You pose and preen, you make duck faces, usually because of the quality of the show floor coffee, you ignore what’s going on around you, and you do everything you can to make yourself look better than you really are. But, if you have the cash to splash, you get a stylist, a cool posse, and you contouring, lots and lots of contouring.

The trade show equivalent of a social media selfie queen is the LG Business Solutions booth at ISE 2023. We don’t have to go to Barcelona to see it and be in love with it. We just go to the theme page on LG’s site, Life, Be Bloomed. There’s the booth in all its magnificence.

Then there’s a point and click tour of all the different areas of the booth.

And it really does warm my heart to know that LG sees displays everywhere, cheering up the world, and making us all feel good about hotel lobbies where there are no longer any staff to serve you because, you know, we can’t hire anyone for love or money or something like that.

And finally, there’s PR shot that makes you go, aah, how cute, social distancing is still a thing or this is a posed shot before the show opens.

And of course, the real kicker, the magnificent gateway to the booth, the 272-inch LG Magnit.

We’ve seen a pretty healthy rise in enthusiasm for these in-person expos, CES, NRF, and now ISE in quick succession. The numbers don’t match historical highs. The costs and hassle of traveling are ridiculous. So, we can either look at this as a lot of steam coming off the travel-less pandemic pressure cooker or a return to some of the norms of doing business. Certainly, international shows do a lot better in person because it’s hard to get the world to sync online with time zones, connection issues, and the nuances of cross-cultural discussions. In person, that all gets smoothed over with body language, gestures, and some bonding over food and drink.

Whatever the future of expos may be, what LG does really well here is to create a hybrid experience. You don’t miss a thing that they are doing if you never go to the booth. That’s the way it should be. Yes, that is a pretty involved setup with lots of moving parts having to come together, and if all you have is a table, a cloth backdrop, and some hand-carried signs then it might be overkill, although it might be easier to create that online tour of booth if that is all you have. Just saying.