Alto Marketing

ELRIG Drug Discovery 2021

20th October 2021 - 0 comments

Recollections on the first live exhibition attended since before the pandemic

So, there I was, at the ACC in Liverpool (UK) for day one of ELRIG’s Drug Discovery 2021 on a warm but damp Tuesday (19th October).

An actual, real-life event…for the first time since early 2020. Wow! And it was the same for most of the exhibitors and delegates that I spoke with.

Since its last outing in November 2019, the exhibition had moved to the new, larger hall which meant that there was plenty of space. Maybe too much space as being one of the first shows back after the COVID ‘break’, it was likely that attendance – both exhibitors and delegates – would be down. That said, one of the exhibitors told me that he had been to a couple of events in Sweden which were as well attended as before COVID, however Sweden had not gone into lock-down as we had in the UK.

It did seem that there were fewer people and a number of exhibitors did say that traffic – at least on day 1 – was down. With the extra space in the hall, it might just have felt like it, and we await to find out the final attendance figures; certainly, some exhibitors that I spoke with were having a good show.

Whatever the numbers, congratulations are due to the ELRIG team for holding this well-run event; it was great to see people there attending the presentations and visiting the stands. In person.

It is reasonable to think that attendance at all shows in countries where there have been lock-downs will be lower than before, and then pick up over time as we get back to normal. It is a credit to exhibitors who are booking their stands that they understand this. Experience tells us that fully digital events have not worked as well (many comments about this from exhibitors yesterday), and so even though a hybrid model combining live and virtual events may turn out to be more popular in future – our industry does need the live, face-to-face connections.

I – and other colleagues at Alto Marketing – go to a number of events each year, and as we all start to attend more live events again, please do contact me if you’d like to meet up to discuss your marketing communications needs.

PS Big “shout out” to Fredrik Rahm of Pelago Bioscience as the first new person that I have spoken with at a live event in over one and a half years! I hope you’ve had a good show.

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