History, Legacy and why Trade Shows are still a Must

The team behind the Manchester Furniture Show and January Furniture Show explore just why trade shows have long been pivotal platforms for businesses.

The concept of trade shows, which enables businesses to showcase their products and services, connect with potential customers, and network with industry peers, can be traced back to ancient times when merchants and artisans would gather at local marketplaces to sell their goods. These early gatherings were more than just commercial events; they were social and cultural hubs where people exchanged not only goods but also ideas and information.

Trade shows have evolved significantly from the Middle Ages, propelled by the Industrial Revolution and then accelerated in the 20th Century by the advent of the internet and digital technologies. The pandemic fundamentally shifted the way the world did business and AI looks set to transform the future even further. The furniture industry has always thrived on strong relationships between manufacturers and buyers, and the need to touch, feel and inspect products, no technology will ever replace this all-important human interaction.

The past decade has seen a surge in digital communication and the development of new channels and ways to connect, with emails often replacing the traditional phone call. However, online platforms have proliferated, and email, once the preferred marketing tool of choice, has become less effective due to stricter data legislation, limited cookie tracking and higher email unsubscribe rates, this combined with the advent of a new hybrid working week, has made it even harder to reach customers.

With Brexit and the pandemic causing the UK furniture market to stall over the last few years, trade shows continue to be the most effective channel to reach new clients, showcase product and continue dialogue. This was demonstrated at this year’s January Furniture Show (JFS), now in its 33rd year, where the NEC Birmingham saw visitors from over 50 countries, with 89% of attendees citing trade shows as very important to the success of their business.

From their humble beginnings in ancient marketplaces to the sophisticated global events of today, trade shows have come a long way. They have continually adapted to the changing needs of business and society, reflecting the economic, technological, and cultural shifts of their times. As a dynamic and resilient industry, trade shows will undoubtedly continue to be a vital part of the business world for years to come.

Be part of history in the making and join us at Manchester Furniture Show which returns after a five-year hiatus from 10-11 July 2024, at the iconic Manchester Central. With the show already tracking +15% ahead on visitor registration and cost-effective packages available, trade shows remain as relevant today for the furniture industry as they did in ancient times.  

Find out more about the January Furniture Show, Manchester Furniture Show and the Women in Furniture Network at – thefurnitureshows.com

Save this article for later

You can revisit this article if you save it as favourite news!

Leave a Comment