The year 2020 will always be remembered not just for the havoc it wreaked for the businesses around the world but also for how quickly the businesses adapted to the challenges and changes that erupted during the phase.

The MICE industry, too, faced extreme uncertainty and switched to the virtual platform to keep the show going. However, virtual events could not replicate the advantages of live events. After a series of cancellations and postponements of events, we can see a ray of hope with physical events making a comeback. 

The world is not yet COVID-free, but most countries have relaxed travel restrictions. Those in the exhibition industry have, by now, realized that only in-person events have the potential to bring in a reliable pool of interested audiences. They provide an ideal platform for face-to-face interaction and consumer engagements.

HITEX and the organizers of recently held shows like CREDAI, IIID Showcase, RenewX, and Hyderabad Toy Expo - that garnered an overwhelming sentiment from the industry stakeholders - have also attested to the fact that the industry is on the path of revival. After a considerable period, the brands had an opportunity to personally connect with their audience and showcase their products, innovations, and services.

American Express Meetings & Events, a division of AMEX Global Business Travel, recently published the 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, which details the meetings and event trends anticipated for the year. The forecast demonstrated that there's high anticipation of in-person events returning in 2022: "67 percent of respondents believe in-person meeting levels will return to their pre-pandemic numbers within one to two years."

While the industry is not expected to resume normal operations entirely, AMEX did find that 81 percent of all 2022 events are expected to have some sort of in-person component, so venues will be in high demand.

As exhibition holders and venue owners, this spells good news for us, HITEX. Even amid current uncertainty, we are optimistic that we will overcome setbacks, as we always have, and emerge as winners.

The India event and exhibition market was valued at US$3,326.04 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach US$6,740.63 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 12.91% during the period of 2021-2026.

SRIKANTH T. G

Business Head

HITEX Exhibition Center