Nevertheless, this corporate stereotype is being increasingly worn away year on year in the exhibition world, as new and exciting exhibition sectors spring into life. It seems there’s now an exhibition in the UK for almost any hobby, career or pastime, but one trend is overtaking all others in the exhibition industry and growing exponentially: exhibitions for kids and teens. The diversification of the industry could in part be down to an economies of scale approach driven by exhibition venues, who have the space available year round, and only so many traditional B2B trade exhibitions to fill their calendars. But there’s also no shortage in the demand for these more contemporary exhibition sectors.
Exhibitions aren’t purely a marketing tool for companies, the real heart of any exhibition lies in the bringing together of likeminded individuals and communities for the sharing of ideas, education and, in a lot of cases, entertainment. With this broader purpose in mind, it’s easy to see how exhibitions for kids have flourished in the past few years.
Exhibition venues throughout the UK have the infrastructure embedded within them to allow easy access for families, and lots of venues such as the NEC have security wristbands for children, plus other safety measures in place already for the wellbeing of children at their live events. Organisers are also savvy to scheduling these non-corporate exhibitions during weekends and school holidays – when parents are not in work and their conference spaces would otherwise lie empty.
The focus with exhibitions aimed specifically at kids (including Brick Live – an exhibition purely for lovers of Lego!) is always the hands-on exhibits, inspiration and education. To make the exhibition a fun day out for all the family, organisers go to great lengths to include a range of activities and entertainment, including a smaller number of traditional exhibition stands than you would see at more corporate events, but a larger space for hands-on activities, competitions, live demonstrations and theatre shows. Also in virtue of the scale available at huge exhibition venues such as ExCeL (host to The Skills Show and WorldSkills UK) and NEC (just one of the hosts of touring Lego roadshow Brick Live), these events are able to offer large-scale attractions, drawing both national and international crowds as participants aim to set Guinness World Records with the entire community watching.
The flourishing trend of exhibitions for kids goes hand in hand with the diversification of the exhibitions industry, allowing for exhibition venues to fill their halls year round, as well as bringing global family events to local, easily accessible venues. This trend highlights the true nature of the exhibition industry, which at base unites whole communities with the goals of achieving education and inspiration for visitors. There’s an exhibition for every hobby, career and now every age too!