The CABDA show series organisers announced on Tuesday their lineup of 2021 events, including a new venue for the well-attended West show.
The organisation has historically hosted its events in the early months of the year, but due to COVID-related prohibitions on gatherings, as well as exhibitors’ corporate travel restrictions, their series of B2B trade shows will now take place in the Q3/Q4 timeframe.
“We were optimistic for a short period of time over the summer that we could get back to business in time for the shows to go off as planned,” CABDA Show Director Jim Kersten said. “But if we have to reschedule the events, we’re going to put them where they can better fall into the buying cycle for a lot of folks,” he added.
Even without the local capacity restrictions and travel prohibitors, many of CABDA’s exhibitors have indicated that much of their 2021 product was already sold do this year’s massive increase in consumer demand.
“I think that pre-orders will be the order of the day for the foreseeable future,” Kersten said.
Exhibitor registration for all CABDA events will open later this month. Attendee registration will begin in early 2021.
CABDA West Gets an Upgrade
In addition to the new dates, CABDA announced a new venue for the 2021 installment of CABDA West that will take place on October 14-15 at the Ontario Convention Center outside Los Angeles.
The 225,000 square foot venue represents a significant upgrade for CABDA’s West Coast event, held for the past two years at the Del Mar Fairgrounds outside San Diego. The recently renovated facility features improved lighting, expanded loading dock facilities, and ample hotel choices nearby.
“We looked at about a dozen venues and decided upon Ontario due to its proximity to transportation, hotels, as well as the bulk of our attendees,” Kersten said, “Our multi-building setup in San Diego was far from ideal, and the larger facility will allow us to fit everyone in the same building.”
CABDA’s organisers have also been keeping a close eye on the rest of the trade show industry as well as developments in state and local reopening plans.
“We’ve had to think about every aspect of our events. Everything from our registration process to our seminars to our floorplan design to food service,” Kersten said, “Things that we used to take for granted now need to be re-imagined and improved in light of the COVID situation.”
The global trade show and events industries have ground to a halt this year as countries, states and municipalities have grappled with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
“Masks, contactless temperature checks, one-way aisles, touchless registration, and digitally simulcast breakout sessions are all tools that folks have used to make their events safe for all our participants,” Kersten said, “Ultimately, the situation on the ground will dictate what measures we have to take. But we’re planning on there still being social distancing guidelines in place.”
CABDA 2021 Schedule:
CABDA ONLINE – February 10-11, Digital Expo
CABDA MIDWEST – September 15-16, Schaumburg Convention Center, Chicago-Metro
CABDA WEST – October 12-13, Ontario Convention Center, Los Angeles Metro
CABDA EAST- December 8-9, Meadowlands Convention Center, New York City Metro