January 3, 2021 – Forbes – When the Dallas Market Center opens its winter wholesale market for the gift and home furnishings trade this week it will represent a rather remarkable event for an industry that, like so many, has been impacted by the Covid pandemic.
And for its owners, the giant privately owned developer and operator Crow Holdings, it also signifies its continued confidence that the business-to-business trade show model remains a worthy investment and an ongoing business despite the impact social distancing and safety measures have had on large-scale events .
As with many businesses — retailers, restaurants, travel — the trade show and market center industry has been severely challenged by the pandemic. Many — in fact, most — wholesale shows starting in March 2020 were postponed, often postponed again and very often cancelled all together. Those that were held, here in the U.S. as well as overseas, were severely truncated, with both attendance and numbers of exhibitors down significantly from historical levels.
Many were supplanted or outright replaced by virtual events, held on Zoom and other platforms. Some of these were organized by the physical trade show operators themselves or by third parties. And while they served a purpose connecting buyers and sellers, they could never hope to duplicate the in-person process that is the backbone of the global B2B model.
Dallas Market Center measures out at around five million square feet of exhibition space, housing both permanent and temporary showrooms for a number of industries including home furnishings and décor, lighting, gifts, apparel, artificial florals and starting in 2021 the western apparel and accessories sector. It was one of only a few show operators that held physical shows in 2020, a function of its open building layout, Texas’ pro-business atmosphere and its determination to ride out the pandemic as best as possible.
Read more at Forbes.