How event marketers can utilize the access market for everything they need, without the burden of ownership.

We believe no company needs or should own an exhibit, ever.

The most innovative brands, such as Samsung and Adobe, have a few things in common when it comes to producing and executing their corporate marketing events and trade shows. Mainly, they’ve learned to successfully leverage the increasingly popular share economy market. These familiar brands have reaped the benefits of access at face-to-face marketing events, leaving the cumbersome ownership of marketing assets in the dust.

What exactly is access?

The sharing economy is booming. According to PwC, this economy is slated to reach $335 billion by 2025 and will be equal to its counterparts in traditional operating models. 

While the concept of renting or sharing isn’t exactly new, the emergence of tech, mainly apps, has made accessibility to products and services much more convenient and painless. Millennials are mostly the driving force of the access economy as they tend to value experiences over material items. According to Forbes, in 2025 millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce. This means that purchasing decisions will most likely fall to the access model instead of the traditional model of ownership. 

Our favorite analogy for access is Spotify. This app essentially replaces your CD collection. Not only that, but its premium membership eliminates ads and gives users the ability to play a song on demand. Spotify has changed the way we access music; how we listen to it, how we store it, and how we share it with our favorite people.  

Some of the more obvious examples of access empires are Uber and Airbnb. For millions of travelers, having access to shared rides and rooms means not having to worry about owning or renting a vehicle, or spending more money on staying in a hotel with limited amenities.

Why should event marketers choose access over ownership?

Access gives consumers more choice, flexibility, and freedom in a variety of sectors, including the face-to-face marketing events industry. 

For brand marketers planning corporate events in 2021, having more choice, flexibility, and freedom is invaluable. As countries, states, and trade show venues across the globe are reopening, it’s important to consider that not all venues are operating under the same public health and safety rules and regulations. Also, trade show and live event attendance is still unpredictable.  

Sean Combs, President & CEO of Steelhead Productions is considered one of the leading pioneers of the access exhibit business model. According to Combs, “We have literally looked at this from every angle: cost, creativity, sustainability and the flexibility to move at or ahead of the speed of the market. And I can honestly say there is no circumstance in which owning an exhibit any longer makes sense given the smart options available.”

Right now, it’s unrealistic for one exhibit structure to mold into these ever-changing rules and regs. Not to mention the costs associated with storing, transporting, installing, and dismantling this structure that may or may not work for the event. Owning exhibit assets at this moment can be detrimental for brands that need more flexibility in their trade show and corporate event program.

What does access event planning look like?

What we hear most often is that brand event marketers assume that an access exhibit model decreases the flexibility in the exhibit design and audience experience. And frankly, there are some exhibit providers operating in this limitation. 

At Steelhead, we’ve harnessed the top benefits of access exhibiting — choice, freedom, and flexibility — to provide award-winning designs, impactful messaging for each unique event, and WOW-factor experiences for brands such as Samsung, Adobe, Cox Communications, and Carfax. By sharing our resources with these innovative brands, they’ve accomplished a strong brand presence at their events, engaged with their prospects and customers in a unique and functional space, and significant cost savings by not owning any cumbersome exhibit assets. 

In a world emerging from a global pandemic, successful modern marketers are the most adaptable and conscious-minded thinkers. They understand that executing live marketing events needs to be fast, flexible, and painless in order to adjust to changing budgets, audiences, or extenuating circumstances. 

It’s time to re-evaluate your trade show and corporate event program as we move into the future. Feel free to schedule a brief call with one of our friendly brand reps to discover how an access exhibit model can benefit your event marketing strategy.

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