5 Tips for Insuring Your Trade Show in 2021

After a lost year of canceled events, trade shows are slowly starting to make a comeback. Trade shows might look a little smaller and have more restrictions in place for a while longer, leaving trade show exhibitors, vendors, and organizers with many unanswered questions and new challenges to consider.


Your ESP Specialty experts are ready with some tips to help you prepare and protect yourself for the changing landscape of trade shows and trade show insurance in 2021 and beyond.

1. Be prepared for tougher insurance limits

Even if you could find one before, you are unlikely to find a policy these days that will cover future coronavirus outbreaks and other infectious or contagious diseases. In addition, most insurers are implementing new coverage limits and adding more specific, restrictive language to policy terms and conditions. Why? 2020 was a hard market year, and the insurance industry is recovering, too.


The insurance industry cycles between soft and hard markets. In soft markets, carriers are typically competing to give you better quotes, so terms and conditions are relatively loose. In hard markets, there is a higher demand for coverage, but with fewer carriers quoting. Not only are terms and conditions tighter, but you should expect larger premiums as well.

2. Expect larger premiums, but better support

Although you may need to brace to pay more for your trade show insurance in 2021, customer support will become much more prominent as insurance companies make an effort to add value and maintain customer relationships. Ensure you partner with an insurance company with a reputation for hands-on, personalized service catered to your needs.


For our part, the ESP team has always been committed to co-elevation. In other words, we constantly strive to align our goals with yours so that we can help you grow and protect your business no matter what. Your needs are our priority!

3. Take more safety precautions

Implementing additional safety precautions protects you and your business, but it may also be expected or required of you by insurers, venues, or even federal, state, or local mandates. Now that we have collectively learned more about handling viral outbreaks and promoting health and safety, there may be more requirements for large gatherings such as trade shows.


Some examples of additional safety precautions include steps to verify attendees have been vaccinated, having medical staff ensure public health guidelines are followed, or checking temperatures at entrances. Other, broader requirements, such as rules around catered food and venue capacity, are likely to stick around for a long time as well.

4. Get as much information as possible on venue requirements

If you’re a venue owner or trade show organizer, you should get as much information as possible on what is required of you and the venue to accommodate public health guidelines and other mandates. This will help you cover all your legal bases, satisfy insurers during potential audits or underwriting inspections, and reduce the chance of event cancellation for any reason.


For trade show exhibitors and vendors, remember that there are likely more factors and restrictions to consider because of the pandemic. Make sure to check with the venue, local authorities, and anyone else who can help inform you about how you can do your part to make these valuable trade shows take place successfully.

5. Know your policy

More than ever, it’s crucial for you to know every detail of your policy. Ensure your insurance experts can review your coverage terms and answer any questions you have so you know what your policy does and doesn’t cover.


No matter how carefully planned, holding an in-person trade show or other event comes with risks – including trade show event cancellation. Read your policy carefully to understand what is covered when it comes to reasons for cancellation, liability, and other potential claims.



It may be overwhelming to face the changes that come with restarting in-person trade shows and events after a pandemic. Team ESP is here for you as you navigate new logistical and safety constraints. Get in touch with our experts to talk about how we can help you stay prepared and get the most out of your upcoming trade shows with comprehensive trade show insurance.


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