Trade shows and exhibitions that were shut down by the pandemic are now cautiously relaunching in Europe in a dress rehearsal for what show organizers hope will be a broader resumption of fairs next year.

But judging by the shows that are beginning to take place, the pandemic has brought about lasting changes to a format that has hardly evolved over decades and organizers are rushing to adapt the shows to ensure their survival in a different form.

This year’s shows in Europe, often combining a limited physical event with an online component, are unlikely to be highly profitable. But organizers say they will serve to test what works and what doesn’t ahead of next year, when they expect some economic normalcy to return and some travel restrictions to be lifted, even as the coronavirus continues to loom.

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