We celebrate Thanksgiving this month, and as our industry comes back, “Thanksgiving” has never meant more. A renewed optimism for meeting in person takes on global dimensions as people on both sides of the aisle realize what they’ve missed. We asked some of our readers about their optimism—and here’s what they said. (Thanks to my friend and one of my earliest loyal clients, John Moyes, for providing the stream of consciousness connectivity.)
Before 6 am, the parking lot is full. Coffee is on as we march to the timeclock. Wailing wall full of work orders that need to be prioritized. Two perfect display cases, a smorgasbord of inlines, custom counters with really cool halo-lit logotypes
Optimistic? You bet I am. I thought, well, the third quarter of 2021 would see a slow return to normalcy, but I was wrong about “slow.”. Our clients are going to shows, clamoring for new exhibits, trusting us to handle health and safety issues, and planning robust schedules. A large percentage of our work is with global healthcare clients, and innovation in the field is attracting attention like never before. The borders are opening, and we’re meeting in person. Suddenly we are beyond busy, traveling and working harder than ever. Optimism? Absolutely!
Amy Sondrup, President, Access TCA, President, EDPA
Racks full of countertops-all have charging station plug-ins. SEG arrives all day long in the constant dance of fit to the walls….we pray to the graphic gods this last one fits as it gotta go EOD. Finally, a unit of plywood arrives with a sigh of relief-it’s only a week late.
I’ve never been more optimistic about the events industry. Absence makes the heart grow fonder! Exhibitors and attendees I’ve spoken with are back at shows because they need to be there – they have seen that their business depends on it. That is a strong foundation on which to build our post-pandemic industry.
Jason Popp, CEO, Moss, Inc
Can you feel the enthusiasm and production anxiety as more work orders hit the wailing wall, laying down the gauntlet?
Booths and travel are coming back to normal and then some more. We are fully booked till February 2022, which is beyond good and positive. Like everyone, we are aching with “muscle memory” due to being so quiet and working from home, but as we say, that is a happy problem.
Paco Collazo, Owner and CEO, Happy Exhibits
Even better is the new crop of folks who answered the job postings with applications, bypassing the mundane warehouse jobs offering signing bonuses. These new recruits now have a taste of the challenges, the endless variety of our deliverables.
For those who witnessed EXHIBITORLIVE earlier this month, it’s impossible not to be optimistic about our industry’s future. The energy in the educational sessions and on the show floor was palpable, and the pent-up desire to get back to work was undeniable. Plus, we know from EXHIBITOR’s most recent research that more than half of exhibiting companies have already returned to live trade shows and events, and another 23 percent expect to return by the end of this year. That, combined with the fact 74 percent of corporate exhibit managers report feeling optimistic or hopeful about our industry’s future indicates, at least to me, that 2022 will be an exciting year of regrowth for exhibit and event professionals.
Travis Stanton, Editor, Exhibitor Magazine
The industry re-awakened and is alive again. The tabletops, inlines, and small islands are coming back, the rental department is being challenged once again with lead times
We can appreciate now more than ever how essential it is to connect, to be connected! To share stories, ideas, create synergy with one another. It’s what we yearn for, and it constructs meaningful experiences. This is the foundation of our industry, and I believe it will now thrive and re-invigorate as we emerge from the pandemic.
MaryBeth Geiser, Client Team Director, Hamilton Exhibits
Can you guys get this one done in time?
Seth Godin (one of my favorite bloggers and business strategists) wrote about how meteorologists on TV spend most of their time talking about how the weather is right now. That’s good to know. But what people MOST want to know is what is going to happen in the FUTURE. “We don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows but figuring out how it’s going to blow tomorrow is a great skill.” So, trying to rise to the challenge, my outlook is somewhat optimistic for the remainder of 2021, with a significant improvement coming in 2022.
Jeff Hannah, VP of Strategy, Exhibit Concepts, Inc.
Yes, this IS a fun job… this industry is a little crazy. Can’t believe it’s 5 o’clock already.
At Idea International, we are so grateful to all of you, and we are optimistic about what’s coming. We can’t wait to see you again, face-to-face, and to work with you on your projects in the APAC region.
Back to the beginning. Optimism renewed.