Sometimes we all get tired of trade show travel, long hours on the show floor, nights in hotels. BUT: Enough of this WFH! I miss all of it from 13-hour flights to not being quite sure what I’m eating (as long as it doesn’t move).
How much do I miss it? I miss it so much that I started watching this video of the last show before quarantine hit our industry. You know how I always talk about how we use wallpaper instead of other wall coverings? Watch:
Yes, that video had me feeling nostalgic, too.
And I thought about other things I missed:
- Long taxi lines.
- Looking for a noodle shop at the end of a 16-hour day.
- Traveling with an exhibit or graphics as baggage.
- Trying to read attendee badges without looking like a stalker.
- Realizing I don’t know what language an attendee is speaking and that my charade skills aren’t working.
Like so many of us, I am WFH with my wife, two kids, and two cats (insert pet of your choice; does anyone have one pet anymore?), trying to pretend this is not more togetherness than any of us has ever bargained for. No matter where you are, you know that until everyone recovers, the trade show industry will have to adapt to different ways of reaching attendees.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it with people spreading doom and gloom about our industry. What we have all been experiencing on several Zoom/Skype/Teams/WebEx “calls” a day is that we really want to meet people face to face. Have coffee, a beer, a bagel, pizza—anything as long as it’s real-time IRL, person-to-person. We’re not going to grow markets on conference calls—particularly not in this part of the world where people insist on face-to-face meetings with the people they will do business with.
I’m ready to go back to work!
In our part of the world, trade shows are starting up again. If you saw that the Hunan Auto Show opened April 30, you probably wonder what it looked like. Here’s a video that one of our people on site sent to us: https://youtu.be/9UlsW9FuTaI
In case you’re wondering (we were), attendees had to submit an ID card and undergo a strict health and identity check prior to entering the venue. The organizers made it clear they were adhering to the tough requirements of epidemic prevention and control, with all staff, volunteers, car dealer service personnel, and visitors undergoing stringent checks. All participants had to wear a mask and were reminded to their wash hands frequently.
This is a positive sign for all of us. Eventually, show organizers and venues will arrive at necessary safety procedures that will open up our industry.
Let me know how WFH is WFY (working for you, that is). You know we’ll all be back at some point this year, and we’ll be able to tell great stories about how we weathered this period