Exhibit Logistics

2021 Is Here! Homestretch?

No one could have predicted what we would be experiencing now in January 2021, if you would have asked me that question when this whole pandemic thing started. I’m sure we all thought that this would have been long over by now. And as if we all didn’t have enough on our plates, we had a summer of unrest, a contentious election and an insurrection at the Capitol. That’s more than enough excitement for one year. I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but man, I cannot wait to get back to VEGAS!

But 2021 has come in with some uncertainty and that makes it difficult for us in the trade show world to plan. But plan we must. While vaccinations are not being administered as quickly as we all would like, the hope is that the current plan would get more vaccine into more Americans sooner. NOW, if they just handed over all of the logistics to the professionals in the trade show industry, we’d not only be far ahead of where we are currently, but the balance of the work to be done would be done, dare I say, before the next show is scheduled to move in. That’s right, from the show managers to the show vendors, we are all accustomed to moving a lot of people, equipment and resources, both in and out of a large multitude of events every day. AND, in tight time frames and deadlines? Hmmmm. Sound familiar?

100 Million doses of vaccine in the next 100 days? What are we going to do with the other 90 days we have left? When you look at it, convention centers were already used in various cities as temporary hospitals. Guess who helped build those giant facilities inside those convention centers. That’s right, convention labor. We probably would have gotten it done even quicker had we been in charge of everything. Considering our ability to build whole convention centers with large extravagant exhibits, we probably would have been more efficient too. Why build the whole center out when all of those beds weren’t needed? If you were confident in your ability to construct more, as needed, when needed, then less expense would be incurred by providing more bed space than was necessary. (As it was, a total of only 33 people used the McCormick Place temporary hospital last year at a total cost of 81.1 Million including staffing, but boy what a great photo op) I’m thinking we also would have gotten it all completed more economically as well. (unless someone decided to charge drayage……) But I digress.

With that for your thoughtful consideration, it’s also interesting that the convention and trade show industry hasn’t received any specific or individual assistance. It’s not for lobbying and proving the facts as to why we are more than deserving. Our industry has, but it seems that more of the fringe industries tied to our work are recognized. I wrote to my state Senators and House Representatives to advise them that if they really wanted to assist the airlines, the hotels and the restaurants, then instead of pouring money in assistance solely to those entities, they should consider helping the trade show industry and allow us to run reduced factor events safely. If you can go to a Costco or a Home Depot on the weekend and see hundreds if not thousands of people shopping without consideration for social distancing, then why cannot trade shows operate? You want to fix the airlines and hotels? Let us get back to work at our tradeshows and we’ll fill them up.

I’ve been to a few shows this Covid season in Florida and have read of others where show organizers take attendee temps of everyone entering the floor. Shows have wider one-way aisles, reduced carpet, reduced amenities, stinky hand sanitizers everywhere, extra face masks available and an overwhelming compliance by those in attendance as well as booth staff to take simple and effective precautions. I felt safe in the show hotel and the cleanliness was far greater than any time in the last 30 years I’ve been traveling to shows. I’m not about to open a discussion on which states have contained the infections and which ones are having difficulty. Clearly, it’s not due to trade shows. Florida and Texas have opened up events. We haven’t heard any reports of super spreaders coming from any of these shows. I just believe that our industry can produce safe and effective face to face events that apparently everyone is craving.

All of us here at ELITeXPO are craving to get back to work too. We’ve begun to see more activity ramping up as companies look to get a jump on assuring that their exhibits are ready for those first events that they will plan on using when their show season returns. They are reviewing their inventory and getting orders in now for show materials that they are learning they are needing. We are calling on shows as the Official Carrier as early as next month in February. We have scheduled more shows in March and customers are planning events for April and May. Our largest Official event of the year has moved to August and robust planning is proceeding now to assure that we’re ready.

We all know that events out of our control can sidetrack these plans. But isn’t that the life of a trade show professional anyway? ELITeXPO lives in the plan B side of the trade show world when called upon to make the impossible happen with little or no time to make it happen in. Of course, we are always happy when called upon to smoothly handle all the Plan A plans for our customers events. But I have a sneaky feeling, that our return to business and our ultimate ramp up to getting back to work is going to full of Plan B activities. We’re ready.

We’re here, working every day and ready to help. We’re excited to see our world of trade shows returning to some semblance of normal. What the new normal will be, remains to be seen, but as long as there are shows to attend, with friends and colleagues to see and collaborate with, we’ll figure out the rest. It’s what we do. We’re tradeshow strong!

Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon.

Dave

David Mihalik – President ELITeXPO

Updated Covid-19 Statement

From: David Mihalik

ELITeXPO President, CEO

ELITeXPO is currently available and operating to serve all of our customers and future customers who are interested in preparing for the eventual re-opening of more trade shows in the near future. While we all are praying that the current vaccine in Phase 3 Human Trials proves to be successful, our trade show industry is moving ahead to show that trade shows can be produced safely. This has been evidenced by the recent Together Again Expo which ran at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando on July 24th. Over 4600 guests were registered and more attended for the one-day event which was represented by over 3600 organizations. It proved to be a great success and attendees stated that they felt safer on the show floor than they did walking through a retail store in Florida, at the time. That’s great news for our industry, as we can prove that we can safely get back to work and contribute to getting our economy rolling again. ELITeXPO was present at that event and can share with you our experience.

As we head through our 6th month of altered normalcy and anticipation that things will continue to be reduced into the 4th quarter of 2020, ELITeXPO has pivoted its product and service offerings to continue to be of value to our current and new customers who are also navigating this new normal until we all get a better understanding of when we will be getting back to face-to-face meetings. Our industry suppliers and manufacturers have quickly changed their manufacturing capabilities to provide safety products that are in much demand today. Also, as the shutdown of events lingers, more and more companies are evaluating a virtual exhibit space. ELITeXPO is here to help. We are currently producing 3D virtual exhibit spaces for our customers that we believe, will also be a part of their trade show pre and post show promotions long after physical exhibits return. Some of the current new product and service offerings that ELITeXPO is now offering include;

  • 3D Virtual Exhibit Programming – You NEED to evaluate this option!
  • Hand Sanitizer Stations – (Floor and Wall mounts) Sturdy & Made in the USA!
  • Sneeze Guards, Safety Barriers, Partition Dividers & Shields – Custom Fitted
  • Exterior Signage – Custom branded signage
  • Infrared Thermal Temperature Scanners (High Quality and No Touch)
  • Back Lit LED Large Formal Wall Mount Graphics (For office, residential and retail)

AND, we’re still working at what we have done for the past 33 years and will continue to do moving forward.

  • NON – Trade show Shipping Services – ELITeXPO moves freight of ALL kinds, PPE equipment, product freight, medical equipment and devices, materials for company events, Truck Loads, Less than truck loads, ground and air, domestic and international.
  • Complete Asset Management for any kind of inventory, long or short term

We’d like to thank all of our customers and friends who have supported us through this difficult time. Together we will make it through!

ELITeXPO Asset Management

Treatment, Vaccine, Trade Shows Restarting – Are We Ready?

From: David Mihalik

President – ELITeXPO

Everyone has heard enough of all the bad news and conflicting information from station to station. Me, I’m looking for the good news. You already know the background news and noise. You don’t need more of it from me. What’s accurate anyway? You stand a better chance of figuring out the National algorithm for Drayage. The stuff hit the proverbial trade show fan in early March. It’s only been 4 months, 16 weeks, but it feels like that feeling when you’ve been waiting on empties from the bone yard well past happy hour and dinner plans. That long!

You’ll be hard pressed to find an industry that’s been as negatively affected as those who work to provide products and services for events with large gatherings of people. Some have alternatives and options, but our business relies on the operation of live face to face events. You remember that, right? We’re the anti-Zoom crowd. To borrow the buzz words of the day, we will change the narrative and pivot to alternative means of opportunity and revenue. We here at ELITeXPO are familiar with the concept. After the Great Recession in 08/09 we made the decision that our best opportunities would come from our existing customers.  We decided to offer full scale trade show property asset management as a means to offer customers and prospective customers a turnkey one stop source for all of their live event planning annually. We invested in software to allow remote ordering and management of inventory. We purchased a 2nd warehouse to manage our growing inventory. We hired a skilled manager and added experienced warehouse personnel. As a result of that expansion our customers asked us to become involved with set up and tear down labor, graphics, flooring, exhibit rentals and sales and design. Full service now meant so much more.

Recall that back during 9/11, everyone’s trade show properties came back for storage while shows shut down for that short period of time. Today, we have much the same except that everything is back into storage and it will be for a longer period of time. Normally a percentage of inventory is always in motion, but with most shows cancelled or postponed, the warehouse is bursting at the seams. Fortunately, our Asset Management program continues to provide some work and revenue, but it also largely relies on subsequent services such as freight, pick and pulls, refurbishments, updates, etc. We greatly miss that residual work which makes the asset management successful. While we are getting closer to seeing shows operating soon, we simply don’t have an exact time frame.

As we approach the 4th quarter, there is a growing concern that there will be a big rush to pull exhibit properties to prepare for the next event, or to create new experiential events for that first big trade show when face to face marketing returns. Being proactive in preparing for your next event when it does operate will allow you ample time to assure that you will be able to be ready once the timelines for that show are finalized. It assures time to get necessary parts, or needed graphics ordered for new products or markets you wish to serve. Imagine that most all exhibitors’ properties are sitting in storage somewhere now and many of them will be coming out when shows resume. Suppliers will be stressed with handling the rush of needed parts and orders for everyone who will be looking to get back into the game. Also, this much needed and appreciated work is something that we are asking our valued customers to consider doing now, while we are slower and have ample time to prepare your requests. As a primary trade show company, we are looking forward to the time when we can get back to work, full time. We would very much appreciate the opportunity to get to work for you now, during this down time while we all await the return of shows. If you have work that has been budgeted for in 2020 and is currently in your plans for upcoming events, we are asking that you consider, working with us now in these summer months to assist you. This is work that our company would greatly appreciate and would assist us in so many ways and your company will be ready and prepared to exhibit for those first shows that you will exhibit at. So, take a moment and ask yourself… Are You Ready? If not, don’t wait. Let’s keep working now and together we will be ready to exhibit soon!


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