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.


David Mihalik – President ELITeXPO

Recap of the Together Again Expo

From: Rich Ryczek

ELITeXPO Account Executive

So…I attended the Together Again Expo in Orlando, FL on Fri 7/24 at the Orange County Convention Center.

What a RUSH !!!  Felt So good being back on Show Floor even if not doing what I usually do.  I was there as an Attendee.

4700 guests were registered with 3600 organizations represented.  Show floor was buzzing.

Event was a vision by Mark Yuska from Alliance Nationwide Expo with the help of many partners.  Spoke to him on show floor, said there will be more events like this very soon. Discussing one at the end of Summer and another early Fall in different Cities but most likely at smaller venues, i.e. hotel ballrooms.

Hope the Associations and Event Managers out there took note of this event to see that an event CAN run safely and successfully !!!

Event was well thought out and very organized. Had my temperature taken before I entered OCCC by a Florida Medic.  Temperature spot checks were done on show floor. Registration was fast and seamless. Floor aisles were a bit wider than usually.  Exhibitor booth spaces were the same 10×10 right next to each other with quite a few larger spaces occupied. Aisles were labeled “one way”.  They had separate Entry and Exit points from show floor.  Seating for Speakers on Show Floor were spaced 6’ apart.  Depth of seating was increased.  Had several large screens around seating area.  Hand sanitizers were everywhere.  Cleaning Service personal were staged on show floor wiping down regularly touched areas.  Even had a bathroom attendant in each to wipe down.  Everyone had masks on and was very conscious for each other’s safety.  A lot of elbow bumping.  Some hugs visible but most hello’s were non-contact.

Various Food Vendors were set up along the back wall of the OCCC with a couple Bar stations placed on show floor.

(I certainly missed paying $12 for 4 small pieces of chicken, 2 broccoli pieces, and 3 spoons of rice and $8 for a beer..…LOL).

A LOT of information was provided at this event.  The Panel discussions were quite interesting.  After all, it does take quite a bit of effort for all involved to put on an event.  Main thing being a venue must be accredited to allow a show to run.  Currently, only 5 venues at the moment have that ability (Orange County Convention Center,  Jacob Javits, San Diego CC are 3).

Walked the floor and did find a couple of interesting products being developed due the COVID19.   The Innovation of our Industry is amazing !!!

Mark at Alliance noted that future 10×10 spaces again will most likely be complimentary.  I’d be happy to man our booth at the next show.

Again, it was information overload.  If you have any questions/concerns, please ask.

Best part of this event based on my experience and opinion…

*** Honestly, I felt more SAFE on this show floor than going to a local Store, Restaurant, Bank, Gas Station, Bar, etc etc….. in my area !!!

I have the feeling it’s because our Industry is very professional, and we look out for each other.  The Tradeshow Industry is a large Family…and Family usually takes care of one another. This is certainly what I experienced from ALL involved in this show.   (The Association, General Contractor, Crews, Partners, Exhibitors, Attendees, Cleaning Crew, Security, Food Vendors, etc etc).

Take care and stay safe…


Covid-19 Fears Affecting Trade Shows

Many trade shows are postponing or cancelling across the US and the world over concerns from the Covid-19 virus. There are also many trade shows that have made the decision to continue on, as planned, but with additional health and safety measures added. The situation continues to be fluid so you want to frequently check with each show’s management company and/or the association hosting the event to verify the current status of trade shows, conferences, and other events scheduled in March and April. We are also monitoring the status of upcoming events and working with customers to handle the logistics for any exhibit materials requiring re-routing.

We have been working with exhibitors last night and all day today who were in the middle of a move-in at Natural Products West Expo in Anaheim when they decided to postpone the event. International Housewares in Chicago has cancelled as have several other events. We are recovering freight directly from the show venues and from the advanced warehouses, depending on where the exhibit materials are currently located.

ELITeXPO is here to assist with any exhibit materials that you may need assistance with. Whether you need help getting your shipment back from a show that is no longer happening or you need temporary storage of your trade show materials until the show’s rescheduled date, please give us a call and we will work to find the best solutions for you.

As of today, EXHIBITORLive is still proceeding as planned, as is the AAOS Annual Meeting, The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition in San Diego, and all Bobit Business Media events. Just to name a few.

Most shows that are still going on as planned are adding increased cleaning and disinfection across all high volume touchpoints, adding sanitizing and disinfecting materials for public use, adding signage regarding proper hygiene recommendations, and advising exhibitors and attendees to review the CDC’s travel health notices that are available at .

As always, we are here and are working all shows that are going on as scheduled, as we normally would. We also have storage capabilities across the country, if needed. Feel free to contact us at or 800-543-5484, if you have any questions.