From: David MihalikPresident – ELITeXPO
Everyone has heard enough of all the bad news and conflicting information from station to station. Me, Iâ€™m looking for the good news. You already know the background news and noise. You donâ€™t need more of it from me. Whatâ€™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. Itâ€™s only been 4 months, 16 weeks, but it feels like that feeling when youâ€™ve been waiting on empties from the bone yard well past happy hour and dinner plans. That long!
Youâ€™ll be hard pressed to find an industry thatâ€™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? Weâ€™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, everyoneâ€™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 donâ€™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 exhibitorsâ€™ 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 yourselfâ€¦ Are You Ready? If not, donâ€™t wait. Letâ€™s keep working now and together we will be ready to exhibit soon!