Here in the time of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, there is a growing need for systems that support keeping health workers healthy, keeping patients isolated and helping the average citizen clean and healthy.
Classic Exhibits, one of our main suppliers, took a close look at the current needs and with a little creativity came up with some items that look to fit the bill.
Gravitee Medical Pods
Medical pods have been set up across the country. Imagine how quickly some areas have needed them. These pods need to isolate patients and set up quickly. With Gravitee’s tool-less quick set-up, hard Sintra walls, and the fact that they ship flat, make them a good option for administrators and health professionals. Check out the information sheets here and download the PDFs below.
Hand Sanitizer Stations
You’ve seen them in grocery stores, malls, offices and more. People everywhere are concerned about their cleanliness. They’re washing their hands frequently, and when soap and water isn’t readily available, a hand sanitizer station often is just what is needed.
Working from home isn’t as easy or as glamorous as you might think. If you ever thought it glamorous at all, right? On this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, I share a few tips that came from what I’ve learned by working from a home office for nearly nine years.
This week’s ONE GOOD THING: counting the things that you’re grateful for.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work from home for almost nine
years. It’s not always easy. Retaining focus and momentum through the day is
one of the hardest things. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years.
You can’t do it all on your own. Even though you work
from home, presumably alone (although you may have family and kids and dogs and
cats with you for the time being), there are still workers and colleagues you
need. Not only to stay connected, but to communicate with regularly so you know
what everyone is doing.
Having a schedule is critical. I block out various times of the day to get things done. Or make sure that on certain days, certain things get done. For instance, in normal times, I block out an hour of prospecting calls four times a week. Client calls are usually around the same time, although knowing that clients might not be as flexible, I often schedule calls early or later in the day. I write, record and produce a podcast late in the week, usually Friday although sometimes it happens on Saturday, and post it first thing on Monday. I try (and usually succeed) to write and post a new blog article on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Take a break. Snack, water, quick walk, get outside.
Hey, you’re at home! You can take a few moments.
Have a start and stop time and do your best to stick to
it. I realize that work-at-home schedules are fraught with influences that
mean you have to be flexible. But if you have guidelines on when to start and
stop, you’ll have a better time keeping on track.
Focus is also critical. If you can’t focus and find
yourself getting on Twitter or Facebook, spend a moment there, then get up and
leave the room. Get away from the computer. Talk with your spouse if they’re
there, or a kid, or just take a break. Think about the most important thing you
should do when you get back in front of the computer. Maybe even the most important
two or three things, write them down, and when you sit down to work after a few
moments, do those things. Put the blinders on, for at least a few moments. Some
people work well with timers, shutting everything out for 20 or 30 minutes.
Others don’t. Find what works best for you to keep focus, which is when you’ll
likely do your best work.
Work when you’re most effective. I tend to like
working best in the morning. After one or two in the afternoon, focus wanes and
effectiveness drops significantly. With my wife not working now because her employer
is closed due to the Coronavirus, I’m getting up a six, doing my morning Yoga routine
while the coffee brews, and then work on my novel for an hour. Then I crank
through the email and any immediate business items. Then it’s a shower and we
walk the dog. Lately the walks have been an hour or more, getting in three or
four miles. Finally, it’s back in the office for more business-related work for
a couple of hours. Some people are not morning people and work better at night.
Whatever works best for you is what you should try to make happen.
With the family home, communication is important. Your spouse may need to work as well, you may have kids that need hands-on attention. Or not. No matter your situation, make sure all parties are clear on your needs, and make sure you’re clear on their needs. It’s not fun to keep butting heads on schedules when a simple discussion and prioritizing of each person’s needs and desires can usually straighten things out.
With the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic, you may be working from home. But it won’t last forever. You’ll get back to the office at some point. Hopefully sooner than later. But in the meantime, get some work done. And have a little fun at the same time.
When Natural Products Expo West was cancelled on March 2, just a couple of days before the doors were to have opened to 80,000+ attendees and 3500+ exhibitors, there was a sense of “what did we miss by not being able to exhibit, by not being able to attend?”
And it happened for everyone. Here at TradeshowGuy Exhibits, we had several clients who had done modest upgrades to their exhibits. Upgrades that would have showed off new products, new brands, you name it.
But I thought they should see the light of day, so that followers could at least get an idea of what they missed. Plus, knowing that companies often change year over year, there’s a good chance that none of these exhibit revisions would be used in 2021. We worked with several other clients at the show, mainly to assist in installation and dismantle, so there was nothing new to show. I reached out to the clients involved, and many of them said, YES, please share those concepts; the artwork and revisions that we would have shown our visitors at Expo West. And one client declined to show off their new look, opting instead to save it for the future. Here’s a short video of those changes:
We’re all dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Work, play, daily activities and more are all curtailed or affected. It seemed like last week put us on the precipice of something that we’re not quite ready for. In this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, I share a few observations on what I’ve seen.
Here’s the ongoing, probably mostly up-to-date database of events and tradeshows that have been cancelled or postponed: On Location
With everyone cooped up, climbing the walls and hoping for a little human interaction, it’s not hard to expand your boundaries a bit. Which means I spent some time coming up with a list, thanks to a little help from Facebook friends and digging into albums and CDs, for the coronavirus. Give a listen!
Every now and then a new exhibit modification comes along that sucks the air out of the room, so to speak. Gravitee, a tool-less exhibit designed and manufactured by Classic Exhibits, came along offering full-size fully-assembled panels that pull from the crate and lock together without tools. Clients love it. Show labor loves it, too, because it goes up quickly and easily.
Now we have Symphony, the first portable display to blend easy tool-less assembly with elegant design and clever accessories. Symphony can be dressed up with all kinds of add-ons and accessories, including counters, workstations, floating graphics, tablet, and monitor mounts. Additional options include wireless/wired charging pads, locking storage, brochure holders, and LED lighting.
Lots of 10x10s and 10x20s, great counters, and priced to sell and/or rent. Check out these great looks here and visit TradeshowBuy.com for the complete selection.
In this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, I wanted to see how companies that rely on the tradeshow and event industry are doing. Friday afternoon I invited a handful of them to chime in to see how they’re working to deal with tradeshow cancellations and the upended event landscape. Guests include Kevin Carty of Classic Exhibits, Marcus Vahle of Share Experience Company and Andy Saks of Spark Presentations.
Shout out and thanks to all to participated, including Stacy Barnes of Eagle Management, who also passed along her thoughts which are included in the program.
This week’s ONE GOOD THING: the positive, upbeat “can-do” attitude of all that I have spoken to in the event industry, including partners, colleagues and clients, who all are working hard and planning on how to deal with the situation to make the best of it.
You built an event calendar out for the year. You planned,
you upgraded, you designed and produced new graphics, maybe you even invested
in a new exhibit. But if the show doesn’t take place, how can you make the best
use of your upgrades or your new graphics?
A couple of suggestions:
Put together a short video, maybe a minute or less,
that you can share on social media. Explain that while you were planning to
launch a new product or debut a new booth, but the show cancellation prevented
you from doing so. Instead, show it off in the video. If it’s just a graphic upgrade,
show those off in the video. If it’s a new exhibit, your exhibit house should
have provided 3D renderings – show those off as well, and make sure to tell
your clients and prospects and social media followers that you’ll be using it
as soon as you’re able at the next show – whenever that is.
Use social media to launch the new products. If it’s
feasible, have a little contest and give away some samples. Pick a few winners
and mail them the samples.
Convene people for a Zoom virtual meeting. Maybe even make it a virtual tradeshow to where you can show off your new booth renderings – and hey, if you want to go all out and it makes sense for you and you have the room, set up the booth and use that as a backdrop for your Zoom call. Show it off!
Do one-on-one outreach to clients. Make calls, send
emails. If convenient (or wise), schedule coffee or lunch. Keep in touch! Heck,
schedule a Zoom call and send a coffee gift card ahead of time so they can have
a fresh cup on hand! Talk to them about what you were going to do with the
Other promotions: create a small brochure and mail it to your clients and prospects showing off your new products that you were going to debut at the tradeshow. Have a sale. Offer free shipping. Do a BOGO sale.
Bottom Line: It looks like the frequency and functionality of tradeshows and events are going to be drastically cut for the foreseeable future. Don’t wait to figure out what you can do in place of tradeshow and events. There’s always something.
I just got an email a few moments ago, the first exhibitor
at NAB (National Association of Broadcasters), saying they were withdrawing
from the upcoming event, scheduled in Las Vegas April 18-22, 2020.
So far, there’s nothing on the show website that indicates they are even considering postponing or cancelling the show over coronavirus concerns.
This is somewhat reminiscent of the way things played out, albeit in a very quick fashion, at Natural Products Expo West. A week before the show was scheduled to start, Unilever announced they were pulling all of their brands, including our client Schmidt’s Naturals. Other exhibitors followed in short order, one by one, over the next few days. Show organizers tried to put on a brave face and keep the show afloat, and that made sense at the time, since the show was literally hours away. But finally, about 40 hours before the doors would have opened for the first day, they pulled the plug, saying the show was “cancelled.”
No one really knows exactly what to do.
In the past few days, here are a few things that have passed through my newsfeed: NBA is considering holding games without audiences. March Madness may consider the same thing, but so far they say the games will go on in front of live audiences. Rock concerts are wondering if they can go forward. Some schools and universities have gone to online classes, including (at least) Harvard. SXWS pulled the plug, leaving numerous small businesses out in the lurch. Lots of restaurant and clubs in the area will lose tons of money as will their servers, bartenders, hotel workers and more.
CPAC, the conservative annual gathering, is making news because a so-far unnamed high-profile person has been confirmed to carry the virus, someone who has come into contact with dozens if not hundreds of people. Many of those have had contact with members of the Trump Administration, including the president himself. Some of those confirmed to have had contact with the carrier have self-quarantined, others have not.
The story is fast-moving and given the changing and
increasing numbers of cases and deaths from COVID-19, more and more people are
acting out of caution.
The event industry is squarely in the bullseye. Rightly so,
since events draw together tens of thousands of people who shake hands, hug,
share rides on public transit, climb on planes and buses, cabs, ride services.
That’s a lot of contact.
And again, no one really knows what to do, but more and more
decisions are being made to err on the side of caution.
Just this morning, I read that Chinese President XI visited Wuhan, the city at the center of the COVID-19 outbreak, as a show of confidence that the Chinese government is containing the outbreak. The story also mentions how the rate of infections is slowing, which must be good news for officials around the world trying to get a handle on everything. But still…
The coronavirus will continue until governments and health
officials get a handle on it. Events will be postponed and cancelled until
things settle down.
And who knows how long that’ll be?
I think the event and tradeshow industry is in for a bumpy ride.