In numerous conversations with office managers, facility managers and safety coordinators in Oregon (and a few out of state, to be sure), it’s clear that there are not a lot of common denominators for how and when offices will deal with the return of WFH employees.
Many state agencies and professional offices still have a large number of employees working from home. Others have brought everyone back, but with closures still upcoming, some are going back.
Some companies I’ve communicated with aren’t even going to think about bringing back employees from WFH until September at the earliest.
Like I said, all over the board. Some people have older-style fabric/metal cubicles in place. Others have nothing. Many have employees spread out in large rooms, or in separate office.
But they’re all doing their best they can to adhere to CDC and local or state guidelines to keep employees, clients and visitors safe.
Given all of that, some are still looking at solutions to how they might deal with the return of employees and keeping them safe and their anxiety levels low.
Our manufacturing partner, Classic Exhibits, has shared a handful of new sales and information sheets on the PlaceLyft Modular Office dividers and desktop safety dividers. Let’s take a look:
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TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee is a weekly video business diary, although sometimes we veer into personal stuff. Hey, all business is personal, right? This week, I explore music and what it’s meant to me all of my life.
Exhibitor Magazine just sent out a pair of reports detailing research on how tradeshow attendees view the coming return to “normalcy” for tradeshows, events and conferences.
In the first report, Enigma Research polled 2000 live event attendees to gauge their level of comfort or anxiety in the potential return to live events. ExibitorOnline’s report is here, along with a link to the full report. There’s no op-tin or cost for the report, but you may need to register at ExhibitorOnline.
Some of the takeaways include:
Over a third polled say they would immediately return to shows, but most indicate they’re okay with waiting.
Over two-thirds say they’d be likely or very like to travel to another city for an event.
While most attendees agree that safety measure such as hand-washing and hand sanitizer and cleaning are necessary, they’re split on other measures such as who should or must wear a mask.
Next, Exhibitor’s senior writer Charles Pappas recently discussed the World Health Organization’s recommendations for tradeshows and events in a webinar. The discussion included takes on a potential vaccine, how the virus is transferred, having asymptomatic people at shows and more. Check the article here and download the full report or watch the webinar at the same link.
Our main exhibit design and fabricator, Classic Exhibits, offers up four new galleries with what looks like a significant addition to Exhibit Design Search. Here are the four new galleries:
PlaceLyft Office Solutions
Hand Sanitizer Stands
There’s also a new Interactive Gallery, further down the front page. I asked Mel White, VP of Marketing and Business Development with Classic Exhibits, to characterize the changes:
COVID-19 has forced most businesses to review their work environments as they plan for their employees to return. What they’ve realized is that most, if not all offices or retail spaces, do not protect employees from airborne or surface viruses. Deciding on next steps, however, can be confusing (and expensive) for many organizations.
The Contemporary Office and Retail Solutions galleries in EDS are designed to make those decisions easier. The four galleries show attractive and cost-effective solutions for any office or retail environment. They include office partitions with easily sanitize-able surfaces, protective safety barriers, durable hand sanitizer stands, and customizable LED lightboxes. There are no hidden prices, and the designs can be customized to any situation.
All the products are designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA by a 27-year old Portland-based company.
If you’ve ever been to TradeshowGuy Exhibits’ Exhibit Design Search over at TradeshowBuy.com, you know there are literally thousands of exhibits and accessories to browse.
And yes, you can search for anything there and narrow down your search pretty quickly. Search for “hand sanitizer” and you get a good look at several hand sanitizer stations, along with a few other related (or not, perhaps) items that may have one of those keywords in the description.
Same with office dividers, which are the topic of the day in many businesses. But how easy are they to find? If you search for “office dividers” you will find a wide assortment of chairs, island exhibits, chairs, counters, pedestals and more. It’s not EDS’s fault. It’s just that finding what you want means knowing what search terms to input. And frankly, different people looking for the same thing will often use different search terms.
So….to make it easier to find a handful of things that might be useful to get to quickly, just click on these links or photos:
Yes, tradeshow marketing takes more than five days. Of course it does! It’s an ongoing process that keeps tradeshow managers up at night, especially when shows are impending. Some shows last about that long! So, what do I mean by the five day tradeshow marketing challenge?
Instead of trying to handle preparing for a show all at once, take five days. Perhaps in just a few moments a day you can line things up, get them prepared and be ready once tradeshows get back to normal.
Or whatever normal will look like.
Let’s assume the next big show is still several months away. Far enough away to not really worry if you start your Five-Day Tradeshow Marketing Challenge this week or next. But close enough so that you shouldn’t put it off too much longer!
Actually, every day is planning of some sort, but today, plan the basics:
What shows you’re going to.
What shows you’d love to go to at some point, but maybe not this year or next year.
What kind of presence you’d like at the show: size of booth; number of people. Perhaps what you’d like to spend on sponsorships or advertising at the show itself to help build awareness and move people to your booth.
This is also a good day to review past year tradeshow costs to assemble realistic budgets for the next series of shows. Pull out copies of documents that show actual costs vs. estimates. Build spreadsheets to give you a good sense of what you’ll have to invest to exhibit this time around.
Exhibit Changes / Additions
If you need a new exhibit, and it’s time to have that chat with management, that’s a longer process. But if you have a good exhibit and all you need is to make upgrades, today is a good day to start sketching out those changes. At this point, you don’t have all the information you’ll eventually need such as product launches, what products you’ll be promoting and so on. But it’s a good time to make a list of the number of graphic changes you’ll make, if any; the dimensions of the graphics and any other particulars you’ll want before design and production. Make notes about who you need to talk to to know what those product launches and so on will be. And give a heads up, if appropriate, to the designer who will be making the new graphics.
Promotions can take almost any shape, from creating online videos to crafting a social media campaign, to coming up with a clever way to dress up your booth. Here on Day Three, you’ll just want to make lists with broad strokes of the top promotion ideas and concepts that will eventually flower.
How many people are going, where are they staying, who’s booking travel, who’s making the schedule for the booth and so on. Getting a firm grasp on this a few months ahead of time will reduce headaches as you get closer.
Shipping and Exhibit Installation/Dismantle Logistics
If you have worked with the same I&D crews and shipping companies for years, this is usually nothing more than giving them advance notice that you’re on board again this year. If you need to find someone new for these areas, now’s the time to determine who you’re going to work with, and how to find the right people for the tasks.
Now that you’ve spent an hour or two a day for five days, you should have a much better grasp on what’s coming and be more prepared for when you’re thrown a curveball. Which you probably will be!
I connected with Micheal and Gail a decade ago when they made their first appearance at Natural Products Expo West. They’ve been back every year, using the national show as a way to connect with more and more buyers, distributors, colleagues and fans.
We finally caught up for a conversation about their company, Lively Up Your Breath, how they approached Expo West, and how they’re dealing with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
And yes, Micheal gives us his song and dance. And it’s a good one!