If you prefer to read instead of watching our short video, here is the transcript from the conversation between Mike and Mal Gilvar:
Mike Gilvar: Thanks, everybody, for joining this edition of The Bottom Line at TTG. Hey, Mal, pulling out your crystal ball here, when are shows coming back?
Mal Gilvar: Well, officially, Orlando just announced they’re opening in mid-July with six events scheduled for mid-July and 10 in August, so I thought that was a really good sign. Las Vegas also just announced that they’re opening in August and they have 75 shows scheduled for the remainder of the year. And of course, as many of you guys know, Germany is already opened, and they were deemed an essential business and they have a full slate of shows, as well. So it’s really great to see Folks are coming back.
Mike: What can we expect? What are shows going to look like when they do come back?
Mal: Well, obviously, I think you’re going to see a lot of folks wearing masks. I think in some cases, that will be mandatory. We’re going to see wider aisles, and maybe more importantly, we’ll see one-way aisles. I think you’ll see access to hand sanitizing stations all over the Convention Center, and I think individual exhibits, you’re going to see distancing decals in individual booths to help keep that social distancing as well. And of course, simple protocols like the shaking of hands isn’t going to happen at the events when we first come back.
Mike: And that makes sense. And what about all of the other stuff that you need to do around getting to a show? You’re going to fly in an airplane, you’re going to stay in a hotel, what’s that going to look like?
Mal: Well, what’s really nice and I think if anyone wants to research this, it’s easy to do, but the cleaning protocols that hotels and restaurants and airlines have taken are pretty extraordinary. In fact, even the Convention Center, Las Vegas McCormick Place and the Orange County Convention Centre have all adhered to the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s stringent demands of cleanliness. So if all those venues are doing it, the smaller venues are going to follow suit. They’ve all applied for accreditation. Literally, every single evening at the end of a show, before the next day, everything will be completely sterilized. It’s pretty impressive, the lengths that people are going to make sure to keep everybody safe. And of course, it’s in the best interests of everyone to do that.
Mike: But well, it’s interesting. We’re in the process, a trade group, of looking at our shows that are coming up, and it does feel a little bit tenuous. There’s this question mark in the air. Is it going to happen in November? Is there going to be a resurgence? From that standpoint, knowing that there’s this question mark in the air, how should exhibitors approach preparing for the show and marketing for the show, knowing that there’s that big “What if?”?
Mal: One of the things that we’ve been telling our clients is, you have to take pre-show activities really seriously when you’re not 100% certain that the event will happen. So to maximize that opportunity, you need to make sure you’re driving targeted traffic to your exhibit through pre-show activities, whether that be email, direct mail campaigns, whatever it is that you want to do to drive targeted traffic to your exhibit. Now hopefully, that’s not going to be an issue with the show happening. But if, God forbid, it doesn’t happen, by doing those activities pre-show, you’ve done a lot of the legwork for your sales team anyway, so they can touch base with those folks via phone, and they’ve already had some touch points. So I think that has tremendous value.
Mike: That makes a lot of sense. At the end of the day, we’ve got to drive revenue regardless of whether or not we have the available tactic of a trade show in order to do it. So that makes a lot of sense.
Mike: So what’s the bottom line, if you were to wrap it all up? What’s the bottom line for exhibitors who are looking at this world of events, and how do we approach it?
Mal: Yeah, well, look, the events are coming back, and that’s, I think, the good news. There’s a real pent-up demand for both companies who are missing out on the revenue opportunities of going to those shows, as well as people who need to find products and services for their companies that they typically find at these events. Shows are going to look different. They’re going to be safe. The lengths that folks are going to is pretty amazing. But I think most importantly, they’re going to be attended by only the most motivated and engaged buyers. You’re not going to go to Vegas right now because you want to… It’s a boondoggle and you’re going to party. You’re going to an event because you have a real need to be there. So that old adage that less can sometimes be more, might be true here. And I think we’re going to see very engaged, motivated buyers.
Mike: Thanks, everybody, for tuning in, and we’ll see you on the next edition of The Bottom Line here at TTG.
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