Update on COVID-19
March 17, 2020
Thank you for reviewing the information below regarding Skyline Exhibits & Design’s Coronavirus related activities. Since our initial communication, the core SED value of “taking care of the customer” has kept our team extremely engaged in this fluid and unprecedented business climate. The nationwide plans for, and usage of, terms such as “self-isolation,” “separation” and “social distancing” remind us that the marketing strength inherent in our “face-to-face” industry is also an essential part of our daily lives.
Obviously, the small percentage of B2C and B2B trade shows that initially delayed or cancelled has grown to a majority of March and April events. Be sure to check your events’ status with the show producer and not assume anything. We are also getting numerous notifications of new, rescheduled dates for some shows that have postponed.
For many clients, the Skyline Team has already addressed many of these actionable items. However, for our customers where our work has been to provide exhibit products only (and not services) we encourage you to consider these actions:
- Locate and actively track freight that had already been sent to upcoming events.
- Cancel or pause the show orders you have placed – this helps avoid unnecessary payments to venues, general contractors, sub-contractors or unions.
- Aside from your booth, if you ordered event-specific items from a vendor other than Skyline Exhibits & Design (such as flooring or furniture) pause or cancel that order so that nothing ships and to avoid custom items being produced.
- If your trade show plans included a separate, off-site event (client dinners, hotel demos, vendor or distributor meetings), cancel those commitments and communicate the changes to the attendees.
- Verify that your immediate travel plans for cancelled events are addressed - canceling hotels, airline reservations and car rentals.
- Review your space contracts with show producers to discuss refunds and/or holding deposits for rescheduled events.
Of course, the need for brand awareness and market share remains a priority for many businesses. Although the exact timing as to when “normal” re-emerges is a mystery, we encourage you to:
- Actively plan for late Spring and Summer shows – take action now to avoid the increased cost of last-minute orders, rush production and expedited.
- Consider outsourcing specific marketing – as you wrestle with the constraints and demands placed on your current staff, Skyline can provide marketing services to ensure continuity, capacity and efficiency during these troubled times.
- Make greater use of technology – videoconferencing and live-streaming gives organizations the opportunity to both continue one-on-one meetings and to initiate virtual presentations. We can facilitate these technologies for you.
- Take stock of your image impact environments - a pause in traditional trade shows and events may give you time to focus on other areas where your brand should be prevalent. Consider using this time for improvements to your lobby, showroom and conference areas. The boost to your clients’ and prospects’ perception can make a significant difference for your business.
- Investigate ways now to improve your next trade show presence - exploring the feasibility of more customized strategies, visual elements and new booth components can increase the effectiveness of your overall exhibit program.
- Evaluate the cost implications of cancelling certain items - graphics or custom elements that are already in production will be needed at future events. Restarting projects from scratch will ultimately increase your total expense. If space or logistics are concerns, we will be happy to store items for you until they are needed.
Shows are most definitely not going away. As it has always been, our ongoing commitment is that we will have you SHOW READY for the next event – regardless of when it happens.
Wishing you the best,
Steven O. Hoffman