We are part of the supply chain that has taken a big hit. Over recent years, our role has been one where we bring our community together in an annual event where we buy, sell, network and exchange. The business model has been a trade show/exhibition where a core part of the purpose is to generate a profit for a business or cause. These profits have been ploughed back into the industry through trade bodies such as PLASA and the ABTT.
The picture has now changed and this business model only makes sense if exhibiting companies have the finances to invest in exhibiting. The model now needs to change to match the resources that are available and the needs of the people who work in the industry. Last September, we planned an event for March 5th, thinking that we would surely be on the way back by then. Quite clearly, the expectation of doing anything at all before Easter is totally unrealistic. It may be that some kind of road map might start making sense after Easter, which is our next landmark for reviewing how best to get everyone together. When we resurface, our commitment will be to design an event that is ‘not for profit’ and delivers what our industry is looking for to help the recovery process.
In fairness, none of us know how this is all going to pan out.
A good building requires solid foundations. The first building block for our new event will be a well stocked bar. Everything else will have to work around it. People come first. That’s all we know for sure at the moment.