When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world last year, the entire event industry was hit hard. Trade shows, conferences, meetings and conventions came to a screeching halt. Most of us immediately scrambled to deal with the fallout by devising plans focused on viable solutions for a devasted industry.
Convention halls repurposed their facilities to support pandemic needs, trade shows transformed into virtual platforms, and businesses created digital trade show booths to showcase product. Emergency survival plans were varied and necessary.
The Show Must Go On: Flexible Strategies for a Better Future
1. Taking Action – At K2, we quickly jumped into action by reshaping our strategic plan while staying focused on what’s important – quality and clients. Despite the dramatic decline in exhibit design and fabrication, we still had clients with needs for museum and corporate interiors, product launches, graphics, and other permanent environments and solutions.
We shifted our production power by reorganizing the company structure to ensure that we could meet these needs long term. This meant reducing overhead and running on a lean but highly skilled and talented team. We believe that even though change is difficult, it ultimately leads to a stronger path. We can now focus on resilience, growth and longevity.
2. Vegas, Baby!– Reshaping K2’s business strategy also involved expanding to better match the exhibit industry’s comeback and demand. We’re proud to announce that we’ll be opening a new Las Vegas, Nevada, location by summer 2021, while continuing to service clients in Southern California. The Las Vegas location will enable us to provide more affordable choices, such as cost-effective production, transportation, storage and show services, to clients who maintain a huge exhibitor presence in the area.
The Las Vega location will position K2 for a better, brighter, more confident future that far surpasses the ordinary. A future that reflects society’s determination to escape isolation, share new innovations, and connect their products with live domestic and international audiences. This determination, paired with signs of a COVID-19 decline, is bringing live trade shows back to earth in 2021: NAFEMin August, Orlando; JCKin August, Las Vegas;CEDIAin September, Indianapolis; AACCin September, Indianapolis; Utility Expoin September, Louisville; SEMAin November, Las Vegas; and CESin January 2022, Las Vegas.
To prepare, trade show clients are ramping up for what many of us believe is not just a trade show comeback, but an explosive rebirth bursting with originality. For K2, this means refining our strategy to meet creative production and location opportunities as they round the corner. In today’s environment, flexibility is everything.
3. Emphasize Core Values – Quality, responsibility, integrity, respect and teamwork. Following these core values is one strategy that didn’t change. We did, however, mix in an extra dose of gratitude to take them to the next level. The result? It gives us the strength needed in today’s tumultuous climate to embrace what we believe will be a healthier, more awe-inspiring future.
Running on Authentic Enthusiasm
It turns out that as much as we would like to erase 2020, it actually reminded us that entrepreneurial strategy should always reflect passion, risk, as well as the ability to persevere when the world says stop. The pandemic circumstances clearly left us humbled, but far from paralyzed. And for that, we’re grateful.