Happy New Year! May the world start turning again soon in 2021!
In the meantime, we want to send a big thank you to all those who have tirelessly worked on the industry’s behalf in Washington, D.C.—GoLive Together, LiveForLife, and so many more.
We hope you’ll enjoy this issue—the unsung heroes of our tradeshow workforce started with a Facebook group and have organized into a group that held its first rallies across the U.S. on December 15. America Starts with Tradeshows was kicked off with a bang in Houston, Texas (see page 22) with speakers including the Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner; Michael Heckman, acting president and CEO of Houston First Corporation; Linda Morales, organizing coordinator, Texas Gulf Coast Area; Labor Federation, AFL-CIO; Jennifer Hernandez, dir. of communications for International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 88; Kelly Swords, co-chair of Houston America Starts with Tradeshows rally and many more impacted business owners and workers.
One of our favorite columnists, Andy Taylor, took a humorous jab at the year that never was in 2020, Year in Review (page 24). He’s still holding onto his “lucky” mask no matter what the future brings.
And then we take a look at pivoting to virtual—or, more likely—hybrid shows in 2021. There will always be people who will want to be face to face but now that everyone has learned how to “create a TV studio in their pantry,” (according to Andy), shows in 2021 will most likely be offering both options—virtual and in-person. Everyone’s favorite “Booth Mom,” Candy Adams, shares what to look for in building your virtual team and TSEMA.org founder Richard Erschik discusses the training needed to help exhibitors maximize their ROI virtually. Our newest online columnist, Willwork Global Event Services’ Bob McGlincy, examines three case studios of tradeshows that went virtual or hybrid and how successful they were.
Due to financial constraints, Don went to EDPA ACCESS without me but fortunately, the sessions were taped for later online viewing. The nearly 100 EDPA members who attended spoke of how important it was to gather together and to share ideas on how to not just survive, but thrive in the coming year.
Finally, there’s our focus city this issue, Savannah, Georgia, a city that’s dripping in Spanish moss, beauty, charm and elegance. And their convention center is currently underway with expansion plans that will double its space and move it up to a whole new tier in attracting shows.
Our In Memoriam section this issue (pages 44-45) includes a tribute to Teamsters Local 631 “Fallen Floor Family,” GES Chicago’s David Mata, Washington D.C. Teamster foreman Walt Barker and we invite others to email us when a member of our tradeshow/convention/events family passes away. Exhibit City News is committed to honoring those who have passed and will begin posting memorial stories on our website every week. In the meantime, stay healthy and may 2021 be the year we all go back to work!
Keep on jazzin’!
Jeanne Brei, Editor-in-chief
This story originally appeared in the Jan./Feb. 2021 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 8. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_jan-feb_2021