(Pictured above: Among the many new offerings from Orbus are sneeze guard walls)
by Amadeus Finlay
As the nation finds itself amid another crisis, the tradeshow industry continues to dig-in against the gnawing menace of COVID-19 by developing solutions for tomorrow’s business landscape. Here are some of the most recent stories in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
In the world of tradeshow marketing, few entities are as big and influential as Orbus of Woodridge, Ill. But with clout comes responsibility, and as Natalie Whited, vice president of marketing reveals, the Midwest firm is shifting its entire focus to helping society back on its feet, both inside the tradeshow industry and out.
“It’s been a wild eight to ten weeks,” Whited explains, “but you just have to pivot. Many of the portable displays we offer end up in non-tradeshow applications, so we felt it was wise to use these products and our capabilities to support the evolving needs of the marketplace.”
“Now that businesses are re-opening,” continues Whited, “companies have a need to communicate their needs and offerings, as well as displays detailing new guidelines for hygiene, social distancing, etc. We have been introducing sanitizing stations and floor vinyls to outline social distancing parameters. We have also been rolling out facemasks and portable guards that can be easily disinfected.”
“In the end, we want businesses to feel they can easily commute their messaging while utilizing technology that makes them feel safe and protected.”
In Toronto, pan-continental creative machine ASTOUND Group has been utilizing its connections in Canada as well as the U.S. to provide support to all corners of society hit by the pandemic. In fact, ASTOUND’s entire structure shifted to focus all energies on the fight against the disease.
“This shift began at the beginning of March,” explains Corporate Development Manager Kyle Bertrand. “We were contacted by Unity Health to provide a solution for a floor of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto to aid front line workers with assessment and containment of COVID-19.”
“Since our business revolves around the quick design, construction, and delivery of temporary solutions for events, the application of temporary wall systems was a natural evolution,” he continues. “Within 72 hours, ASTOUND designed, deployed and delivered a medical grade solution for the healthcare team at St. Michael’s Hospital.”
The company has also been developing back-to-work solutions. “By working with governments, healthcare professionals and businesses,” continues Bertrand, “we have designed a modular system built with medical-grade materials that is easily customized to your brand’s spaces, offers better way-finding, spatial barriers and PPE solutions and can be quickly installed so you can get back to business sooner.”
And there’s momentum behind the initiatives. On May 26, a bill was introduced by New York State Rep. Carolyn Maloney tasked with creating the Pandemic Risk Insurance Program—a system of shared public and private funds for business losses resulting from pandemics or public health emergencies. If passed, business interruption insurance policies would be in place to ensure sufficient capacity to cover losses and bolster the economy in the event of a future pandemic. And as an industry deeply feeling the need for such stimulus, leaders in the tradeshow industry are vocally backing the bill’s passing.
With such financial glimmers on the horizon, and the tentative re-opening of doors in countries like Thailand on June 1, Hong Kong in late May, and Germany come October, there may just be some light at the end of the tunnel.
Upcoming stories in this series will feature companies and individuals who have risen to the occasion to build temporary medical facilities, masks and whatever is needed during the current crisis. If your company is going above and beyond to assist in this fight, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and Amadeus at email@example.com for inclusion in future stories in this series.