As the tradeshow industry returns to normal, we’re ending our Road to Recovery series. In its finale, we offer a final note from Go Live Together and a joint statement from the EACA and EDPA on the industry’s re-opening.
One Final Note from Go Live Together
“Our voice is louder when we are sharing a united message, and if only a fraction of the 6.6 million people in the events industry work together, we will be a mighty force.”
~Bob Priest-Heck, BizBash, May 20, 2020
When I gave this quote in the early months of the pandemic, I could not have imagined what we would go on to accomplish together. When I first called Sue at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday, with an idea that would become Go LIVE Together, none of us could have predicted that, within two weeks, we’d launch a website with 80 founding partners—and once it went live, members would come in faster than we could keep up. And we definitely didn’t plan on Go LIVE Together becoming the largest coalition advocating on behalf of live business events in the U.S., with thousands of supporters across the country.
Clearly, there was a need that Go LIVE Together filled, but it wasn’t about being another voice—it was about focusing and amplifying the voices we already had. Your voices.
Go LIVE Together is a coalition, and that word was chosen by design. It’s defined as, “an alliance for combined action, especially a temporary alliance of political parties forming a government or of states.” The key word here is “temporary.” And the time to end Go LIVE Together has come.
This will be our last regular newsletter and the website will become inactive by the end of July. As you all know, earlier this year, we made the decision to move Go LIVE Together’s legislative efforts under the new Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA), our industry’s platform for advocacy. While we’ve made tremendous strides, our experience over the past year has taught us that we need a sustained (and loud!) voice on Capitol Hill. ECA provides exactly that.
But the work of Go LIVE Together isn’t done. While we are thankful that markets are opening up and in-person events are happening once again, we need the provisions provided by the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act (HCJRA) to get smaller exhibitors and attendees back to events. Without the stimulus dollars provided by the HCJRA, our road to recovery will take much longer—which means fewer jobs, and fewer people back at work.
We encourage you to stay in the loop on the HCJRA or other ECA advocacy campaigns, by ensuring you’re on one of our ECA partner email lists.
It has been our tremendous honor to be part of Go LIVE Together. We wouldn’t exist, nor could we have achieved all that we have, without each and every one of you. We hope to (finally) meet you face-to-face soon, and thank you for your support during these many months. It truly has meant the world to us and everyone involved with Go LIVE Together.
Stay safe and stay strong,
Bob Priest-Heck and Sue Sung
EACA and EDPA Joint Statement on Industry Re-Opening
The EACA Board of Directors and the EDPA Board of Directors have issued a joint statement about the readiness of their collective members to get back to work as our industry re-opens, which can be viewed here.
Both organizations are grateful that we have reached the time when the industry is opening, and we can plan for the return of events. Yet, as we move forward, some questions are being raised.
One question is about the strength of the industry’s workforce. We have heard show organizers question whether companies that design, build and install displays at tradeshows may not have adequate labor resources. EACA and EDPA can answer that question right now as our collective member companies are ready to get back to work. The exhibitor community is looking forward to working with us again as their preferred suppliers.
As events begin to roll out, both organizations anticipate a patch work of safety protocols and event approaches during the re-opening process, not unlike the changes that occurred in air travel after 9/11. Yet within the approaches under consideration there is concern about exhibitor requirements that appear to be designed to serve show management and general contractors at the expense of our communities.
The joint statement includes commentary from the Exhibitor Advisory Group on one such approach and the negative impact it could create in the value generated from tradeshow participation. These types of policies, unfortunately, are not new. Similar ideas surfaced after an industry slowdown with the 2008 recession and post-9/11. Both times, exhibitors strongly voiced their objections.
While both organizations feel it’s important to voice these concerns, EACA and EDPA also want to make it clear that our members are here and are ready and able to support the trade show industry and exhibitor community. Let’s all get back to work.