July 23, 2024 7:26 AM
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Talk on the Tradeshow Floor

(Pictured above: Confectionary Pavilion at PACK EXPO)

by Jeanne Brei

What a month October was! It began with the government of Canada announcing “the removal of all COVID-19 entry restrictions, as well as testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements for anyone entering Canada, effective October 1, 2022.” Travelers no longer need to submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website; provide proof of vaccination; undergo pre- or on-arrival testing; carry out COVID-related quarantine or isolation; or monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID upon arriving to Canada. Transport Canada also removed existing travel requirements. As of October 1, 2022, travelers no longer were required to undergo health checks for travel on air and rail or wear masks on planes and trains. Cruise measures have also be lifted, and travelers are no longer be required to have pre-board tests, be vaccinated, or use ArriveCAN.

Tori Barnes EVP, Public Affairs & Policy at U.S. Travel AssocA week later, on Oct. 7, the Visitor Visa Wait Time Reduction Act (H.R. 9141) was introduced to Congress and then referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. To follow the bill’s progress, visit https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/9141/actions.  U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes (pictured left) issued a statement: “We must stop turning away international travelers due to 400-plus day wait times that visitor visa applicants are facing worldwide. It is absolutely unacceptable and a significant deterrent to our national economic recovery. We applaud the bipartisan legislative action introduced by Reps. Salazar (R-FL) and Lee (D-NV) that directs the U.S. State Department to address this urgent problem. Spending by international travelers is critical to getting the U.S. economy back on track, and reducing visa wait times and welcoming these visitors should be a focused national priority.”

But in a month famous for “trick or treats,” on Oct. 10, Russian hackers, suspected to be from the group “Killnet,” cyber-attacked over a dozen major U.S. airports. Airports affected included LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Denver International Airport (DEN), Colorado Springs Airport (COS) and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL). All the individual airports targeted reported that there was no intrusion into air traffic control, however, consumers were unable to access public-facing information from airports on flights. As reported by CNN, Kiersten Todt, chief of staff of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said there was “no concern about operations being disrupted” while at a security conference on Sea Island, Georgia.

Fortunately, the rest of the month was filled to the brim with treats as some of the largest tradeshows across the country reported their largest number of attendees with business booming at the booths. IMEX attendance was 45 percent  bigger than last year—with more than 4,000 buyers (3,300 were hosted buyers) of the more than 12,000 attendees—and international attendance is growing.

Don and Mike show logo 4Mike Morrison (pictured right with ECN publisher Don Svehla), national sales director at WS Displays and co-host of The Don & Mike Show, reported last week on his podcast that not only did Printing United in Las Vegas set records on attendance but “as an exhibitor at the show, we set a record on leads received, as well as seeing a strong quality of leads obtained.” Morrison is also doing his weekly survey on Linkedin as well as on the podcast website and is asking, “Big Trade Shows wrapped up with record attendance… how optimistic are you for the remainder of the year and 2023 for the industry?” Let him know how optimistic you are—the results of the survey will be on the Friday, Nov. 5 show along with Chris Griffin as his guest.

Other shows that have seen record attendance include PACK EXPO International (picture at top), the packaging industry’s most important show, which was held in person Oct. 23-26 at McCormick Place in Chicago for the first time in four years and drew more than 44,000 attendees. Equip Exposition, the international landscape, outdoor living and equipment exposition, had the largest participation in its 40-year history, welcoming 25,000 attendees and exhibitors CONDIT HALLOWEEN COLLAGE 400X250to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 18-21. Attendees came from 49 countries and all 50 states in the U.S. All indoor and outdoor exhibit space available was sold out for both Equip Exposition and the co-located Hardscape North America.

It was certainly a month to celebrate the return of live tradeshows, booming business and Halloween. On Linkedin, Condit shared some photos of their employees celebrating Halloween. All we can say, is “Wow! Great costumes and ingenuity!”


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