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The Don & Mike Show Tackles Industry’s Most Pressing Issues Head-On

by Mike Morrison

If there was a phrase that could be stamped on the tradeshow, live event and experiential marketing industries in today’s world…in today’s time frame and for the immediate future… that phrase would be “Don’t Know!” Just when things appeared to be in a turnaround mode and shows, businesses, activity in general was appearing to be on the mend from a very disappointing 2020, a new Delta variant of COVID -19 emerged, lockdowns are on the rise along with show and event cancellations and with each passing day, the number rises.

August rolled into existence with announcements of tradeshow and conference cancellations across the US as uncertainty hovered over the rise in COVID cases and as the month rolled on, the count exponentially grew.

As if we were in a déjà vu mind warp, states started mandating mask wearing, social distancing, talks of COVID vaccine requirements and more. A number of states, mainly in the southeast and south, held on tight to their refusal to require any changes and as we roll into the third and final quarters of 2021, our industries’ success or failure may be determined by a roll of the dice with shows moving forward in many cases, while some major cities are requiring its’ citizens to show vaccine proof in order to enter many businesses. The future is questionable for sure.

That being said, Don and Mike have continued to bring to the listeners up-to-date activity from around the nation with guests who speak on the issues at hand, like Circle’s (Omnichannel Guest Experience Agency in Las Vegas and sponsor of the show) interview on ESG (Environmental, Governance and Social) and how it is expected to play out for the future for businesses; Jane Gentry from Fusion Staffing on how companies should change their ways in staffing protocols; Employco’s Rob Wilson’s views on how HR will change for the future and the all-important discussions on advocacy for our industry with Chris Griffin and Tommy Goodwin from ECA… among other topics and interviews that aired.

As one looks at ECN’s Tradeshow Calendar , the majority of the anticipated and projected revamp was to take place starting in September through the remainder of the year. While some shows have been canceled, a large number still remain intact as hybrid events, expecting fewer in-person attendees but still opting for both in person as well as a digital presence.

We will stay on top of these developments as we roll further into 2021… expectations of mask mandates and social distancing protocols are expected to play a part in the continuation of shows in 2021. Here is hoping the industry hangs on a little while longer and maybe things will get better. For the sake of the industry, I hope they don’t get worse!

And in the meantime, be sure and join us at this year’s Randy on Sept. 27  at the Berkeley Hills Country Club outside of Atlanta. The Don & Mike Show will be broadcasting live!

Mike Morrison is the national sales director for WS Displays as well as co-host and producer of “The Don & Mike Show” podcast, now closing in on 200,000 listens. Contact him at or For more info, visit

The Don & Mike Show can be heard on Fridays at;; Facebook (; LinkedIn (; Twitter ( and most all podcast platforms including iTunes, Google, Spotify and more.

This story originally appeared in the Sept./Oct. 2021 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 22. For original layout, visit


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