by Mike Morrison
May and June of 2021 started seeing some normal activity for the tradeshow, event and experiential industries as rules for gatherings started relaxing. The two-month period was highlighted with the respectfully-attended EDPA Engage event at Stone Mountain just outside of Atlanta June 10-11. I attended the event on behalf of the show and interviewed Dasher Lowe, EDPA executive director, on the success of the event and the “reboot” for the industry and live events in general.
While many Don & Mike shows during May and June saw guests speaking about the speculation of what shows will look like on the return, Engage was a great look at what conferences might see in the future… no masks, no real social distancing and almost normal, pre-pandemic conditions and many attendees smiling and glad to be back together at a conference.
Speakers, however, were quick to center discussions on the fact that shows and events, at least for the immediate future, will look different than those pre-pandemic. This is due to many reasons, but mainly the lack of robust budgets, the travel concerns being seen at the moment with business travel down in a major way and the implementation of many forms of hybrid/virtual show technology at live events for those who are not quite ready to go back to in-person events.
Speakers centered discussions on the new “Work from Home” model for many companies and employees, to how different booths will look for the future, to technology that may be seen in booths and events soon and, of course, the change in corporate culture and how that might affect the industry.
The Don & Mike Show also brought on a new sponsor and participant for the podcast. Circle, an omnichannel guest experience agency based in Las Vegas, is a part of the podcast team focused on the new normal for the way shows will change for the future, with the implementation of broadcast to shows and the adding of technology pop to events that have not been seen to this time.
Circle CEO Shawn Garrity has joined The Don and Mike Show weekly since their teaming up with the podcast to share their latest additions to shows and how the new normal of live shows will change for the better with the implementation of omnichannel for clients to get more ROI in their live events.
Circle also has added a once-per-month video presentation with The Don & Mike Show to the format along with weekly updates for the industry listeners.
The remainder of summer and into the third quarter is expected to see very busy upticks in tradeshows, events and experiential marketing. The Don and Mike Show is looking forward to playing a part of this strong resurgence and hope to see our listeners soon at a live event!
The Don & Mike Show can be heard on Fridays at TheDonAndMikeShow.net; ExhibitCityNews.com; Facebook (www.facebook.com/DandMshow); LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/groups/12096643/); Twitter (twitter.com/DonAndMikeShow1) and most all podcast platforms including iTunes, Google, Spotify and more.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. For more info, visit TheDonAndMikeShow.net
This story originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 20. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_july-august_2021