Facilitating Social Interaction Amidst A Global Pandemic
Now that our world has been turned upside down, we are all busy, I am sure, figuring out how to react. Some things we will be able to return to “normal” in relatively short order. Other elements of our world may change forever or settle in to a new world order that we are referring to as the “new normal”. Some Americans will yearn to have their lives back to the way they were prior to the global pandemic. Those that embrace change, however, will be busy trying to determine how to make change for the better.
One thing that I have noticed over the last challenging few months is how dependent we are on person-to-person social interaction. Many of us have been in one way or another ushered into conducting video conference calls using a variety of slick technology applications in order to stay socially distant while keeping in touch. The technology that is available to us is fantastic, but after participating in quite a few presentations in the comfort of my own office, I still find myself feeling that it is just not the same.
The impact on business as a result of the world pandemic is nothing short of catastrophic. Sure some businesses that are complemented by the current conditions will thrive, but many more will suffer and even perish. It will be months before we can truly assess the damage. The changes in the world may alter the business conditions in such a way as to wipe away the very foundation and market demand for many businesses almost overnight.
The trade show organizers are certainly a category of business that are facing significant challenges. With so many trade shows having to be cancelled this year already, the usual participants are busy finding new ways to market their products to the retail channel, and transact business with their trading partners. I am sure some will predict that many trade shows may die out altogether since they inherently entail the gathering of many individuals in a confined space, which is what the medical community is recommending that everyone avoid to minimize the transmission of disease. But, anyone reaching that conclusion, will be ignoring the importance of social interaction in the business realm. Both exhibitors and attendees to trade shows have the opportunity to interact and discuss business issues, touch merchandise, and ask questions that are very important to the vitality of our industries.
Fortunately, the International Market Centers, which owns the showroom facilities in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and High Point, is an organization that has been busy trying to determine how to make change for the better. They have implemented a comprehensive safety protocol that will enable the markets to reopen this summer, and for us to continue to have the social interaction with our friends and trading partners in the industry. I will be there, and I hope to see you there too.