Between COVID-19 and innovations in technology, the way we attend events has changed. Virtual trade shows are everywhere now and will linger for the foreseeable future.

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About This Guest:

Sam Riegsecker

Sam Riegsecker

Marketing Operations Manager - Double A Solutions

This week we sat down with our very own marketing manager, Sam Riegsecker, to discuss the topic of trade shows in a modern world dogged by a persistent pandemic. The truth is that many of us had signed up for trade shows. In previous years they could be found sprinkled throughout the Janitorial Manager’s schedule for the year.

This year many trade shows were either canceled entirely or they took the leap and went virtual. We wanted to sit down and discuss this new world, how you can optimize your experience at a virtual trade show, and how you can decide between virtual and in-person next year.

Podcast Transcription

Halie  0:00  

Hello everyone and welcome to The Business of Cleaning podcast. My name is Halie Morris. I’m your podcast coordinator and host today. 

With me, I have a special guest. It’s actually my very own boss, Sam. So Sam, if you don’t mind, please go ahead and introduce yourself.

Sam 0:46  

Hey, I’m obviously glad to be here. My name is Sam Riegsecker. I am the Marketing Operations Manager at Double A Solutions. 

My job entails coordinating all the marketing efforts between content marketing, social media marketing, launching this podcast, and everything in between, basically. So that’s my role here.

Halie  1:10  

Thanks, Sam. We actually brought Sam on today for a good reason and that’s because, with the current shifts of 2020, with COVID-19, everything has gone virtual. 

To turn it around, we don’t know what 2021 is going to bring. It will bring hope, hopefully, but also COVID-19 numbers are still on the rise and they’re considerably higher than spring. We’re just dealing with things a bit better. 

So a lot of it goes back to the fact that things aren’t running the same way they used to. That includes events and trade shows. I know we’ve got quite a lot of people who attend events and trade shows, typically. I know, we as JM (Janitorial Manager) have attended quite a few. 

With that, we want to dive into what we’re going to be doing as far as trade shows, what we’ve done this year, what we’re going to be doing in 2021, and really try to just maximize our experience at virtual trade shows, because there might be in-person, but they could be canceled.

Sam  2:17  

Yeah, I’m on the JM side. We’ve been watching everything and we’ve attended a handful of virtual shows. It is quite a bit different to prepare for. In 2019 I think we did, probably 50 trade shows across all our brands of products. 

Seeing that shift and preparing for it, it’s been a little bit difficult. For example, ISSA North America is one of the big shows in the JM world. We’ve been doing a lot since the last show to prepare for this year’s show that was planning to be in-person. Then in the last quarter, it shifted to virtual. 

So we were very hopeful that that one was going to be the first one in-person to get us back on track for 2021, but we were dealt with certain cards. We had to deal with them. It’s been a learning curve on the event side, but we’re excited that hopefully soon enough, we get back to the in-person. 

There’s nothing like an in-person show when we’re speaking with people in the industry, between manufacturers and cleaners, and everyone in between. You have that power of networking that has been a little bit different in the last couple of months here. 

So it’s the idea of the normal. I know we’re anxious. You can see I’m still in my home office. I go to the office a couple of times a month, just to check in on things, but I think we’re all craving that normal. 

Hopefully, we can get back to the in-person trade show soon. You know, I’m hopeful. We’re hoping that by the second quarter of 2021, we’re back in person. 

I know we have a couple that is scheduled in-person in April for some other product lines, but we’re hopeful that it’ll get back to in-person soon.

Halie  4:29  

With that, in general, we hope to get back to more in-person. I know personally, I think it’s never going to be 100% in-person again because now we realize we can connect with people on the other side of the planet…

Sam  4:43  

…and it works. It works and even for their virtual trade shows that we went to we’ve seen the ones that really haven’t really worked for us but we’ve also seen the ones that we’re actually getting close to the same amount of traffic we would if we would have gone to the show in person.

I think it’s gonna be a lot of watching that path of companies that are saying, “Well, is it worth the expense of running out of the venue?” Is it worth it? We’re still getting the same amount, or close to the same amount, of money from vendors to participate. 

Is it worth the time, like I said, to get the venue or just the preparation, t-shirts, and lanyards and all that stuff, when, we can go virtual? We can potentially make the same amount of money on the vendor or on the person who’s hosting the event side, but it makes sense. 

I’m really interested to see how it evolves in the next year. So I think there’ll be more in-person than virtual if they can help it, just because nothing beats walking up to somebody and shaking their hand. I mean, that’s kind of the business world that we’re in, but who knows what’s gonna happen.

Halie  6:08  

We’re a little starved for touch. So especially immediately following the ability to get back into it, it’s going to be a lot of in-person. Then we might see the virtual creep back in as time goes on. 

It just becomes like your right, we don’t have to do it like this. As a hosting company, for a big event like this, we don’t have to rent out the space. We don’t have to leave a deposit and potentially cancel because of numbers for COVID going up, or bad publicity. 

I’m sure some companies are like, “oh, we’re going to host this event in-person,” and then there’s a lot of bad publicity in putting together a large gathering right now. Things are still so uncertain

Then just the grab bags and stuff, the physical grab bags, that money adds up. So being able to cut those expenses, potentially make your ticket price a little lower, and draw more people in, and still make the same amount of money is going to be hugely alluring. 

Then you can get those people across the globe and across the country who couldn’t attend before. 

Sam  7:13  

Yeah. I think there’s going to be more companies that dive into the virtual trade shows. 

At this point, it’s going to be almost like a competition between the two, not only to get software vendors like JM or distributors to buy in, but I think a lot of it is, “Hey, we have a good platform. We have a tested platform virtually.” 

I know the couple that we went to some that were super well organized, and others that really were last-minute struggles. The more you can plan with a virtual event, I’m willing to bet that there’s going to be more new virtual events, moving forward with more companies doing more virtual events. 

They can plan and there are enough like Zoom, Teams, or other different platforms that they can use to stay organized, but also host it and not have any bugs.

Halie  8:18  

I was doing a little research for this yesterday and I saw a site that hosts conferences like this and trade shows. The setup is so nice and they do all that background site management type of thing. 

Like traffic tracking, which is a big thing because when you go to trade shows, you do get some numbers but if you’re not on it, I guess sometimes it might be a little less than expected. 

Everybody’s leaving a footprint. So anywhere somebody goes within this conference or this trade show, there’s going to be a way to track it and let you know. 

I don’t know if conferences are doing it yet, but how long do people stay at your booth? What is that typical time you can hold somebody? How do you make that time longer? How do you make somebody stay for the whole time slot? 

Then for questions that are asked and stuff like that- 

There’s going to be more ways to evolve and track things that are difficult to do in person like having somebody there typing up all the questions or recording. Things like that. 

There’s a lot of noise input and things going on at once. This is just the computer doing all the hard work for you. There’s certainly a lot of benefits. 

I think one of the things to go with that is that trade shows probably are going to be virtual for a good while and then there’s going to be more popping up as time goes on. 

So the question becomes, then in 2021 there’s probably going to be some in-person- 

I know you said there are already some in-person ones that are scheduled, but how do you decide to go virtual or in-person or find that balance of both going into ‘21 right now. And then how do you do it going forward after that, when things settle down a little bit?

Sam  10:05  

Yeah, fingers crossed. 

From our standpoint, I think a lot of it is a personal preference. As I said, we’re hoping to get back in-person. There’s nothing like talking with other professionals in the industry. 

Obviously, there’s going to be some changes in the way we talk to other people in the industry. I’m sure there’ll be fine red tape, basically between what you can do as a vendor and how you can talk to people, because we’re coming from all over the nation, and even internationally. 

So, I’m really interested to see that but I think attending in-person is going to be a lot of deciding on your own. I almost want to say that some of these people are going to do virtual and in-person. Maybe to start that’s an idea.

Halie  11:02  

Like that same trade show happening both in-person and virtual at the same time?

Sam  11:04  

Right. Having a hybrid environment, I’d be interested to see how that would change the demographic because I think that there’s room for growth in the tradeshow industry. It’s been about the same for I don’t know how long, but I feel like trade shows have been the in-person thing for a long time. 

I’m interested to see how the numbers change from where they were before all this with COVID-19 and where they are now, as far as people going back to the shows. 

As far as in-person stuff goes, a lot of these in-person shows the fine print says, “Hey, we’re gonna schedule this for in-person if the numbers don’t improve, then we’re going to have to go remote.” 

So they’re almost preparing for both anyway. Obviously, the remote one being the worst-case scenario. There’s a lot that goes into a trade show, so I wouldn’t be one planning for both. That would be tough. 

So yeah, that’s where I think it’s good to get to. It’s gonna be almost a hybrid between the two. Like I said a little bit ago, I wouldn’t be extremely surprised if there’s virtual trade shows that pop up that we never would have thought would have popped up. 

Come 2021 or into 2022, probably 2022, will be back to normal trade show stuff. So I think a lot of the virtual trade shows will phase-out and be more in-person.

Halie  12:47  

Subside? Yeah, it might be more balanced. 

As I said, I think we’re going to move really heavily for a while back into in-person when we’re able, and then virtual shows will start to creep in again once people realize, “hey that was convenient.”

Sam  13:02  

Right? Well, I think it’s convenient and from a cost perspective on people attending, ticket prices, hotels, food, airfare, and the whole nine yards, I know, from experience, that kind of stuff adds up in a hurry. 

So if they can cut out the food, the airfare, and the hotel, you’re saving hundreds of dollars just to attend these educational events, which you could attend online. 

I think it’s going to be personal preference, 

From an economic perspective, a lot of companies in the Jan-San world either got hit hard or are scaling at this point. I’m interested to see how attendance of the shows goes because if they’re virtual I feel like more people will attend. They’ll probably get the same out of it. 

It’s going to be really, really interesting moving forward.

Halie  14:06  

Yeah. With the idea of it being more affordable. You can actually afford now to bring in some supervisors or team members that you couldn’t before to these events. 

If you’re scaling or you would like to scale and you’re not yet scaling, your current team members are going to be your biggest bet. So investing in them is going to be easier when you can actually afford to do so. 

I know, a lot of companies right now are dealing with budget cuts from their customers. Their customers are like, “We have to scale back. We don’t have people in the building. We don’t have the budget for it even though we want more.” 

The ability to invest in trade shows has gone down for some, but virtuals are making it more affordable and more accessible as people start to get back into increasing those budgets as we start to move past this recession. 

You’re going to want to include more team members. You’re going to want to instill more leadership, knowledge, and education across the board.

Sam  15:08  

Well, that’s a big thing, even for me. I think it’s important for people to be involved in these kinds of things because there is a lot of educational value. 

Guest speakers are huge in the trade show industry. Finding trade shows that have speakers that speak to things that could instill a lot of knowledge into your people and could get them intrigued to learn even more about the industry. 

To me, that’s value money invested in your company. A lot of these are, I think a lot of companies in general, don’t spend enough on continuing to educate their employees

There’s value in trade shows and listening to these speakers who have the experience, who have insider information, and what is going on in the industry. Maybe it’s something that hasn’t hit your region yet. It’s the knowledge that you can prepare for moving forward. 

So, to me, if you can find events that have good guest speakers, I think it’s good to invest in getting your people there, if you can, at this point.

Halie  16:33  

It’s one of those things. To invest in employees from a leadership perspective, it can be scary when it’s a huge price tag. For any business, it’s always the schooling, technical training or things like that can sometimes be especially large. 

We put so much value on it that the price tags are huge. When you’ve got new equipment that you need to get or investments in software that you need to make, it’s usually seen as an extra or a perk or a luxury for your employees to help their training. It becomes very short-sighted. It’s hard to see past the red tape of the price tag. 

Lowering that price tag, making things much more efficient, and things on the hosting side so you can lower the price that you don’t have to consider the boarding and travel expenses, it will be beneficial just across the industry raising for the standard.

Sam  17:33  

Right and that’s where I almost think that some trade shows are going to offer opportunities just to view the guest speakers. You can pay maybe $100 a person or whatever, $50 a person just to listen to the guest speakers. 

That’s something that I would pay for, hearing certain people in the industry giving you a heads up of what’s coming. To me, that’s good money invested in your company for potential growth opportunities and forefront information that you wouldn’t have known if you did want to spend that $50. 

As these virtual and in-person shows continue, and people try to decide what they want to do to me, if there’s an option just to pay for the guest speakers and if money is tight, to me, that would be worth your time, and even for your employees time.

Halie  18:28  

Well, and the idea with technology is that even though we mass-produce phones, we mass-produce computers, and software is generally created to send out to people and then it fits later. 

There’s still this idea that it’s customizable. Your phone, it doesn’t look like anybody else’s when you unlock it. Your computer doesn’t look like anybody else’s. 

So when you go into a virtual trade show or you go into a website, you want it to be about you. In this case, your employees, your team members, your leaders, your supervisors, you want it to be about them. 

Being able to say, “I’m going to save money because these people don’t need to go to the vendors. These people don’t need to go to breakouts, but they would benefit from a keynote speaker with this kind of knowledge, it’s hugely beneficial. I’m giving customized training to my team.” 

I’m giving a customized experience and they feel a little more appreciated as an attendee going to these events that, “hey, it’s about me. It’s about what works with my schedule, what matters, and what I need to learn,” 

Sometimes going to these events, if you’ve ever gone to one, it’s like, oh, why am I in this room right now?

Sam  19:37  

Where you pick the wrong session. At least with these virtual shows, you can pick the session based on the topic and short description of what my employees are going to see or hear about. 

Going back to the employees enjoying the educational point. To me, when I get the opportunity to go to trade shows in the marketing industry and, this is a little bit different, but I get juiced up. I’m writing down notes as fast as I can just to understand what’s going on.

It might not even fit our industry! It’s just marketing knowledge in general, insight into somebody else’s brain that’s been in the marketing industry longer than me. 

I know a lot of these guest speakers have been in their industries for a long time. So their insight is superduper valuable for a frontline worker or even somebody that’s been in the industry may be longer than them, but just doesn’t have the experience in that certain niche that they’re discussing in the speech. 

There’s a lot that goes into guest speaking.

Halie  20:44  

Yeah, and I was going to just…. 

Losing my point. Oh, my gosh, I lost my point. 

Anyways, going off of that, guest speakers though, it’s such a vital part of it. It is one of the big things that you want to consider as part of maximizing your experience with the trade shows. 

These virtual experiences, because we’re very familiar with how it works when you’re in person, versus a big question mark we have for virtual. For people, it’s several months into being a little thicker into it, but it’s still a question mark. 

The hosting parties and the vendors, everybody’s still trying to figure it out. What are some of those things that we still need to look for even though it’s virtual? 

What do you look for, especially because a lot of times, it’s all written out ahead of time? So what are the things that you look for to actually make sure it’s worth the time?

Sam  21:36  

So yeah, so I think the interesting part that I’ve dug into getting our digital booths ready-

The interesting part is that a lot of the bigger virtual shows that we’re attending, the online booth is a lot like what they made the vendor portal for trade shows in-person. 

That’s really been interesting to see. The setup part from a vendor side really hasn’t changed a whole lot, but obviously, the agendas, the scheduling, and all that stuff is changing, because everybody’s got to be logged into the certain meeting and all that stuff on the virtual side. 

From a vendor side, it’s been, honestly, the same. It might be a little more work as far as writing things out and stuff. 

At the end of the day, a lot of the bigger shows-

I’m going to preface this by saying that it’s the bigger shows. They have the online portal to set up our booth on the vendor side is basically the exact same as what it was in person, because a lot of people dig into and set up their schedule of, Okay, I’m going to talk to Janitorial Manager at 11:00 am on Tuesday. 

You can pre-set appointments. I noticed a lot when I attended ISSA last year in Vegas, a lot of our meetings were actually set up prior. They can do that through the online portal. It was taking those meetings and making sure we had the time allotted for them in person.

As far as the vendor side, I think that nothing really changed, but I think the biggest change comes on, obviously, the attendee side. 

Making a set schedule of I do want to make sure I talked to Janitorial Manager, a certain distributor about different products that they have, new offerings and 2020 or, a different cleaning agent that can help battle COVID-19. 

Either contacting that company before or setting up time to speak with somebody on their side, even before the event, is important. 

Have those lists of questions that you are going to take into the conversation and really drive the conversation on the attendee side to the vendor to try to get as much information as you can in a certain time slot because some of them are 15 to 20-minute windows, so you only have 15 or 20 minutes one-on-one with that person. 

Going in with questions that you know you want to be answered is going to be important for these virtual shows.

Halie  24:35  

You’re looking at the vendors, you’re making sure those vendors-

 if that’s what you’re going for and we get the option eventually where it’s speaker or vendors or both, and you can pick and choose, but right now it sounds like you gotta go in and you sign up for what you want. 

Essentially, you’re paying for it all, but you want to make sure the vendors you’re going to talk to are worth your time, that there are vendors there that are beneficial to you. 

So you’re looking for the keynote speaker. You’re looking for vendors that are beneficial to your company, that make sense for where you’re at in your growth. 

I think too, one of the big things we’ve seen recently with maybe a Zoom-based trade show versus one that has the proper hosting website and is extremely well organized is that you do want it organized. 

You want it very well structured and you want it to have a really nice agenda so you actually know where you’re going to be. 

It’s like you said, you want to have those time slots when people are going to be there because even if people don’t come for one, you don’t have the actual attendance that you expect, or nobody signs up, you know what’s next on the schedule. It’s not like you’re just standing around waiting, and then nobody’s going to come. 

So that ties a lot into those things that you want to look for as you’re going forward. You want to make sure it’s actually going to, again, bring the value that you’re putting into it when you spend the money to attend. 

That goes back to those are all incentives and things that you want to pull away. It ultimately comes back to getting intel and education to make you better so that when you come back, you have something to grow with.

Sam  26:13  

A lot of it goes to implementation. I think that’s the hardest part for businesses. They come back from these trade shows and I’ve heard it in the past call it a “trade show high,”  I mean as far as implementing the changes and stuff they want to see but I think it’s a long-term play too. 

You could potentially not see a return on investment at all from attending a trade show, or you could improve your operations and grow your business. Then scale it based on the information you hear. It’s important, These trade shows are valuable for companies. 

How you bring it back to your business and how you implement it is the main factor. For the next year, the next two years, or the next three years before you could potentially see any revenue boost on your business side. And it’s possible you don’t at all for the next year while you’ve implemented the process.  I think that understanding event follow up and kind of implementing it in your business is a really key part of these trade shows.

Halie  27:18  

Yeah because again, it’s that takeaway. Whatever education, knowledge, and experience that you’re bringing from it, you want it to be usable. 

I know what you’re talking about at  “trade show high” because I’ve attended conferences and things before where you come back to your entire team with all these amazing ideas. 

Either they don’t do anything with them or they try to do everything at once. And it sort of crashes and burns.

Sam  27:41  

Well, it overwhelms the staff. That’s why I said it could take a year to implement because you have to write down notes as fast as you can to know how to implement the stuff. 

You have to do it almost step by step by step in order for it to really see the scaling growth in your business. To me, that’s almost the underappreciated side of trade shows.

There’s a lot of room for growth on that and a lot of room for growth. For a lot of businesses on that side, you can’t flip a switch overnight. It’s kind of a slow process to get something big implemented in your business. 

Halie 28:24  

In a lot of times with trade shows, it’s not a key that turns and goes, it’s one component plus a series of things that you’re doing to improve your business. It’s like any other measure that you’re taking to do continuous improvement. 

That’s why we continuously go to trade shows. It’s not a one and done type deal. If it were, we do a lot of research for a couple of years on end to pick that one train show that’s going to make or break it for us. But it’s not like that. Coming back to the education aspect, that’s a huge part of it too. What are you learning, you’re adding that education to what you already know?

It’s not going to be like I’ve seen people say “oh, I need to come back and implement this immediately”. Well, large changes too quickly can cause instability. And if you’re not continuously learning, if that’s where you stop it, then you kind of lost the point, too. 

Sam 29:24  

Part of that goes up with the follow-up process. After the trade show even from an attendee side. I know we’ve kind of talked about implementing your business but what about the people you spoke with at the trade show? What are you taking from those questions that you prepared going into the conversation with those people? How are you taking that information? Are you following up with that person? 

I’m sure the people who you reach out to are calling you, emailing you, etc. We do that on our side too. So kind of seeing where you’re at as a business. What did you take? What are you going to implement to help reach that success? Are you reaching out to a certain software company? Are you reaching out to a certain manufacturer that you spoke with about a certain enzyme that you want to implement in your business? To help set the groundwork for that next year of implementing a process? 

So, people get overwhelmed with the amount of people that reach out to them after the show. But I think it’s important to take those calls and kind of almost hear what somebody’s got to say. Maybe it’s someone that you didn’t even get to talk to because you ran out of time. You never know. There’s only a certain amount of time slot. 

Maybe it’s the next best thing that you just didn’t get to hear about at the show. Following up that first, probably six weeks after a trade show is probably the most crucial to really kind of seeing any success in your business.

Halie  30:55  

A lot of it too is if you’re going to measure something like with these whole tracking things for the trade shows, all that information is super beneficial to tell vendors how they did and what they actually did from being a vendor there. Also for attendees. When you measure something, you set up those systems ahead of time. So your follow up should be no different. It should be that you’ve set up a plan in advance. 

So not just if I’m going to follow up with vendors, how am I going to track that information? What kind of plan do I have? Do I have time set aside when we come back to do that? 

Then also the education side, if you like the ideas that you came back with, you don’t want them to either overwhelm you or go to waste. So do you have your own breakout sessions, brainstorming sessions when you come back to actually sort through information and put back on your hard hat of thinking so to speak. 

So going to a trade show is not just shipping off your people and showing up then coming back with an explosion of activity. It’s carefully thought out and planning as much research as you do and finding a good virtual trade show. You should do that much and plan what your next steps will be after.

Sam 32:05  

Yeah, going off of that, if you do send your people off, maybe have them prepare a PowerPoint to share in a company meeting.  Or have it shared with you as the boss, the manager, or the supervisor.  If you send your staff or team, the more you can document the information that you get from a trade show, the more you’re going to be better off. 

That goes for really anything in business is the more you can document the better. Especially in this industry. There’s so much turnover that having that documentation saved could really help speed up knowledge transfer and stuff on your employee side too.

Halie 32:56  

Yeah, have a Google folder we’re they have their own dock and they can data dump throughout the day. Then they come back and they hash the information they need and they discuss it. 

Then if you’re sending team members, who maybe aren’t leadership positions, who are used to presenting, because I know for me, during my first presentation to exec is stressful. It doesn’t have to be just post-it note things. Do a breakout session where it’s an informal session.

That old idea of the round table, everybody’s on the same footing. You just discuss it. Whether it’s a supervisor, an executive, or it’s somebody on your cleaning team is just starting to excel and you want to give them that boost and education…You want the input. You want to treat them kind of the same. When you come back or you’re going to lose something, you’re going to lose an opportunity.

Sam  33:50  

I think that even having your staff talk back and forth is a lot of times when they explain it just the right way. So they might actually understand. Maybe they didn’t understand what the speaker said…They couldn’t really kind of grasp the information. 

If I come back to talk to you and explain to you what this guy or woman said, my words might hit you a different way. They may blow your mind or it might just click the right way. 

That’s why I think that even the presentation stuff could potentially be overlooked. I know we’re all busy. I mean, that’s just kind of the nature of working in a business environment is everyone’s busy. 

Especially a service-based environment. You don’t know when you’re going to have everybody in the office but to make a point to kind of share that information could potentially, help your business continue to grow.

Halie 34:49  

For somebody who’s listening and says, “Well, this is a lot of work to do all this Planning and Research”. Yeah, it might be a lot of work but then you attend trade shows which I think we all kind of are anyways and you put in more work if your ticket price might be lower. 

You might gain significantly more out of three or four trade shows versus the 15 to 20 that you might have been attending before. Just to throw people in the hopes that they would pick up something if you’re doing all that extra work. The additional prep,  the additional follow up and working with your team. 

Maybe yes, they’re not on the job as much for that week or two following as they would have been but then how much does your company grow from that extra time to just kind of cultivate your own innovation and your own leadership growth? 

Sam  35:43  

I agree. I think a lot of it’s just documenting the process. Having a set process set up is going to take forever to build the first time. I know all legitimately any process does take a little while and it might take the first couple of trade shows for you to tweak it and get it right for your business. 

Being able to repeat it from that point on, makes it easy. So if we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s to use this time to document. Do a lot of the backend work while you can. 

Then in 2021, set the ball in motion to kind of push forward. A Lot can be said to businesses who are using this downtime or maybe this time when you’re super busy, depending on what industry you’re in. The more you can prepare for business moving forward, the better off, you’re going to be.

Halie  36:47  

Great. Yeah, I agree. Especially right now with so much technology flooding into the cleaning industry. Being able to take that extra time to make sure that whatever investments you are not making is actually worth your decision. It’s going to be monumental. 

We’re seeing more people seeing process shifts too. Whether it’s on the job being more efficient, cleaning a little more thorough but at the same time faster. Or it’s on these leadership and these educational incentives that we’re starting to adjust to. 

It’s all shifted again. Putting that extra effort into making sure that processes in place, that you’ve done your research, you’ve prepped, and everything accordingly. It’s just going to pay off. 

Sam 37:33  

No, I agree 100 percent.

Halie  37:35  

That might just be maybe you don’t go to a trade show.

Sam 37:39  

I think it’s okay. if you don’t think you’re prepared enough or you’re not ready to attend the show- to me, it’s not worth your money then. You won’t get anything out of it in that circumstance. So it’s okay to let a trade show go this year and I feel like a lot of people are scared they’re going to miss something. 

But you could potentially miss something bigger if you’re not at home doing a process or in the office during the process. So, I think it’s okay.

Halie 38:16  

If you said, “Okay, I can’t attend. I’m not prepared for this” 

Sam 38:21  

Or send somebody else, send another employee or something.

Halie 38:24  

If you don’t have the process in place and say, “worst-case scenario, I don’t know the process in place,” “I don’t have somebody who could take on this and actually bring back useful information for the cost”. 

Then look at what topics are being discussed at these trade shows right now and pull educational resources for your team. There are so many free resources out there. All it takes is Google. Just hop on and look it up. 

You can pull actual academic journals over a lot of stuff or something related to it. But people are just talking about what’s relevant and even getting a higher-level understanding of what’s going on, what are the topics being discussed at a trade show, and it’s free. 

You send it out to your team and you give maybe everybody on your team the option to read this resource even if they wouldn’t have attended, you’re still doing something. If you took the time to realize that you’re not prepared and you pivoted to this method, you’re still doing something that’s helping your team. You’re still doing what’s best for your team, what’s best for your company, etc. 

Sam  39:26  

I think YouTube also is a great resource. There is a ton of information on YouTube. There are also podcasts like this one. People could potentially be listening while they’re doing something else. So if there’s anything in the last five years that I’ve learned being here is that there’s information out there. But it’s up to you as the business owner to look for it or bring it back to the vendor. 

It’s up to you to really provide your employees with that information or spend the time to dig up that information.

Halie 40:02  

So you maximize the experience. 

Alright, this is a great place to wrap up the episode. We’ve talked a lot in regards to what’s going on with the tradeshow environment in general. Especially the virtual trade shows and the pros and cons that go along with it.  

Also a good idea of what to look for and how to be prepared when attending a virtual trade show an in-person one, I think a lot of our tips will apply both ways. 

Thank you, Sam, for attending. There is going to be a blog post in relation to this episode. We’re going to transcribe everything just for you to make it super easy to go find all the information we just talked about today. If you have any questions, let us know. 

In the meantime, please make sure you’re following and leave us a review. Thank you!


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