If you are like me, you find yourself talking to your exhibit industry peers to see “what’s up” in their world and in our industry. So, at the recommendation of others, I am going to write about what I am hearing each week and post it every Friday by noon. I look forward to your comments and feedback.
Week of June 8th thru June 12th
That was the title of an article an industry friend sent my direction on Monday, and it really set the tone for the week.
In our business, we have seen a big spike in activity in design and quote requests so I thought i would make some calls and see if this was true for others. I spoke to some traditional Portable/Modular/Hybrid Distributors, Custom Houses, and a few suppliers of carpeting, lighting, and transportation services.
Their response confirmed our trend. With the exception of two companies, which said they are still hearing crickets rather than phones ringing, everyone else said that business has begun to pickup over the past two weeks. In addition, the projects seem real and have some meat. Not just “pie in the sky” speculative projects.
Everyone, myself included, is careful to mention that there has NOT been a comparable spike in sales, just in design and quoting. Which tells me that some money is being freed up for later summer and fall shows. The sales they are seeing right now are for refreshed graphics for existing exhibits and/or alternative “value” based exhibit options. At Classic, for example, we just introduced the Sacagawea Hybrid Series which has seen a lot of activity.
The other really consistent fact that all companies I spoke to confirmed was that their rental business is up anywhere from 25-50% over last year. Stands to reason right?!?!
They all agreed that May, June, and July will be spent getting back to basics. Making calls to as many people as possible. Keeping your company’s name out in the forefront is paramount during uncertain economic times like these. And for those who survive . . . the last thing you want to struggle with down the road is name recognition.
As I muddle and learn my way through this weekly blog thing, I encourage you to send me topics or questions that you would like feedback on. I would be happy to ask around as I make my calls each day and/or as I visit customers.
Talk to you all soon