Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘economic recovery’

“Island I See You in All My Dreams”: Word on the Street — Feb. 4th thru Feb. 8th

February 10th, 2013 COMMENTS
"Island I See You in All My Dreams": Word on the Street -- Feb. 4th thru Feb. 8th

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Take Me to the Islands

For all the Parrotheads out there, you will recognize the blog title as a lyric from the Jimmy Buffett song, Island. But islands are something we have been seeing both awake and in our dreams over the past six weeks.

With each New Year, there comes a rush of business for the upcoming spring shows, and this year has been no different. Except, for the number of Island Exhibits we are quoting and ultimately building. So far this year, we have had several islands ship every single week. About half are total “ground-up design” and half are existing island kits with modifications.

Great news and a lot of fun.

So what does this mean? What is this an indicator of? Well while I am not Carnac or Kreskin or any sort of Chief Economist, but  I do know what it feels like. It feels like another positive economic step in the right direction in this slow turn of the economy.

Your clients are speaking with their pocket books, and they are saying “It’s time to get back to a fully functioning marketing program.” That includes more aggressive and expansive trade show marketing.

Many of the islands are for Fortune 500 and larger companies. Companies that pre-recession were doing much larger island presentations. So this would be a good indicator of the “paced” approach companies are taking. Jumping in with both feet, but jumping in somewhere between the deep and the shallow end while trying to grow responsibly.

Although this can be a frustrating pace for some, I applaud it actually. It’s nice to see companies of all sizes taking the same approach many of us are taking with our businesses. Call it “wait and see”, call it “careful optimism,” call it whatever you want. I view it as responsible.

We all have our thoughts on the “politics” of our nation. But someone said to me back in November something that stuck in my head. “We all need to quit looking to the government, the Dow, the media, or anything else about how we manage our businesses. We need to manage our business based on what happens with our customers and what needs to happen inside the four walls of our buildings. Focus on our our own P&L’s and market our companies in diverse ways regardless of what is happening.

And I really think in large part a lot of businesses are doing just that. Just look at our customers. They are participating in more shows and doing it with new properties. Maybe not as big as before, but still with big impact.

I want to thank you for the positive start to 2013. We had an amazing January, and we have you to thank for that. So thank you for sending your orders our direction.

We look forward to serving you and your clients in 2013. It’s been an EPIC start.

Hope you had a restful and fun weekend with your loved ones. Be well.

Kevin Carty


Patient Recovery: Word on the Street — June 20th thru June 24th

June 26th, 2011 COMMENTS
Getting Healthy

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

On Getting Healthy

As we climb out of the recession, the trade show industry as a whole has bounced back. Albeit slowly. From the manufacturing side, we have witnessed budgets increase and align with the design hopes of end users. All good things.

But as many of you would agree, not unlike the economy at large, the slow to moderate recovery (healthy growth as it has been called) is a key component to actual recovery. Let me draw a personal comparison if you don’t mind.

Some time ago, 11 years to be exact, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer. Like many others who have experienced cancers of many kinds, I was given chemotherapy as my primary treatment. And chemo is designed to essentially kill you from a cellular level. Good and bad cells alike are destroyed in order to hopefully get all the cancer out of your system.

Afterwards, your body (regardless of age) is essentially back at the starting line. Not just from the chemo, but also from the fact that you have been without physical activity for a long period while recovering from surgery and from being out of commission during treatments.

Now, as much as I might have wanted to, I could not just go out and run a 10k, ride my bike 30 miles, or play a game of tennis. Actually walking around the block was like running a marathon. I constantly had to remind myself or be reminded that I needed to take my time and that it would take time to recovery from essentially 4-5 months of inactivity. Atrophy is an amazing phenomenon. It happens so fast, yet it takes so long to build your body back up to where it once was.

VK-5076 Island Exhibit

VK-5076 Island Exhibit

The reason I am sharing this is simple. Currently in our business and industry, like other industries in the US market, we are still recovering from the recession of the past 2-3 years. And in all reality, that recovery did not really start until about January of this year. At least that is when we really started seeing consistent, positive economic changes. And I, like others, have to keep reminding myself or be reminded by others that we are still early in this recovery process. Lest I forget that some even think we might slip back into another recession. I personally doubt that, but I have to admit that nothing would surprise me.

However, I/we need to continue to remain patient. Just like the muscles in your legs and arms that go unused for a long period of time and take awhile to gain their strength back, our economy and businesses will also take time to truly bounce back to peak health. So rather than focus on the length of time the recovery is taking, we should be focusing on the leaps and bounds we are making daily and weekly. Much of which is a direct result of the hard work we did to clean up our own houses during the lean times so we all come out of this stronger and healthier than before.

I know this may seem a bit off topic as you review the latest Island designs in Design Monday, like Ginsana (VK-5076) introduced this week, but it’s really not. It reflects some of the hard work we have been doing during the recovery process as we create high-end and multi-functional designs for you and your end users.

I guess what grandma always said is true, “Patience is a virtue.” Or as my grandad said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Have a great weekend!

–Kevin Carty