By Stacie Bauer
With over 90% of events scheduled for 2020 being cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has suffered major economic loss and event professionals are increasingly turning to virtual tools to deliver their next event.
Ungerboeck now offers managing your event as a virtual event via its registration platform. This is done by offering customers a choice of their virtual event provider such as GoToWebinar from LogMeIn or Zoom. This allows customers to seamlessly manage their online participants, events details, and engagement statistics directly in the Ungerboeck platform.
“Our customers are facing very challenging times and it is our responsibility to adapt our software to their evolving needs,” said Ungerboeck President & CEO Manish Chandak. “This virtual event extension to our platform offers our customers a way to stay in touch with their visitors and members and generate a new revenue stream while easily managing all the aspects of their virtual event in Ungerboeck from their registrants, to payment processing, orders, sessions, and much more.”
Ungerboeck has been responding to changes and requirements of the event and exhibition industry since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, offering multiple resources on their website, organizing virtual summits with panelists from the industry, and working closely with their customers to prepare for the future.
With the integration of virtual event tools in Ungerboeck, the technology provider is actively supporting the industry and looking ahead as the event and exhibition industry is presented with changing needs.
Stacie Bauer is Event & Sponsorship Coordinator, Marketing, at Ungerboeck Systems International.
By Julian Bowman
Fair Park First and Spectra, managers of Fair Park in Dallas, worked with the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) to bring the NTFB Disaster Relief Mobile Pantry to Fair Park on April 2 and 16.
The NTFB converted their mobile food pantry to a drive-through model to limit contact with clients and needed a location in South Dallas with substantial drive-through space. The NTFB contacted Spectra in March to see if the 277-acre campus would be available to help with distributing food to local residents. Fair Park First/Spectra quickly began to work with the Dallas Police Department on a plan to accommodate the local food bank.
During the first NTFB event, over 6,000 food boxes were distributed in just under 3 hours. Due to the overwhelming demand, the NTFB, Fair Park First, and Spectra put together another food distribution event at Fair Park (April 16). The Texas National Guard was brought in to assist with the second event, giving away larger food boxes to over 2,200 households. The event served as another way that Fair Park can support the surrounding community.
“We’re thankful that we were able to host these two food pantry events to benefit our neighbors in south Dallas,” said Spectra’s Peter C. Sullivan, General Manager of Fair Park. “We look forward to continuing to work with the North Texas Food Bank to give back to our community and help where we are able.”
“As a venue marketer, I live for the crowds and the media coverage. It usually gives me a buzz of excitement. It was different for these two events. Seeing all the news cameras on site, and the cars lined up for a couple of miles was sobering. I hope opportunities for mass food distribution events go away sooner than later, but if there’s a need, I’m proud that I’m part of a team that can help.” — Julian Bowman
Between the two events, nearly 13,000 food boxes equating to more than 180,000 meals were distributed to families in need during the COVID-19 crisis. The food bank estimates between 50% and 70% of the recipients were using the food bank for the first time. The two events were the largest distribution events in NTFB’s history.
Julan Bowman is Senior Director of Marketing at Fair Park.
By Hilarie Carpenter, CTA
Live with Kelly and Ryan’s Kelly Ripa has done it. Dancing with the Stars pros Jenna Johnson and Val
Chmerkovskiy have done it. Carson Daly has done it live on the TODAY Show. With stay-at-home orders in effect across the country and the world, self-haircuts at home have become a growing trend. Now it’s ASM Global Regional General Manager of Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place, and DeVos Performance Hall Richard MacKeigan’s turn! Maybe.
In an effort to support the Heart of West Michigan United Way Coronavirus Response Fund, the ASM Global team in Grand Rapids is hosting a fundraiser on the Van Andel Arena Facebook page with a goal to reach $2,500 in donations. If the goal is met, MacKeigan has agreed to let his 17-year-old son Wil cut his hair into one of five fantastically iconic styles with remote assistance from Kathy Showers of AKA Salon and record the whole thing for the public to view. Even better, MacKeigan and his wife Terri will match donations up to the $2,500 goal!
The public (let’s hear you, IAVM members!) can donate via the arena’s page and vote on which new do MacKeigan will get. The choices include The Boy Band (curtains), The Paul McCartney (bowl cut), The James Hetfield (mullet), The Anthony Kiedis (mohawk), and The Bieber (top knot.) The fundraiser will be active until Wednesday, April 29, 2020. If the fundraising goal is met, MacKeigan is prepared to have his locks chopped the same week. To donate and vote, click here.
“My wife told me it’s time for a haircut,” MacKeigan said. “So, I thought if I’m going to give a home haircut a try, I might as well do it for the amusement of other people and to help support the West Michigan community that I am proud to call home during this very difficult time.”
Heart of West Michigan United Way, in partnership with local foundations and funders, has established a Kent County Coronavirus Response Fund for people to donate to help meet immediate needs in the community related to the COVID19 pandemic. The fund will support the nonprofits who are serving vulnerable populations during this time.
Donations and voting are taking place on Van Andel Arena’s Facebook page. For those that do not have a Facebook page, direct donations to Heart of West Michigan United Way can be made here.
Hilarie Carpenter, CTA, is director of marketing for ASM Global – Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place & DeVos Performance Hall.
By R.V. Baugus
It was another weekday and another 5:30 pm, which meant it was time to invite David Muir and ABC World News Tonight into our living room for the latest round of coronavirus coverage. Quick note: even television news anchors have been heard telling us to limit the amount of time we spend watching the pandemic coverage as it can lead to major negativity.
But on this particular day I watched, and what should my eyes see but video shots of massive lines of vehicles in the parking lot of the San Antonio Alamodome of people receiving much-need food. You have read a previous blog from me sharing that as some friends and I were headed on a drive from Dallas to San Antonio to watch the boys high school state basketball tournament at the Alamodome we received word that the event was being (at the time) postponed, since canceled by governing authorities. That was March 12.
I had to reach out to Alamodome GM extraordinaire Steve Zito, CVE, to find out more about what the venue was doing during the pandemic. I was surprised (at just how fast it happened, not at the act itself) to learn that just five days after our drive the Alamodome hosted a four-day blood drive from March 17-20 that raised more than 1,500 pints of blood. Who could have imagined when March began how March would end? Who could have foresaw going from playing hoops to jumping through hoops to help in a time of crisis?
Before March would end, on the 31st the venue hosted its first drive-through mega-food distribution event for the San Antonio Food Bank which provided more than 2,000 families with meals.
in the very same month on March 31 that the girls state tournament had been played at the venue and the boys were getting set to crown their state champions, the Alamodome hosted its first drive-through mega-food distribution event for the San Antonio Food Bank, which provided more than 2,000 families with meals. On April 17, a day the nation would usually be festive and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, the Dome hosted its second drive-through mega-food distribution event for the local food bank and again provided more than 2,000 families with meals.
Next up on May 1 will be the third such event, while the Alamodome also serves as the supply depot for needed medical supplies for San Antonio and Bexar County.
“At times like these, it certainly reiterates the importance of what we all do, if even in a small way and how we can have an impact and help serve the community we all live in,” Zito said.
The same is true and can be said about IAVM member venues throughout the country as they continue answering the call and helping in their communities. We truly are navigating change together.
By Mary Tucker
In a webinar on April 22, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) provided critical insights to the industry from results to a recently-fielded poll in addition to an update from CEIR’s economist, Allen Shaw, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc.
“COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the U.S. business-to-business (B2B) exhibition industry,” noted CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM. “The survey providing insights from the B2B exhibition organizer perspective and Dr. Shaw’s insights relating to when the economy is expected to rebound offer a very valuable understanding of where our industry is today, and outlook moving forward.”
This survey was fielded in April, inviting executives with oversight of U.S. B2B exhibitions run or managed by their organizations. It quantifies the impact COVID-19 has had on their staff, operations and events. It also captures areas executives plan to address based on the hard lessons learned by a pandemic that has blindsided economies worldwide. CEIR Vice President of Research Nancy Drapeau, PRC thanks IAEE and TSNN for providing the sample that made this important research possible.
Organization staff largely remain intact though if the pandemic persists, pay and staff cuts may deepen three to six months out. Today, only 16% of organizers have cut pay and fewer have furloughed or laid off staff.
Executives are working aggressively at revising their budgets (86%), with an aim of containing costs and retaining revenues. The brunt of lost revenues is being passed on to suppliers, via renegotiated (61%), or cancelled contracts (55%). The approach is unfortunately a product of many organizers cancelling, postponing or doing both for B2B exhibitions originally scheduled for 2020. Though the situation is grave, to-date, 2020 is not a complete loss if COVID-19 is brought under control. Results reveal 41% of organizers report postponing events. The bulk are scheduled to take place starting in late summer through November, with roughly 30% per month starting in August while 34% of organizers have postponed events to 2021.
Many hard lessons have been learned from this health crisis that has blindsided the world. It is motivating executives to consider options to ‘pivot’ to alternative event content or models if a physical event is unable to take place in the future due to an unexpected calamity. Results suggest there will be extensive experimentation with virtual options, whether plans will be in place to switch to a digital-only solution or adopt a hybrid event moving forward.
These executives are also very sensitive to the importance of creating and implementing hygiene protocols that make participants feel safe, and are effective in protecting them from the virus. They understand these accommodations are critical to the recovery of the industry once the market for trade shows reopens.
Dr. Shaw’s analysis focuses on when the U.S. economy is expected to rebound. The reason for this is that the U.S. economy must rebound before the U.S. B2B exhibition industry can reopen and recover. He notes that the economic recovery depends on gaining control of the virus, specifically as tracked by the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Recent data indicates that new confirmed cases in the U.S. appears to have passed the peak. Because of the lockdown across the country, all economic indicators currently point to a sharp decline in economic activities. An unquestionable recession is upon us. However, as Dr. Shaw noted, “Even though economic indicators are as bad if not worse than those of the Great Depression, the underlying economic fundamentals and causes are different.
“The recession we are experiencing now is caused by a supply shock. By comparison, it was a shock in demand that triggered the Great Depression of the 1930s and Great Recession of 2008. Supply shocks today include the economic lockdown due to stay at home orders, supply-chain disruptions, lower productivity of working staff and mortality.”
Dr. Shaw believes that when the economy reopens, more than half of the problem of the current recession will be solved. With monetary and fiscal policies in place injecting money in the system and pushing up demand for goods and services, and as business and consumer confidence is restoring, Dr. Shaw expects the economy will see a V-shape recovery. A ‘V’ shape suggests a very quick recovery once it begins. CEIR expects a full recovery in eight quarters, with GDP in the fourth quarter of 2021 exceeding the previous peak in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Click here to access the recorded version of the webinar, sponsored by GES, that provides more in-depth look and discussion of survey results as well as Dr. Shaw’s insights relating to the U.S. economy and B2B exhibition industry.
The annual CEIR Predict Conference will be held 21-22 September 2020 at the MGM National Harbor, just outside Washington, D.C. Predict will provide insights into the performance of the exhibitions industry and a forecast through year-end, along with an economic presentation by Alex Chausovsky of ITR Economics discussing how world events are expected to impact the global economy. Registration for the CEIR Predict Conference is now open, complete details are available here.
Mary Tucker is senior PR/communications manager for CEIR.