Tuesday, July 23, 2024




Has It Really Been Almost Two Years?

Author: Steve Moskal

In college, I had a journalism instructor who said if you can think of anything that might seem of interest, to even one person, including yourself, you should write about it. 


That being said, my last blog was in February. It was never my intention to wait that long to post another one, but any of the thoughts, interests and experiences I tried to draw on, centered too much around dealing with the pandemic. It has always been my intent to engage, possibly entertain and have some fun writing these. The last ten months have offered very little inspiration that would not seem controversial or polarizing to at least someone. I just didn’t want to go there.

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Has It Really Been a Year?

Author: Steve Moskal

A year ago today, I was making final west coast travel plans to supervise set up of a client’s properties during the first week of March.


Two weeks later, I was informed the event cancelled due to concerns about spreading the newly discovered COVID virus. In addition to the exhibit floor, the focus of this annual show was education for public health department officials attending from all over the country.


Not too long after that, trade shows and other face-to-face marketing events started falling like oak leaves in the Fall. By the end of March, our warehouse was full to the brim with properties that either had returned early or prepped properties sitting idle with unused shipping labels attached.

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The Spring Cleaning That Moved Into Fall

Author: Steve Moskal

I was on a Zoom conference the other day where one of the attendees (an exhibit house employee) remarked that there was so much dust on the machines in their shop they couldn’t see how any more could possibly pile up.




A chilling realization for many in our industry that trade shows and face-to-face meetings remain, for the most part, at a grinding halt. By all indications, with a very few exceptions involving business-to-consumer or private events, the United States will not see events coming back until at least Q1, 2021. A few shows have already pushed back dates to July and August.


Simply put, one cannot sugarcoat anything about the physical and economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic to anyone or any organization in the hospitality, meeting and travel industries. Doing what you can to hold on until there is an effective treatment or vaccine, is of the highest priority. From what we have seen, that has taken many forms.

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Trying to Make Sense of All This, or Did the Exhibit Industry Have a Plan B?

Author: Steve Moskal

Crazy. Simply crazy times. Craziest time I have seen in our industry since Prairie opened our doors in June of 1994, or even earlier when I started in the trade show and event world in 1983.


Let me first say to anyone reading this, if you are affiliated with the trade show and event industries in any capacity, I hope you are healthy, staying safe and doing whatever it takes to keep your family and friends the same. The virus that shut the door on face-to-face marketing events in March continues to change the way we live, work, eat and play.


When Illinois started to quarantine on March 21, we all figured it would last just a month or two, cause a few delayed events and then be up and running again by Fall. Here we are in September and the only things up and running are online meetings and professional sports without spectators. I am tired of both.

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