WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been a godsend for many of the smaller suppliers to the trade show industry. “The fact is that 99% of the exhibition industry is comprised of small businesses of fewer than 500 employees,” said Hervé Sedky, Emerald’s President and CEO. “To that point, PPP and other aid programs have been critical in helping these businesses stay afloat.”
However, he added, “If events continue to postpone or cancel, there will likely be some consolidation” in the trade show supplier ecosystem.
That consolidation is already underway, said Larry Arnaudet, Executive Director of the Exhibition Services and Contractors Association (ESCA). “Some of our larger contractor members have reduced their original footprints, and at the same time some members have absorbed those struggling.” The result, he said, may well be that some show organizers will be changing contractors to continue working with their same account executives.
Reed Exhibitions U.S. is among those who plan to continue to work with existing suppliers through this challenging time, said Yancy Weinrich, Chief Growth Officer. Emerald also has “long-standing, deep relationships with key vendors and contractors. These relationships are a driving force in our collective support of one another, and our industry as a whole,” said Sedky.
“As our industry continues to navigate through this time of unprecedented change, alignment and communication with external vendors provides transparency into business resiliency and the operating strategies necessary to rebound during these challenging times.”
Catch the rest of the story in the upcoming May issue of Trade Show Executive.