The field of suppliers in the events industry has some very competitive players – you might even say we live for competition. In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, however, it is clear that this is a different game altogether.
Ever since our VP of Sales and Marketing, Amanda Gray, returned from The Special Event Show in early March with horror stories of an empty Las Vegas, we have been working on ways to aid in the fight against this pandemic, with an eye on getting our industry back up and running once it’s safe to do so.
Georgia Expo has been quick to shift gears. As Amanda likes to point out, Pipe and Drape is an effective building block, a lot like Legos®, and can be adapted for many purposes. Our team has moved from trade show displays and elaborate event designs to disaster relief product lines, such as temporary rooms and partitions for pop-up hospitals and testing facilities. We are even using our fully-stacked sewing department, comprised of more than 30 highly skilled and professional sewers, to help sew fabric masks. The demand is so great right now that we’re currently looking to hire additional staff to keep up with the surging demand.
Apart from our production efforts, we are also choosing community over competition. We have banded together with other suppliers in the events and trade show industry and are helping each other keep our heads above water, whether by sharing information about helpful government programs like the CARES Act and the PayCheck Protection Program; purchasing products from each other to fulfill needs nationwide; or simply supporting each other where we can and keeping each other’s team members employed. We want to extend a big thanks to Drape Kings™, Innovative Systems, and CV Linens™ for working with us in different capacities with the one common goal: getting our country and our industry back on track. We’re of the mindset that our real competition right now is this virus, and if we can get that knocked out, then we can get back to the more friendly competition – hopefully, sooner rather than later.