2020 has produced significant challenges for businesses of all sizes across the entire world. Brick and mortar type businesses were forced in many states to close their doors for the safety of their patrons and employees. Doing so also closed their doors to a source of revenue they relied heavily on to keep their business alive and operating. Through this economic turmoil some businesses have collapsed and others have flourished. While some were heavily impacted others found ways to pivot and change their business model to adapt to the current circumstances.
In this piece, we want to highlight a company that has shown incredible grit and adaptability, ExpoMarketing.
The company has made impressive changes to adapt to this global pandemic in the following ways:
- Offering a new approach to their existing customer base
- Expanding into new segments of the market
- Creating a new product within the wheelhouse to appeal to a different audience
ExpoMarketing is a world-class trade show display company out of Tustin, California. They have been producing booths for some of the biggest brands like Living Spaces, Tesla, DJI and other notable companies. They have also been doing business with Batchcoffee, a company known for their promotion of the home espresso machine. ExpoMarketing’s work has been showcased in some of the biggest conventions across the United States including Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Natural Products Expo and so many more.. Even though they have a relatively small crew they have gone toe to toe with some of the Goliaths of their industry and frequently win because the quality of their products and their process is unrivaled. The company has been named to Inc 5000’s Fastest Growing Companies in America in 2018 and again in 2019.
However, in early 2020 trade shows, conventions, events of many kinds were cancelled across not only America but the world. Naturally, a business that worked primarily in serving companies exhibiting at these and other events, was dramatically impacted by the global pandemic. Under these conditions it’s unsurprising that many companies in their industry have had to close up shop. Expo themselves have had to let go of portions of their staff consisting of team members they cared for deeply. However, this is not a story of despair and gloom, this is truly a story of an American company that is dedicated to innovation. Because what Expo has done since spring of 2020 has been remarkable.
Offer an Alternative Approach: Virtual Conferences and Booths.
Many conferences have transitioned from in-person events to online conferences that can be experienced through virtual reality. ExpoMarketing has worked hard to enter the world of virtual trade show booths by creating incredible virtual experiences. These virtual experiences can provide so much opportunity for users to interact and familiarize themselves with a brand. Some booths can have built-in eCommerce portions or theater areas for educational video viewing. It has been an incredibly fun experience for Expo’s talented design team that previously had to create environments that could be manufactured. Now they can design environments that don’t have to bend to the laws of gravity and physics. The possibilities are now truly endless!
The future is always unknown but it is certainly possible that some traditional trade shows will move towards virtual experiences moving forward. The truth is virtual experiences have been around for years but the pandemic will force many to adopt and implement the technology. Expo has already done some of the footwork to position themselves as an early adapter and leader in this relatively new realm. Their knowledge and expertise in building traditional conference success for their clients make them a natural choice for companies looking to adopt this new conference approach.
Appeal to Different Market Segments: TL Trade Show Displays.
ExpoMarketing has been a leader in the trade show display arena for years now. They created some incredible booths and brand experiences for their clients. The company has a very engaged process and approach they take when working with clients. Expo isn’t interested in just selling trade show booths, they are more invested in helping clients find great brand strategies to help them stand out at conventions and other events. There were certain companies who appreciated the experience and Expo’s due diligence. As a result, they would often create incredibly engaging booths that may cost tens of thousands of dollars to design and manufacture. Expo did offer more affordable solutions for people looking there but naturally, the business attracted larger, more established businesses. There was a portion of the trade show market that Expo hadn’t previously tapped into. The companies that were looking for more simple promotional assets like banner stands. Businesses seeking this type of product would sometimes prefer the eCommerce type of transaction. The user visits the website, selects a product, uploads the graphics, and makes an order. In the past, Expo simply wasn’t built to fulfill this type of transaction or to serve this market in that way. However, to pivot their business even further, Expo created TL Trade Show Displays, an eCommerce sister company that serves this different market segment.
This transition into this new segment of the trade show and promotional asset market has been a pleasant surprise for the company. The amount of return on a single item is significantly lower than some of their larger, custom booths. However, what Expo has found is that there are companies that will order banner stands or other small products in large quantities.
Create a New Product for a Different Audience: Hand Sanitizer Stations.
One of the largest pivots that ExpoMarketing has made has been entering the world of custom branded hand sanitizer stations. Expo has been creating powerful opportunities for brand interactions for years now. Creating their own hand sanitizer stations gives banks, schools, grocery stores, churches, and many other types of organizations a chance to give their patrons a simple way to interact with their brand. During this global pandemic, it can also communicate that the organization is dedicated to the health and safety of its customers, clients, patrons, staff, faculty, or members.
The majority of the hand sanitizer stations Expo creates are made right here in the United States. The company already had skilled fabricators and manufacturers within their organization so the prototype was developed quickly and easily. Within a short amount of time the company has sold many of these stands on their website and on Amazon.
The way Expo used the resources, talents and personnel of their team has been nothing short of inspiring. The company’s dedication, resilience, tenacity and resourcefulness is truly part of what makes great businesses successful.
It is certainly possible that many things will return to the way they behaved and functioned before but it is also very likely that certain industries and previous ways of operating will never return. While the global pandemic may put us in times some refer to as “unprecedented” and completely foreign, the need for businesses to grow and adapt to fit market trends, behaviors, and industries is nothing new. Innovative businesses will always find ways to adapt. ExpoMarketing’s story can serve as a roadmap for other businesses out there who may be wondering how to adapt to what many are referring to as the “new normal.”