Letter from CEIR Chairperson – Summer 2020

Letter from CEIR Chairperson – Summer 2020

2020 CEIR Chairperson, Carrie Ferenac shares her thoughts on the state of the exhibitions industry in her quarterly letter to the CEIR community.

Originally published in the CEIR Quarterly Newsletter

It feels like we’re living on a roller coaster right now, and if I’m honest, there are some days I want off the ride. Like so many of you, I see the pain and suffering as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on our industry. But the story doesn’t end there. I also see resiliency and creativity. So many of us are learning new skills, supporting each other, and reinventing ourselves and our organizations.

At CNTV, we have evolved to be a virtual event production company. We are working with our customers to take their events entirely online in new, and creative ways. Exhibitions and events are changing and will look different in the future. It’s hard work, and yet I know this industry is up to the challenge.

In the June pulse survey, CEIR data shows that digital/virtual offerings are likely to stay with 73% of show organizer executives indicating it is likely or very likely they’ll continue with these offerings in 2021. Although virtual options are keeping us afloat, it cannot replace the power of face-to-face. According to the CEIR economist, the U.S. B2B exhibitions industry is predicted to be fully recovered by 2022.

With many questions and concerns surrounding the future of B2B exhibitions, the CEIR Predict Conference is more important than ever before. CEIR recognizes that we are living in extraordinary and difficult times. It is our plan to move forward with the Predict Conference at the MGM National Harbor with physical distancing and safety measures in place for those who can attend in person. We have also built in a contingency, and this year the conference will have a hybrid component. The online experience will be open for anyone to listen in and participate. There are sponsorship opportunities for suppliers at both the face-to-face event, and on the virtual platform. We hope you’ll be a part of this incredible experience as we look ahead, and learn from each other.

After all, that’s what we do in this industry.

Take care and stay safe,

Carrie Ferenac

Convention News Television (CNTV)

2020 Chairperson of the Board, CEIR

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