3 Tips to Navigate the Post-Pandemic Supply Chain Issues in Events

March 9, 2022

Labor shortages and supply chain delays are a stark reality of a post-COVID world. We feel this everywhere — from waiting in line at the coffee shop, to empty shelves at the grocery store, to major delays in home renovations or in purchasing a new vehicle.  

The events industry is no exception to this current situation which is why it’s critical for event planners to remain agile while holding their stakeholders accountable for all event project timelines.

Partnering with exhibit providers that create realistic expectations and deadlines within this new world is one way to ensure the success of the event when project disruptions are inevitable.  

Hear more from Steelhead's Operation Manager, Jannette Reyes:

Here are three tips from Lance Randall, Vice President of Sales at Steelhead Productions on working through these shortage issues:  

  • Tip #1: Plan well in advance for hard-to-source items. Does your next exhibit require items such as specific materials, art pieces, or customized interactive elements? Allocate twice the time for product sourcing. Whatever time it took pre-pandemic, you can count on doubling it.
  • Tip #2: Extend your partner network. In today’s market, we need the flexibility to source products from multiple suppliers to deliver on our promises. Build these relationships in advance while you can, before the crucial moment when you need them.
  • Tip #3: You will most likely need your Plan B. And Plan C. Find alternative products or solutions that you can use when all else fails. Now that you’ve extended your network, find other products that can be used as part of your backup plan.

Another tip to keep in mind is if your company executives are on the fence about exhibiting, proceed with the event project as if you’re attending. Deferring the decision to exhibit can present production challenges closer to the show, which in this current climate, can jeopardize the entire project.

Pre-pandemic, exhibit providers worked like magicians to provide the impossible overnight. However, currently, producing graphics overnight or relying on next-day deliveries just isn’t realistic, and won’t be until graphic production capacities are increased. If you’re going to show up, take the steps to ensure you have a high-quality exhibit that doesn’t reflect a last-minute scramble.  

The realities of a post-COVID world are affecting the entire events industry. Producers simply need more time. Now more than ever, it’s critical to partner with a communicative exhibit provider who understands the situation and will ensure your project is not put at risk.

If you're feeling the pressure and need any assistance navigating, please don't hesitate to connect with us here.
March 9, 2022
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