The Great Re-Evaluation: Why Team Synergies Matter in our Current Society

August 4, 2022

Many of us have seen headlines highlighting “The Great Resignation.” However, behind the scenes, a new shift is taking place, and it’s affecting companies and event suppliers alike. The rise of the Values Economy amid a post-pandemic society forging ahead of uncertainty has made team synergies increasingly essential. Now, companies are partnering with event suppliers that align with their values and who “get it.” Steelhead understands this internal shakeup can be intimidating, and we are here to break down what is happening and how to navigate this realignment:

In this article, we’ll explore the following:
  • Why companies are re-evaluating suppliers and how to create teams with common values.
  • How matching values contributes to team synergies and why that matters in our current society.
  • Common pain points for companies and how event suppliers can navigate them.

Ready to reevaluate your event program? Download our FREE resource here.

Why are companies re-evaluating event suppliers and partners?

Many companies stayed with their event suppliers immediately post-pandemic. Now, as rules and regulations continue to relax, this breathing room has given companies the confidence to re-evaluate who they’re working with and why. As their mindset has shifted, team evaluation is on the rise. The pandemic created a lot of internal movement, and this shakeup is now affecting old alliances that aren’t quite serving the new norm.  

The trade show industry has always revolved around interpersonal connections, and the rise of the Values Economy has added a new dimension to partnerships.

The Values Economy combines profit with purpose, and though its rise has been a recent movement, it didn’t become important overnight. Evaluating an event supplier’s values has always been a critical factor. Add in swirling uncertainty over the past two years, having partners with similar values means more than before. At the very least, it removes an element of the unknown from the equation.

So, how do companies choose event suppliers and partners that match their values?

Three tips for creating teams with common values.

The Values Economy defines who companies do business with and why, and its goal is to pair like-minded individuals who share a set of core beliefs. Here are three tips for companies striving to find a supplier with similar values:

1. Consider Overarching Values

Matching values to a tee can be challenging. One way around this is to not focus on matching specific initiatives as much as overall values. For example, Steelhead displays its commitment to sustainability as the only B Corp Certified trade show supplier in North America. We value people and the environment, and we love partnering with other companies that do, too!  

2. Complete a Supplier Assessment

Rating your current event partner using a supplier assessment can help companies during the re-evaluation process. We have created six categories and broken them down to help you easily rate and see how much your supplier is (or isn’t) showing up for you.

3. Embrace a Modernized RFP System

The previous Request for Proposal System worked for a time, but event client and vendor needs have evolved. Taking a hands-on approach that includes a facility tour and not simply making decisions based on electronic submittals can help pair clients with engaged suppliers. Steelhead has five tips to go about this process, and we believe both parties will be the better for it.

Since companies and suppliers work in close quarters, successful collaborations ultimately rely on team synergies. As the old saying goes, “oil and water don’t mix.” But that’s okay because what we’re striving for is osmosis!

Ready to reevaluate your event program? Download our FREE resource here.


Why does team synergy matter in business-to-business relationships?

Who we work with is as important as what we do. For example, Steelhead does not approach partnerships as companies coming together to create. Instead, we approach partnerships as people coming together to create. Collaborations are easier and more rewarding to execute when teams have shared values and speak each other’s language.

After the uncertainty of the pandemic and with a shaky future ahead, we all want to interface with people who “get it.”

Many exhibit suppliers have similar capabilities. However, the real difference often comes with soft skills. Soft skills like empathy and relationship-building can make a pronounced difference in event execution. The future is constantly riddled with uncertainty, supply chain issues, inflation, etc., so having a reliable team that works well together and can pivot is crucial.  

The big question is, how can exhibit partners poise themselves to meet companies’ evolving needs?

Exhibit partners must remain flexible to offer companies room to adjust to present and future challenges. Here are two ways exhibit partners can provide companies with the flexibility they need:

1. Utilize the Access Model

Steelhead’s Access Model revolves around renting rather than owning trade show booths and allows for a high degree of flexibility. We already have the infrastructure companies need and reconfigure it in a fresh way that best reflects a brand uniquely at each event they attend, rather than using the same structure over and over again. Our sustainable method helps companies brainstorm solutions and get creative while circumventing issues like supply chain issues and inflation.

2. Accommodate Virtual and Hybrid Events

People are increasingly comfortable in the digital space, and technology is in an exciting evolutionary phase. Consumers are also increasingly looking to go through the sales journey on their own as much as possible before speaking to a salesperson. Providing them with information upfront allows them to engage on their terms. This means there are more qualified leads at trade shows right now. Staying cutting-edge and on top of the latest tech trends allows for adaptability and accommodates various audiences. Take Steelhead's latest virtual environment for example. Brands can learn all about Steelhead's Proven Design Process and our values based company - all without speaking to a sales person.

The bottom line? Team synergy is essential to navigating current challenges!

Ready to reevaluate your event program? Download our FREE resource here.

What are some other common pain points contributing to companies switching suppliers?

There are multiple reasons that companies switch exhibit providers. And if you’re a company that’s unsure whether to switch suppliers, here are five key indicators it’s time to mix things up. Here, we’ll discuss three common pain points that can contribute to the search for a new vendor and what you should be on the lookout for when searching for value-based partners:  

1. Bad Customer Service

We all want to feel heard, seen, valued, and respected. Lousy customer service and lack of clear communication can and will diminish faith and confidence that a company is acting with integrity. Look for event suppliers with established policies centered around values like service first and open communication.

2. Surprise Fees

No one wants to see unexpected charges on an invoice, it feels not very ethical. Surprise fees point to a breakdown in communication, and with inflation and fluctuating budgets, the tolerance for these overage charges has eroded. You'll find that event suppliers with clear, transparent pricing policies that facilitate trust and peace of mind are easy to differentiate from those that do not.

3. Inflexibility

Modern society is in a constant state of flux. Situations can suddenly arise that call for flexibility on behalf of the exhibit provider. Not being willing to budge or discuss innovative solutions can turn companies away. Instead, look for event suppliers who communicate stress free and solution-oriented policies that allow room for pivoting.

Our final piece of advice? Trust the vibe because energy doesn’t lie!

Ready to reevaluate your event program? Download our FREE resource here.


Companies are taking a values-oriented approach to partnerships and re-evaluating exhibit partners post-pandemic. This progressive method of conducting business creates teams based on synergies and leads to successful collaborations while circumventing common pain points. After two years of uncertainty, we deserve to move forward - together.

Are you ready to Exhibit Happy? To find out more about our values and how the Access Model creates sustainable trade shows, contact our team today!

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