Finding the Breadcrumbs on Our Path

cecil dorman All Stories, Trade Shows

Hope isn’t a plan but planning can provide the foundation to build a solid future.

Strategic planning is even more important to our business, and to the events industry, than ever before.  Without a plan, we are standing in the dark.  We want to find the light, but with so many possible directions to turn, how do we know we are going in the right direction?

Darkness is around us.

Well, many of us in the events industry find ourselves deeply in the dark.  For companies that have been in business for a long time, it is unfamiliar territory.  With years of experience, history, and data to draw from, we pretty much know where the light is and can find our path somewhat easily.

This darkness is different though.  It’s a pandemic that has turned the entire world on its side, or as our employees put it, we’re in the “upside-down world.”  How do we find the path when we have no experience with our current situation? We talk to customers first.  Learn what they need.  Where they need their marketing efforts to take them.  Listening is the key.  As a wise executive I know, Deb Besemer, once told me, “We have to listen with both ears.”

What does that mean?

It means that sometimes we must focus on what is being said to us and not how we will reply.  Sometimes it is okay not to have the answers right away.

We then use that information to build a new plan.  We look at our business and how we can adapt to all of these new challenges.  We build a strategic plan that we believe can get us to the light.  And how do we know if we are on the right path?


The empty trailer waiting to be filled with our gear for the first trade show since March 2020.

We look for the signals or signs along the way to know we are heading in the right direction.  Our breadcrumbs.  Without them, we are still in the dark wondering.  With them, we have a reason for hope that we are moving in the right direction.

So why am I spinning this tale for all of you?  Over the past 7+ months, we have built a new plan and executed it.  It has kept our business alive and relevant in this new world.  However, this week I found a big breadcrumb – the first tractor-trailer to make a pickup at our warehouse since March!

While I am not ready to declare that we’ve turned the corner, I am excited to see an important step to the eventual recovery of the live events industry.



Steve Halling



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