By Doug Ducate
Those of us that organize exhibitions or are responsible for planning meetings and events can relate and sympathize with the workers at USPS, Federal Express and UPS. Most of us realize the difference between a successful event and a disaster is a very thin line. Hopefully our attendees and exhibitors are unaware of all the potential for problems, and when things go wrong and unforeseen delays are encountered, it is usually the heroic efforts of the show contractors that save the day.
We have seen carpenters, electricians, riggers and teamsters and dozens of other crafts work around the clock to have an event ready to open on time. When disaster hits, general service contractors help one another to make sure the show goes on as planned, and I have witnessed custom brokers do the impossible by getting officials to move containers from overseas with exhibit materials to the front of the line so exhibitors will be ready when the show opens.
My message is to suggest this season bracketed by Thanksgiving and the New Year’s holidays is indeed the time to remember, give thanks and in the spirit of “Goodwill to all Men” take time to thank your general service contractor, registration company, AV firm, transportation provider and all the show contractors that work so hard and for which we as organizers get most of the credit.
Like our own shows, thousands of men and women have worked tirelessly for the last few weeks for the U.S. Postal Service, Federal Express and UPS and other firms trying to deliver mountains of mail and packages generated by us. While they may not have delivered 100 percent on time, only a small percentage was delayed. More importantly, when faced with an insurmountable task, they didn’t quit. They spent their holiday time getting as many delivered as they could. Those are the kind of people I hope you have working on your next show!