Representor Fall 2021 - Marketing Group Digest

Fall 2021 – Marketing Group Digest


Troy Gunnin
Sun Rep Inc.
Tampa, Fla.

Adapting to change

When I wrote my column for the summer issue of The Representor, I made several observations and suggested that they would be read at, or around EDS. Well, maybe around, but certainly not at EDS. It didn’t happen because right around the same time, “DELTA” made its presence known, in a big way.

EDS and several other events — including my family reunion — were canceled or curtailed considerably. I recently read an editorial that asked the question, “Will trade shows ever be the same again?” The feeling is that the pandemic has had a major and long-term effect on trade shows. Will they return to their former prominence? Perhaps. However, the past couple of years have certainly caused everyone involved, both exhibitors and attendees, to reevaluate their approach to trade shows.

We will likely continue to see virtual shows, perhaps scaled down to specifics. They are much more nimble and can be much more “current” as it relates to new product introductions, changes, promotions, etc. I think that we will see in-person shows continue to be very important as networking events that you just can’t duplicate with virtual shows. Personal contact has always and will continue to be an important part of a good business relationship.

One positive news report that I just saw said that scientists predict that Covid-19 infections and deaths could be well under control by March 2022. We can certainly hope this is the case.

Most of my other observations about full stadiums, full planes, restaurants, bars and crowded beaches are true. As I write this column, it looks like our “RAYS” could be headed to the World Series and you can bet on full stadiums. But at this time, we are still experiencing a lot of issues, full hospitals, long deliveries, price hikes … and the list goes on. I just saw a picture of a harbor full of container ships waiting to be unloaded. In view of this, I read in another editorial that perhaps this could encourage reshoring, to U.S., Mexico or Central America. That would at least mean that we would not have an ocean between us and our supplies.

The past couple of years have certainly been challenging. I’m sure all of us have been touched by the pandemic. We have had a couple of people affected, one mildly, one hospitalized. They tell me it “ain’t fun,” so we should all keep our guard up.

We also are seeing some companies opening for visits, but for the most part, still very few in-plant visits.

Some people are back in the office, perhaps part-time, and others are still working from home. The “back-to-the-office” plans continue to shift constantly. I am aware of at least one organization that was supposed to bring back its employees to the office in the first week of August. That plan got moved to November. So, we will likely continue to see a very fluid schedule for some time, perhaps for a long time, as the working-from-home concept becomes more comfortable, for both employees and employers.

We are a resilient group and have adapted to change through the years as our market has changed. We will continue to do so, and thrive.