PIVOT and pivot again. If the first gruelling year of COVID-19 wasn’t enough, the second year proved great tenacity among industry leaders.
As previously mentioned in part 1, Expo Centric swiftly shifted their focus to the immediate needs of the field – protection against COVID-19. In turn this resulted in significant opportunities from clients like Petbarn and RSPCA.
Whilst juggling unfamiliar territory, Expo Centric tapped into their own industry and profession developing another sub-company. Enter Industric.
PIVOT 4. THE GAMING.
With the event industry in hibernation, Expo Centric was on the lookout for another industry less affected by COVID-19. One that has been previously dappled in, yet not confirmed – the gaming industry. Industric Gaming Solutions was created. Industric Gaming Solutions are a world leading full-service provider that delivers high quality, custom joinery for the gaming industry. From product conception to design to manufacturing, they ensured their clients had joinery of the highest standards and aesthetically engaging.
Expo Centric held existing connections and over 12 years of industry experience under their belt. Their dedicated team manufactured and built custom joinery and exhibition stands for all major players within the gaming industry, including Konami, Independent Gaming, Banktech, PVS, Tab Corp, Keno and Aruze – at the AGE & AHG exhibitions.
From these connections, Expo Centric was hearing noise that dividers were required to help keep casinos open throughout covid. Industric Gaming Solutions provided in-house manufacturing for high quality EGM bases, custom infills, privacy screens and TAB joinery. They also offered full design and project management services, acting as a one stop shop for gaming venue refurbishment.
From the noise, Expo Centric started meeting with casino managers, prototyping screens, and hired a sales manager with experience in this industry (who would have thought? An event company hiring throughout covid!). Once the screens became a law within casinos, Industric then started working even closer with each casino, which grew from the infills to designing full gaming rooms. 🔗 Read more on this movement within the gaming space, here.
PIVOT 5. THE RESTRUCTURE.
In a recent interview with World Exhibition Stand Awards, Stan was asked “Who is your covid hero?”- his answer was simple, “Without question, my staff”.
The Expo Centric staff chose to work harder and on lower wages, developing and inventing new products to move into new markets.
With the determination not to terminate staff, Expo Centric used COVID as a time to restructure. It was a clean slate for Expo Centric to analyse the strengths each staff member brought and place them into positions that could harness their growth. It also allowed them to later employ staff that would increase their efficiencies, and strengthen their customer service. Although they are not back to their initial 58 staff members from pre-covid, the strength and experience of those who are employed allows Expo Centric to be in a stronger position than ever before.
PIVOT 5. THE VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE.
As COVID tred its way through each state and subsequent events, many exhibiting companies continued to search for ways to maintain their marketing presence. Expo Centric’s Virtual Exhibition was the answer to this.
Virtual reality exhibitions and environments are designed for specific digital experiences and open the door to showcasing more marketing content than ever before. They are developed to highlight products, engage clients with interactive content and leverage existing media assets. Expo Centric’s virtual exhibition platform is an exploratory method that enables exhibitors to create a journey and build a story around their brand and products.
Expo Centric worked to create a virtual experience with as much interactivity as possible. At every point, customers could gain further information about a company or product, including viewing products from various angles. Customers could also download product information PDFs or watch demonstrational videos.
For exhibitors, the virtual stand created an ongoing space including multiple digital touch points, a hub for visual and technical data, a reference point for staff and consumers, and an avenue for integration into other marketing campaigns.
THE POST-COVID (HOPEFULLY!)
2020 and 2021 were a cruel two years that no business should have had to endure. However, without them, Expo Centric would never have experienced the development that has driven them to create what they now have.
For Expo Centric, COVID was a stepping stone for a much stronger business with the development in three key areas:
- Sheet metal production and mass fabrication
- E-commerce and retail platform
- Multiple revenue streaming platforms and gaming rooms
It’s without a doubt the events industry will remain scarred for the next three to four years, but with the combination of our COVID learnings and strong relationships within the industry, there will be a return bigger than ever.
Now, back to watching Friends.