Showfloor Buzz – February 15, 2021


EACA Member Open House.   The EACA hosted an Open House for all members on Friday, February 12 to gather, chat and catch up on all the important information that is needed to successfully navigate the COVID pandemic until our event industry re-opens.

The Open House began in the Main Zoom room as Jim Wurm, Executive Director, provided an overview of the current state of affairs in our industry from the perspective of industry coalitions like GoLiveTogether, LiveEventsCoalition, Clean Start Tax Credit Coaltion, and the newly formed Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA).   Jim also shared insights on the 2021 event schedule based on recent conversations with show organizer clients.  The Open House also contained breakout rooms discussions on topics like PPP, CBA Renewals, Safety Protocols/Vaccines, Future Workforce and Managing Cash Flow.

The next member Open House will take place on Friday, March 12 at 1pm ET, 12pm CT.    Announcements on how to attend the Open House will be sent to all members in advance.

McCormick Place Shares Its Campus Improvements.  McCormick Place is using its downtime during the pandemic to make a number of improvements to its facility.    Click here to see the full photo display of improvements.   Additionally there will new worker access procedures put in place when events come back to McCormick Place.    EAC crews will need to utilize their new McCormick Place IDs to obtain a wristband for the day from kiosks that will be available at the designated points of entry for each building.  Additional details to follow in a future issue of the Buzz.

EACA Webinar Schedule

  • Show Organizer Plans for 2021  The EACA will be conducting a live webinar on Thursday, February 18, at 1pm ET, 12pm CT, and 10am PT, to discuss Show Organizer Plans for 2021 with our panel of esteemed Show Management.   Click here to view full program.
  • Las Vegas Chapter Zoom Call.   The next Las Vegas Chapter Zoom call will take place on Tuesday, March 9 at 10am PT.   Invites will be sent out to EACA members a week in advance.
  • EACA Member Open House.    On Friday March 12 at 1pm ET, 12pm CT, the EACA will host its monthly Open House for all Members.   Additional details to be provided in the near future.

EACA Member News

Sparks Acquires 3D Exhibits  Sparks, a leading global brand experience agency, today announced the acquisition of 3D Exhibits, a known leader in the trade show exhibits industry. The addition of 3D Exhibits, headquartered in the greater Chicago area, with locations in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Las Vegas, completes Sparks’ Midwest geographic expansion strategy.

Metro Exhibit Going Out of Business Sale.  Metro Exhibit of Romeoville, IL has closed its doors and is having a sale of its properties.   Please contact Ed Hyatt at [email protected] for additional information.

Zimmerman Joins Eagle Management.    John Zimmerman, formerly of Zenith LaborNet, has accepted a position with Eagle Management. Zimmerman began working in the trade show industry in 1980 for I&D as a planning coordinator of trade show labor. After 14 years there, he ventured out to start his own labor management company Zenith Labornet which was later acquired by Nth Degree.  He worked for another two years under the acquirer until retiring.

Sitting anxiously on the sidelines through the industry’s tough times in the pandemic, Zimmerman grew eager to return to the field he loved and missed. Now that he is back, he is excited to share his wealth of knowledge, experience, and connections with his new team at Eagle.

“Knowing John Zimmerman for over 30 years, I believe he is a perfect fit for our company. His integrity, energy, and considerable experience will only strengthen our team and culture.” – Steve Matranga, CEO.


SBA Fraud Protection May Hold Up PPP Applications. The new fraud prevention systems that SBA put in place for PPP2 may be causing a lot of delays and glitches.The SBA says they are working on streamlining the process, but a lot of loan applications have been held up.  SBA says the processing issues have impacted about 40,000 PPP2 applications.

  • Customers Bank experienced an immediate loan rejection rate of as high as 75 percent at first.
  • The SBA established a new loan-processing system that would try to validate identifying information provided by borrowers before the agency allowed banks to disburse aid.
  • Banks have struggled to resolve error messages and hold codes for loans flagged by the SBA’s new review system.
  • It has sometimes triggered “false positives,” rejecting an application because the agency used erroneous data for bankruptcy histories, criminal records and economic sanctions.
  • The SBA as of last week had approved about 1.3 million loans this year for more than $100.9 billion.

Industry News

Senate Approves Amendment to Benefit Hospitality Industry <TSNN>  A bipartisan proposal geared toward assisting the travel and tourism industries passed a crucial first step with the U.S. Senate’s approval late this week. The measure, put forward by U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), prioritizes the devastated hospitality sector, as Congress works through President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package.   The amendment provides specific relief for conventions, trade shows, entertainment, tourism and travel and the employees within those industries.

BIO 2021 to be Virtual Event   BIO International 2021 has announced that its 2021 event scheduled for June 8-11 in San Diego will be a virtual event only.

10 Predictions for the Event Industry in 2021 <TSNN>  The coronavirus understandably caught the events industry flat-footed last spring. Who can predict a once-in-a-century disease? But nearly a year into the pandemic, there’s been time to experiment, learn, adapt and develop better strategies going into 2021.

Live events are going on, and will only pick up toward the second half of the year. That doesn’t mean COVID-19’s effects will disappear anytime soon. Almost all considerations that event planners, trade show organizers, exhibitors and attendees face are related to health and safety measures or economic challenges related to the pandemic.  There is proof that trade shows, corporate events and more can occur safely with in-person attendees. What lessons can the whole industry learn from shows like Surf Expo and Connect.   Read all 10 Predictions for 2021.