OFFICIAL DERSE STATEMENT
Each day, we are monitoring the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) on the exhibit and event industry, the economy, and our employees’ lives and well-being. From our clients, to our vendors, to our employees, we know the virus is having an unprecedented effect on lives and businesses across the country and globe.
With information and restrictions changing daily, Derse is committed to using our expertise and experience to support our clients, and help them sort through these tough decisions together.
Derse is prepared for a variety of potential scenarios that could result due to the changing conditions. Our leadership team is staying informed through reliable government and public health sources, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), to make smart and safe decisions for all of our stakeholders.
We also have business continuity plans in place to reduce the risk of exposing employees to COVID-19, and will accommodate employees experiencing school and business closures through remote and work-from-home policies. The dedicated, secure technology and IT staff Derse has in place allows our employees to deliver services and support to clients even if they are unable to work in our physical offices.
While no one knows the full extent of business challenges that will ensue in the coming months, we are confident Derse will persevere through the pending turbulence. With an unparalleled number of trade show and event cancelations across the world, our entire industry is hurting right now. We are rooting for our partners, vendors, and competitors to weather the storm, along with the vast amount of people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to create face-to-face experiences every day.
Derse has successfully tackled many difficult scenarios over the last 72 years, and we will confidently get through this situation as we have done in the past. Our industry moves forward, so we will move forward as well. Ultimately we want our employees and clients to feel safe, healthy, and confident in Derse, and will make decisions to support that goal in the days and weeks ahead.
Q: How is Derse monitoring the situation and making business decisions?
A: We are using Center for Disease Control guidelines to help us sort out fact from fiction. We are using CDC’s recommendations for travel precautions and preventing the spread of the virus. We are also speaking frequently with clients, vendors, and account teams to understand (on a case-by-case basis) how the virus is impacting our stakeholders, and making decisions based on that feedback.
Q: I’m not sure yet if my upcoming trade show or event will be cancelled, or go virtual. What should I do?
A: If you are unsure if an upcoming trade show or event will be cancelled or postponed, we encourage you to contact a member of your Derse account team as soon as possible to discuss how we can help mitigate costs and business risk for your company, and potentially plan alternate options. You can also contact us through this link.
Q: What are Derse’s current travel and client-support policies?
A: Derse is committed to keeping our employees safe. We are encouraging all employees to reduce or halt all nonessential travel, per CDC travel guidelines.
Q: Do you have a plan to reduce risk of exposure among your employees and the ability to accommodate business closures?
A: Yes, Derse has business continuity plans in place to reduce any slowdown of support to our clients through:
- Flexible remote and work-from-home policies that accommodate ongoing school and business closures.
- Dedicated, secure technology and IT staff that allow our employees to deliver services and support to clients even if they are unable to work in our physical offices.
Additionally, we are working diligently to reduce the risk of exposing employees to COVID-19. Efforts include:
- Increasing frequency with which public areas, restrooms, and facilities are cleaned and disinfected, using appropriate cleaning products.
- Encouraging increased hand washing and sanitation efforts by all of our employees.
- Providing hand-sanitizer and cleaning wipes throughout our facilities for all to use.
- Avoiding all unnecessary travel based on CDC travel recommendations for all U.S. citizens.
- Communicating to all employees that if they feel ill, they must not come to our offices and put other employees at risk.
SUGGESTIONS FOR CLIENTS AND INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS:
We are collectively working each day to provide the most positive possible outcome in every interaction with our clients, vendors, and employees. Right now, some of us may be busy sorting through cancelled travel and trade show plans while others may be “on-hold” waiting to determine what to do next. In this time of uncertainty, consider some of these alternatives:
(Re)Plan Your Portfolio
Once in-person trade shows and events resume (and they will!), Derse will help you gain a better understanding of how best to invest your face-to-face marketing budget for the remainder of the year. Until then, this may be a good time to step back and assess the portfolio of trade shows you attend, as well as how your trade show performance stacks up against competitors. Sometimes companies get in the habit of attending the same show year after year. But relying on the same strategy to get similar – or improved – results, often leads to a schedule that doesn’t fit into your long-term goals or budget.
By taking a more purposeful portfolio approach, you can bridge the gap between the trade shows you attend and your marketing objectives with measurable criteria.
Get Connected and Share … with your peers
At Derse, we continuously work to make our customers’ interaction with our brand cohesive, no matter where they encounter it (at trade shows, throughout a web experience, on social marketing, and with our sales teams).
A truly omni-channel brand experience is only complete when you consider how your brand is also brought to life within your place of business. Why not maximize the time you have in the office, or virtually, by connecting with peers in your organization that can provide a more clear, and shared, perspective on how to bring your brand to life within your company?
If you have Internal Communications and Brand Communications teams at your company, this is a great time to connect with them to make sure you are on the same page with your brand:
- Check in on brand positioning and company vision: Make sure your face-to-face strategy is aligned with any updates to your company brand positioning and corporate vision. This will help ensure consistent messaging across your trade show program and the marketing environment within your company headquarters or place of business.
- Share long-term customer engagement strategies: Develop cohesive strategies that enhance the customer experience before, during, and after trade shows. Discuss how those strategies can be mirrored internally for employees, vendors, and other visitors to your business.
- Share content and interactives: If you’ve created new content for your trade show program, see if it makes sense to translate into a marketing environment or digital / online engagement for customers.
Consider Going Virtual
We believe there is no substitute for face-to-face experiences to create the most meaningful connections with your customers. But today’s circumstances require us to use alternate engagement approaches in creative ways. Some of the reasons to consider virtual experiences:
- Your event was canceled or postponed
- You want to engage with audiences beyond the trade show floor
- You want to create an original customer experience tailored for digital platforms
We have immersive digital technology and partnerships to get your brand’s messaging, media, and interactives to your target audience when you can’t be together, face to face.
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