Expo industry facing the crisis head on

The crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic opens the question on how the business sector would respond to the changes this global concern may bring to the economy in the coming months. This is a case where no exemption is given. Businesses, big or small are all dealing with the crisis day by day.

For an industry which relies on mass gatherings as part of its lifeblood, the adjustments may not be that easy. Worldbex Services International (WSI), the country’s premiere events organizer, had to postpone some of its major events this year. Even with its banner events at stake including the 25th year celebration of WORLDBEX and the 16th Manila International Auto Show, an event organizer’s priority is the health and safety of its stakeholders, attendees, and employees over anything else.

Built to withstand challenges

This is not the first time the industry faced a struggle which forced expo organizers to re-evaluate their strategy.  Looking back at the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the local MICE Industry was challenged. One notable action was done by WSI wherein foreign exhibitors withdrew from the event which pushed the organizer to make a quick and careful decision to further strengthen its local exhibitors’ line-up. The shift in their game plan gained overwhelming support from the industry players up until today.

Response to crisis

It has always been the company’s strength to spearhead a platform where businesses can find solutions and opportunities through introduction into new industry connections. With the same foundation, they are already looking into potential scenarios on how expos can address the issues businesses may encounter after the crisis as a way of staying competitive and innovative. Nonetheless, WSI also believes that the focus should all be given to every effort to flatten the curve. In relation, the organizers are proud and honored with the dedication given by PICC and World Trade Center Metro Manila, their second homes, as these venues serve a different purpose to further help the country in solving the crisis. Through the leadership of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Sec. Mark Villar, the transition and conversion of the said venues are being completed ahead of schedule. Once everything is in a more manageable state, they commit to uphold its goal in helping businesses to bounce back with several innovative solutions already waiting in the pipeline for their upcoming events.

DPWH doing notable job with the conversion of the WTCMM expo grounds to a health facility in response to the ongoing crisis.

Beyond expositions

The private sector as key industry players in driving the economy as the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions (MICE) Industry has been a strategic area for boosting tourism and contributes to the country’s gross domestic product.

An expo is more than just a showcase. In a time where businesses aim to regain momentum, expos can help kick-start a brand or a product’s action plan. As the game changes and a “new normal” might begin, means and ways may change but the mission will always be the same.

The uncertainty of a crisis can’t hold back the Filipino entrepreneur’s spirit. We are resilient when faced with adversity, we adapt to the surroundings, and we always find ways to make things work.

We will continue to work and improve as our way of giving back to society. True enough, even with a crisis at hand, we are able to create opportunities beyond expositions.