“People need people, and the return of trade shows will provide a welcome fillip to those areas of business that simply cannot be replicated online.”
In the previous issue of Labels & Labeling, Isidore Leiser, CEO of Stratus Packaging, linked running a business during the pandemic to playing a video game – stuck behind a screen, relying on virtual rather than face-to-face interaction.
Paola Iannone, head of marketing and communications at global converting group All4Labels, says that yhe company’s current priority is to meet with customers in person: ‘To understand the strategy of costumers takes time, and it’s not just knowing about their turnover’ she said. ‘At the moment, we do not know the brends’ plans to 2030, but we did know. Because face-to-face you have an open agenda and informal talking and go to lunchtogether and see how the company is running. So we need to cover the gap of uncertainty and we have to do this together.’
It is likely that, as we move out of the pandemic (whenever that might be) some things will not return to how they were. A hybrid working model – with more office woek conducted remotely – is probably here to stay. Some international travel will be permanently replaced by Zoom calls.
But perhaps talk of a ‘new normal’ is overstated. Humans are social beings. The adage ‘people by people’ correctly highlights the crucial importance of personal relationships in business. We can, perhaps, maintain existing relationships virtually – but it is surely harder to successfully forge new ones.
Industry trade shows, beginning to return in the second half of this year. Just as it is hard to replicate those informal ‘water-cooler’ chats in the office if you are working remotely, so too is it difficult to reengineer online those chance meetings, impromptu introductions and snatched conversations that take placethroughout the exhibition halls – not to mention the bonds forged during raucous evening gatherings.
There is no question that the label industry has adapted remarkably well to extraordinary conditions over the past months. Indeed, many bussines have thrived. But people need people. More on Labels&Labeling.