Global Pandemic Necessitates New Venture for Trade Show Servicer - DeanHouston+


Global Pandemic Necessitates New Venture for Trade Show Servicer

In the blink of an eye, they were gone.

As the black cloud of COVID-19 gathered across the country, waves of trade shows were cancelled – victims of the global pandemic. While an inconvenience for some, this was a life-or-death problem for a company like Exhibit Logistics, which specializes in trade show services.

With no in-person trade shows, the company’s revenue stream became a pinched hose – with no answer of when everything would return to normal.

“Trade shows were one of the first industries hit during this pandemic,” said Tyler Houston, Business Development Director at Exhibit Logistics. “I went from going into work managing timelines for shows to a complete stop in the workflow in a matter of about a week or two. It was very surprising and alarming. Our job is to travel and engage with our clients, which is hard to do working from home.”

Adapt, they say, or die.

Exhibit Logistics, which is the trade show division of marketing agency DeanHouston, pivoted its focus in order to not only survive as a company, but help mitigate the spread of a virus that brought the world to its knees. While live trade shows were no longer an option, Exhibit Logistics began to manufacture high-quality face masks, face guards and other Personal Protection Equipment.

“Things are tough for a lot of people out there, but we knew that nobody would sit around feeling sorry for us,” said Andy Dean, VP & General Manager of Exhibit Logistics. “We had to think fast and get moving. There was no other choice. This is one of those cases of necessity being the mother of invention.”

The Cincinnati-based company converted its Impres™ 4320 direct-to-textile printer for full-scale production of washable face masks and face shields for their clients, employees and other organizations with workers exposed to the public.

The printer has the capacity to print up to 2,500 masks an hour and DeanHouston’s sewing capabilities can produce 1,000 finished masks per week. The drastic change put Exhibit Logistics in a totally different world – with new products, new suppliers, new channels and new marketing.

“We chose masks and shields because it’s what we had at our disposal,” Houston said. “During times like these, you kind of look around and say, ‘How can we help with what we have?'”

The collective effort came from knowing many DeanHouston clients were deemed essential manufacturers but had trouble securing masks. For example, 85% of convenience and petroleum retails have had an employee test positive for COVID-19 but only 28% of those retailers have given face masks to store employees, according to a recent media survey.

Exhibit Logistics quickly realized that an industrial-sized digital printer and their connections let them mobilize swiftly and fulfill an emerging need to help keep people safe and slow the spread of the global pandemic – and allow businesses to confidently stay open during the crisis.

“I couldn’t imagine being on the frontlines of this,” Houston shared. “My hope is that our masks and shields give protection and comfort to those on the front lines of this pandemic.”

Although Houston initially came up with the idea, he credits the face mask team at Exhibit Logistics for taking it to another level.

“This has truly been a 100% team effort, and I’m so excited to be a part of it,” Houston exclaimed. “It takes a village, and we’ve got the best around.”

In the spirit of coming together as one to fight the pandemic, DeanHouston is donating one mask for every ten that are being purchased. For more information, reach out to Andy Dean at

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