Aug 05 , 2021
We've been away for a bit. Why? We've had two back-to-back LIVE and conferences and trade shows to attend!
First, Catersource and The Special Event in Miami. We were at this conference trade show in March 2020 when Covid shut Las Vegas down. It was crazy! The second day of the show was particularly ill-attended, as Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz the night before was reported in the media to have Covid.
It really was crazy! Ricky and I were scheduled to fly out Monday morning so were sequestered in our rented condo over the weekend. On Saturday, a walk through the botanic gardens at Bellagio revealed throngs of people, but by Sunday, a trip to Springs Preserve on the last day they were open before the shutdown presented an opportunity to hear first-hand from the driver of the tiny Prius that picked us up of how she'd left someone on the side of the road when he had her drive him to a trailer truck full of toilet paper being sold by the pallet, and then wanted to somehow stuff the pallet into the car. We wandered through Whole Foods Market that Friday after the trade show, and the shelves were already empty of bottled water. We walked through a casino on Sunday morning that was more like a tomb.
But I digress. A year and a half later, we are all still adjusting daily, in many instances, to the way Covid has changed and continues to change, our lives and the way we go about our days.
In Miami, the public buses declare in big bold letters, "NO MASK, NO RIDE." Many people walked down the streets with masks on, and we were allowed in only one door to attend the conference and trade show at the Miami Beach Convention Center, where everyone entering received a temperature reading from a thermometer on a tripod. By the time we got to Portland for the Northwest Food Show, both Oregon and Washington were suggesting that everyone, even those who have been fully vaccinated, wear masks inside. The sign on the front door of our hotel in Vancouver, WA, stated, "Masks required for those not fully vaccinated."
So the debate rages on, as the Delta variant, and who knows what else or what next, throw us for a loop this time around. Just as we begin to see light at the end of the staffing tunnel- though the supply chain bottleneck will persist for quite some time regardless- we are looking at backstepping. As a small business, we are bracing and budgeting for a long haul.
But we did get to go to two LIVE shows! It was great to see people in person again and to interact in real time and space, even though both events were not as well attended, either by trade show exhibitors or conference and trade show attendees, as in the past. It felt like a little progress, a little step out of a dark hole.
We have one more in-person show this year- My Gluten Free World Expo in Sandy, UT, on September 25. We'll see what happens. I am already receiving at least daily notices about stepped up safety precautions and protocols for the other live shows out there. We hope to see many of you at My Gluten Free World, and will be sad if we can't, but we will always err on the side of your safety and ours.
Be careful out there!
With continued commitment,
Photo: "Mad Max" Goldstein, our health insurance guru and Gem City CEO Lisa Cox enjoy a Cuban coffee after dinner at Sergio's in Miami.