Here we are again, it comes without hesitation, something you can count on to always be on time, every time.
It becomes ours to do what we choose to do with it. We can welcome it, embrace it, or simply accept it. What we cannot do is ignore it. It is here, and in 364 days it will again recycle, and be on time again next year. Happy New Year 2023.
As we take the time to look back and reflect on our past accomplishments, we must also acknowledge where we began and how far we have come.
So I propose a question: What historic undertaking was introduced to the trade show and convention industry thirty years ago?
The Answer: In 1993 a consortium of independent exhibit designers/producers launched Sho-Link Incorporated. As the industry’s first and only co-operative member owned organization, Sho-Link specialized in providing installation and dismantle services to the exhibitor clients of its eight founding members. Those original members included: Derse Exhibits, Design & Production Inc., Exhibit Productions, Exhibitree, Gallo Displays, Mash Display Group, Roberts and Burr and Stewart Associates. Over the next thirty years, Dimensional Worldwide Inc., Downing Displays, EDE, EEI Global, Expon Exhibits, Group Delphi, Hamilton, Icon Inc., Nimlok and SWX Global Design & Production also became members of this collaborative endeavor.
For the deeper dive into our story, I invite you to visit our web site at
A year ago, January, we started the year off with cautious optimism, the industry showed continued signs of recovery and business projections showed we were on the upturn. We were confident in our ability to stay in front of new challenges, and proud to bring the full contingent of leaders and crews back to work.
By mid-year, with a 2-year hiatus behind us, we gathered in person to resume our annual leadership meeting. Man, it was so gratifying seeing all of your smiling faces in person.
We choose the theme of the meeting to be a CELEBRATION. I would say we accomplished our goal… we celebrated the past being the past and cheered on our resilience. We reaffirmed the commitment to our members and their clients that our goal is to make their experience at show site nothing short of extraordinary.
I can express my thank you in so many ways, but having the opportunity to share a handshake and toast each of you, in person, was one of my most satisfying highlights of 2022.
To our Sho-Link members, it has been an extraordinary year. We have together weathered many storms and challenges and we have celebrated many triumphs together. We kept the celebration momentum moving forward, by holding the Annual Owners meeting in person after two years of virtual meetings. The opportunity to come together and hold a face-to-face formal meeting was more than welcomed. Attended by a majority of the Sho-Link members, serious discussions included how we are poised to move forward within new industry challenges, and how to capitalize on new opportunities for growth. I am still inspired by the collective efforts of our members who come together as competitor to support the overall success of this historic co-operative business model.
Turning the corner and heading into the final few months of the year, there was no doubt that Sho-Link and their members were well into full recovery. Our Estimating team broke records for completing estimates. Order processing team set new levels, and our dedicated administrative personnel stepped up and took on extra duties to keep our city mangers updated with
information. Jobs completed per week were at record levels for each of the last three months, and in November, we celebrated a record setting month for sales.
Everyone in the industry shared the nationwide challenge of the supply meeting the demand of depleted union labor forces. Sho-Link was able to overcome these challenges by engaging our support labor structure.
Our Affiliate partners, while working through the same challenges, were nothing short of spectacular. Their contribution to our success was absolute and unwavering. My sincerest gratitude. When we talk about the necessity of people having to wear a multitude of hats, our Affiliates live that every show. Well done, our hats are off to each of you.
For the past 9 years, you have given me the opportunity to express my gratitude in a short letter of recognition, acknowledging your efforts and contributions to our company and our industry. I took the liberty of looking back at a few of my past letters to see what words I have used to express my true found respect for what you and your family’s endured to make our success so complete. It is not that I am at a loss for words this year; I simply do not want to sound redundant or insincere with my praises.
My commitment to you remains simple; we will work together and support each other through any challenges that come our way. I will continue to make good on my commitment to you - if you need something, you will get it, if you want something, we will discuss it.
I again encourage you to take time every day to stop and reflect on what you accomplished and how you supported your crews and our industry. Take time to be with your families and support their needs. Be proud, very proud, to mentor, teach and encourage the people that will someday fill your position and walk in your shoes. They deserve this, and more importantly, you deserve this.
In closing, my sincerest gratitude for the hard work and energy you bring to work every day. Thank you for being the reason why I look forward to coming to work every day. From my heart, the kind words and thoughts you send to me during the year are valued and truly appreciated. Your words are priceless to me.
I look forward to stopping in and seeing you and your crews at work soon. I look forward to shaking your hand and even buying you a taco or two from the food truck. The BEST to you and your amazing crews in 2023.
So, with these words, and my sincere appreciation, let us together welcome 2023.
Scott President Sho-Link, Inc.