When their world came to an abrupt stop, Abstract Displays created a new one

By Nicole Menkhaus, Marketing Director, Goering Center for Family and Private Business

Abstract Displays, Inc. is a creator and provider of 3D marketing environments for the trade show and event industry – building connections between their clients and their clients’ prospects is what they do. What’s more, they were doing this in the real world. That is until COVID-19 brought the trade show industry to a screeching halt.

All of a sudden, this business whose entire existence was based on face-to-face interactions – those with their team members and their clients as well as those of their clients with their prospects – was confronted with the unthinkable: their entire business model no longer worked. 

"We could have buried our heads in the sand and closed up shop, but that’s not who we are as a company or as businesspeople,” stated Carla Eng, CEO of Abstract Displays. “We owed it to our team members and their families, to our clients, and to ourselves to do all we could to weather the storm.”

Abstract Displays’ leadership chose to stay connected with a three-pronged approach. Their first priority was the safety and wellbeing of their staff as they transitioned to working from home. Abstract Displays’ leadership made sure that their employees were always well-informed and provided for. Next, they tackled the challenge of staying connected with their clients, who were themselves grappling with the loss of one of their most effective lead-generating opportunities. This is where Abstract Displays created a whole new world for their clients, and themselves, with their VidExpo Live solution, a completely reimagined, virtual yet interactive way for businesses to do their trade show without being at a trade show (https://videxpo.abstractdisplays.com). Finally, the team at Abstract Displays figured out how to continue to support their community when their community partners weren’t accepting volunteers. They took the volunteer work in-house, packaging socks and raising funds to help those less able to beat the challenges of COVID-19.

“We learned, above all else, that adversity is fertile ground for growth,” says Carla, “and we leveraged our team, our connections and our relationships to create a ‘think-tank,’ which resulted in a brand-new offering and a real solution for our trade show clients” – for which Abstract Displays won an AMA (American Marketing Association) award for Best Customer Experience.

Featured image: Carla Eng (CEO) and Michael Eng (COO) of Abstract Displays, Inc.

Abstract Displays, Inc. is a Goering Center Core Member. The Goering Center is sharing this content as part of its 2021 Family and Private Business Awards celebration.

About Abstract Displays, Inc.
Abstract Displays was founded by Carla and Michael Eng because they saw a need in the exhibit industry to provide a dependable resource for their clients’ face-to-face sales and marketing events. Backed by a talented team of industry experts, Abstract Displays is a global force in the trade show world. Their list of awards solidifies their presence as a leader in their industry, but also in the community.

About the Goering Center for Family & Private Business
Established in 1989, the Goering Center serves more than 400 member companies, making it North America’s largest university-based educational non-profit center for family and private businesses. The Center’s mission is to nurture and educate family and private businesses to drive a vibrant economy. Affiliation with the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati provides access to a vast resource of business programing and expertise. Goering Center members receive real-world insights that enlighten, strengthen and prolong family and private business success. For more information on the Center, participation and membership visit goering.uc.edu.

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