A Look Back on World Pork Expo


Written by A.S Looney

I am new to IMV. Like many this year, I got a dog. This is what brought me to IMV. When my last contract ended, I took a pause so that I could spend time with the new puppy. Two months in, she was doing great and I reached out to a staffing agency to see if they may have any part-time projects available. This way, my puppy could ease into my working away from home for a few hours per day as opposed to a full day. Less separation anxiety for her, and greater peace of mind for me. Long story short, a week later I started at IMV with planning for the WPX being a priority. 
I have experience in event planning, but it was intimidating to plan an event in the wake of a pandemic. Overall, I was excited for this project. My mom and maternal grandmother are from Des Moines and I have a deep appreciation for the farming community. I also like event planning in general because there is as an entrepreneurial component - you get to see something concrete come to fruition. 

There were a lot of additional considerations to take into account because of the pandemic – we would need to design a booth space to optimize social distancing so that we could protect our visitors, the team would need to be fully vaccinated, masks would be part of our event “uniform”, and we would have sanitation guidelines in place. One of the greatest unknowns was – would there be attendance at this event? Early on, we set a goal that we wanted to increase visibility – to show that we are still standing after the pandemic, and we are here for our customers. We couldn’t count on whether we would have high traffic, but that was superseded by that fact that we wanted to make ourselves available to anyone who needed us. 
Overall, the event went as well as we could have expected. Our booth design was well received – the six kiosks, each focused on a sister company, allowed visitors to stay spaced out while learning more about our full spectrum of products. We were able to connect with customers in person. And, after two years away from this event, the team said they were glad to be there and had a good time.  
This year’s participation in the WPX was obviously very different from our last, and next year’s participation will likely be very different from this year’s. As companies transition to post-pandemic work, it’s thought that an increase in remote work will be permanent. However, I think one thing that we learned from this event is that there isn’t a substitute for connecting with customers in person. Recently, when I head out in the morning, I don’t hear the whimpers from the puppy and she doesn’t try to follow me out the door. She’s adapting to the new normal of me being away from home, and we’re adapting to the realities of post-pandemic life. 

The views expressed in IMV Technologies’ blog do not necessarily represent the views of the IMV Technologies Group but solely those of the blog post’s author