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Cloud Conventions Unveils 360 Degree Virtual Experience

Convey Services

Cloud Conventions , a full featured virtual tradeshow and event technology solution today unveiled its new 360° Virtual Exhibit Hall & Lobby Experience™ for exhibitions, conferences or association events. The 360° Virtual Exhibit Hall & Lobby is an option that allows an attendee to dynamically move through a panoramic view of the exhibition hall with custom graphics linked to exhibit and sponsor booths, the auditorium for speaker and keynote sessions, agendas and social events. The 360° Virtual Exhibit Hall provides the event host with greater opportunities to promote sponsors and exhibitors and can be updated daily to reflect the changing face of any event. “Many show operators want to simulate the experience attendees would have in a live tradeshow or conference by creating movement as the attendee explores the event,” said Carolyn Bradfield , founder of Convey . “If attendees can navigate to exhibit booths, speaker presentations and show specials, with just a mouse, they are more engaged and connected to the virtual event experience. The new 360° Virtual Exhibit Hall & Lobby expands revenue opportunities for show organizers by adding new sponsorship packages that offer a variety of unique advertising placements.” The 360° Virtual Exhibit Hall & Lobby is an enhanced interactive marketing tool that can be customized to fit the theme, location, market and scope of any event. A selection of panoramic backgrounds range from hotel lobbies and exhibit halls to exteriors with mountains and seascapes. Unique visual elements are added to the scene so the viewer can navigate through the event. “Your Cloud Conventions event manager will consult with you to establish a graphic theme, define visual elements and links to include in your virtual exhibit hall or lobby,” added Bradfield. “Cloud Conventions is engineered to be self-serve with expanded training and support elements built in. No technical skills or coding are necessary to manage the platform or the event. The 360° virtual experience is one of the few enhanced features that requires design help from our event team.” For more ideas on how to make a virtual event both informative and engaging, visit the Online Resource Center at www.CloudConventions.com . About Cloud Conventions Cloud Conventions is a Virtual Trade Show and Conference Platform from Convey Services that brings new capabilities to a marketplace looking for solutions to replace the thousands of live trade shows, annual conferences and association meetings cancelled in the wake of COVID-19. Originally launched as ConveyLive, Cloud Conventions automates exhibitors and virtual booths, attendee registration, speaker sessions and reminders, invitations and email communication, while at the same time producing detailed analytics on attendee, session and exhibitor activity. Trade Associations and event managers can explore all of the Cloud Conventions solutions by visiting https://cloudconventions.com or contacting info@cloudconventions.com or call 888-975-1382. Cloud Conventions™, Conduct™, One-Touch Email Share™, Hub & Spoke™, 360° Virtual Exhibit Hall & Lobby Experience™ and ListLock™ are trademarks of Convey Services LLC Contact Details Bruce Ahern +1 770-580-0810 bahern@conveyservices.com Company Website https://cloudconventions.com

August 05, 2020 03:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Minuteman Press in Buffalo Gives Back to Front Line Workers and Supports Local Businesses During COVID-19

Minuteman Press International

With a growing number of more than 70 participating businesses on their free Bounce Back Buffalo initiative, Minuteman Press in Buffalo is helping area business owners mount a resurgence of growth by making sure they remain connected to their own clients with free advertising and access to resources. The Minuteman Press Buffalo website also hosts the Give a Pint to the Front Line charity with options that include custom hoodies, t-shirts and $6 and up virtual pint donations. “We are going to all the participating breweries to purchase the gift cards and are accommodating hospital protocol so we can donate them to our front-line health care workers.” “I have always been about community FIRST,” says Wes Froebel, owner of Minuteman Press in Buffalo which has remained open as an essential business from the beginning. He also expanded his marketing services into two initiatives currently benefiting local business and lifting morale for front-line heath care workers. The first, Bounce Back Buffalo , is a coalition of local business owners spanning a variety of industries hosted by Minuteman Press. “Our Bounce Back program has helped many businesses in Buffalo ranging from non-profits, restaurants, breweries, law agencies, photography companies, and more. It makes us at Minuteman Press Buffalo feel really proud that we are able to support and give back to our community.” Today, as things open up on main street, Wes is observing a rising enthusiasm in his area. “Businesses are reopening and increasing capacity now. We are helping them get their specials out there and easily update their hours of operation for all to see. A lot of our restaurants have begun to take reservations to make sure they are abiding by the need for social distance and use Bounce Back Buffalo to keep their guests informed and conveniently make those reservations. We are taking stress out of as many challenges as we can, helping our business and restaurant owners provide warm, welcoming messages so people are encouraged to shop or enjoy a meal.” "It was great of Minuteman Press Buffalo to provide advertising, discounts to healthcare workers, and free advertising via Bounce Back Buffalo to support our business, our community, and the local economy." Matt Kahn, President, Big Ditch Brewing Company “Participating members of Bounce Back Buffalo gain an SEO benefit as well. We help provide a strong backline to their websites which can boost their search engine rating.” Wes Froebel, owner, Minuteman Press The second spirit-lifting initiative, Give a Pint to the Front Line , directly benefits the tirelessly heroic health care workers while giving a shot in the arm to the breweries intrinsic to the area. It has become a feel-good way for people to join Minuteman Press in generosity towards their neighbors and future. More are coming in every day, enthusiastically donating to the cause. Wes is gratified by the enormous response: “I lead with community first because I am aware of people’s struggles and know we are in a position to help. When COVID-19 hit, and our breweries, restaurants and small business owners were closed, I understood their struggle at the same time that I admired the healthcare workers putting themselves at risk on behalf of all of us.” “I got the idea to establish a way for people to donate gift cards from participating craft breweries that we will deliver to health care workers who can take their pints to go; or they can choose to await the full reopening of bars and breweries. It supports the front-line workers and encourages more buying within our local economy,” he adds. People are discovering Give a Pint to the Front Line through Minuteman Press social media and email blasts, but also because it is becoming the talk of the town. “I had one person, Thom, contact me when he heard about us online. He wanted to combine his own donation, specially designed glasses that said, Buffalo Craft Beer Over Covid , which he used to raise $1,540 to contribute to our cause.” “Wes is a good guy and it is clear he wants to be involved and do good things for the community. I wanted to give back also and as I came up with my idea for the custom glass, I heard about this charity by Minuteman Press doing something cool on Facebook where you can buy beer for hospital workers. Instead of a straight donation, I contacted Wes and now he’s doing the legwork collecting the funds and distributing the gift cards”, Thom says. He adds, “I want to raise visibility for what he’s doing. I would like to see people go straight to Minuteman Press and get active in this program.” Wes remains dedicated to community first and his efforts are invigorating the area. “Our purpose is to help our own economy get back to normal and grow. We want everyone to be healthy, working, and spending money as we return to new pursuits and enjoying life.” For more information on Minuteman Press Buffalo, visit https://buffalo21.minutemanpress.com . Learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and read Minuteman Press franchise reviews at https://minutemanpressfranchise.com . Contact Details Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

August 05, 2020 11:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Cloud Conventions Creates Dedicated Team to Support Virtual Events for Associations & Nonprofits

Convey Services

Cloud Conventions , a full featured virtual tradeshow and event technology solution now has a dedicated team of event managers to support virtual events and conferences for professional associations and nonprofits. Members of the new group have hands-on experience in working with associations, nonprofits and management firms to translate formerly live conferences into virtual events using the Cloud Conventions platform. “Our goal is to show association managers that taking a live conference and making it virtual still supports their membership and benefits their sponsors,” said Carolyn Bradfield , founder of Convey . “In many ways, virtual events not only satisfy the goals of associations and trade groups but exceed them in ways that live events can’t. The Cloud Conventions platform engages members while drawing a larger audience who don’t need to travel to participate. This delivers more revenue to the organization and better ROI to exhibitors and sponsors.” For associations, virtual events have significant advantages, with higher levels of engagement between exhibitors and members. Attendees now have the option to: Attend without the risk or expense of travel. Attend sessions live or watch recorded speakers or panel discussions online. Explore content from exhibitors and sponsors on-demand, not just during exhibit hours. Allow more people in their organization to take advantage of the conference. Receive continuing education credit without missing other parts of the event program. Network and interact with association members through social events and forums. “Associations and trade groups often fund their entire annual budget from revenue generated by exhibitor commitments or sponsorships along with registration fees,” added Bradfield. “Exhibitors and sponsors generate a larger number of sales leads as attendees interact inside the booth. There are more calls to action, since attendees can request meetings, attend demos or collect more information. Our new team helps association managers understand the benefits of a virtual event and provides support to maximize the capabilities of a Cloud Conventions virtual event.” Doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, CPAs, financial advisers, real estate and other professionals are required to prove participation in continuing education programs every year in order to maintain their Continuing Education (CE), Continuing Legal Education (CLE) or Continuing Medical Education (CME) certificates or licenses. Many of these professionals obtained credits during live association conferences. Now they can earn them during a virtual conference or tradeshow. Cloud Conventions automates session management, allows the use of any conferencing solution, produces the post-session speaker evaluation and can deliver a continuing education certificate to the dashboard of qualifying attendees. The platform is now fully integrated with Zoom Webinar for attendee tracking and CE compliance. Cloud Conventions has a unique ‘Hub & Spoke™’ content delivery model that supports associations and trade groups who manage multiple events. The association can maintain one centralized hub site for exhibitors to add educational and marketing assets and duplicate their virtual booths to multiple regional event portals. This gains efficiency and saves time for the association, as well as the exhibitor. Pre-designed booth templates standardize the look and feel of every show, providing a consistent attendee experience and simplifying exhibitor management. Cloud Conventions is designed for the non-technical user who doesn’t have HTML skills or technology training. Marketing administrators or event managers can easily navigate the platform. For more ideas on how to make a virtual event both informative and engaging, visit the Online Resource Center at www.CloudConventions.com . About Cloud Conventions Cloud Conventions is a Virtual Trade Show and Conference Platform from Convey Services that brings new capabilities to a marketplace looking for solutions to replace the thousands of live trade shows, annual conferences and association meetings cancelled in the wake of COVID-19. Originally launched as ConveyLive, Cloud Conventions automates exhibitors and virtual booths, attendee registration, speaker sessions and reminders, invitations and email communication, while at the same time producing detailed analytics on attendee, session and exhibitor activity. Trade Associations and event managers can explore all of the Cloud Conventions solutions by visiting https://cloudconventions.com or contacting info@cloudconventions.com or call 888-975-1382. Cloud Conventions™, Conduct™, One-Touch Email Share™, Hub & Spoke™ and ListLock™ are trademarks of Convey Services LLC Contact Details Bruce Ahern +1 770-580-0810 bahern@conveyservices.com Company Website https://cloudconventions.com

August 05, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Local Firm Capitalizes on Growing Demand for Virtual Events & Tradeshows As COVID-19 Changes The Face Of Business

Convey Services

Local technology firm, Convey Services discovered a huge new market for their online portal solutions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their online portals were originally built for sales engagement, but Convey recently introduced Cloud Conventions , a virtual event platform that is changing the way people connect at tradeshows, conferences or expositions from the comfort and safety of their home. Today the Cloud Conventions business is growing rapidly, delivering virtual events in dozens of different markets around the world. “In the early 90s I co-founded a company in West Point, Georgia that completely reinvented the conference calling industry,” said Carolyn Bradfield , founder of Convey. “It changed how we communicated with remote teams and eliminated unnecessary travel to engage with sales groups and customers. Today, in the face of COVID, nearly every tradeshow, industry event, live sales meeting, association and trade group gathering has cancelled in 2020 and many already into next year. Even when live events return, they will never be the same as before the pandemic. Our new Cloud Conventions virtual event platform can replace a live conference and offer many advantages over live events. They better educate, provide on demand content, allow companies to exhibit and interact with attendees, while having fun.” “I expect when live events return they will not be nearly as large, or as integral to doing business as they had been,” added Bradfield. “In the future, most live events will include a virtual component that will engage individuals who choose not to travel to attend in-person. Cloud Conventions is a sophisticated platform for exhibitors and sponsors to get their product and services message in the hands of conference attendee and achieve a stronger ROI.” Cloud Conventions is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that automates exhibitors and virtual booths, manages attendee registration, organizes speaker sessions and reminders, manages email communication, while at the same time producing detailed analytics on all activity. The platform provides sponsors and exhibitors greater promotional opportunities, with a graphical display of content and marketing assets, meeting calendars, live chat and video sessions. Cloud Conventions can deliver virtual events ranging from small association conferences to large industry expos. They can be fully supported by Convey or self-managed. About Cloud Conventions Cloud Conventions is a Virtual Trade Show and Conference Platform from Convey Services that brings new capabilities to a marketplace looking for solutions to replace the thousands of live trade shows, annual conferences and association meetings cancelled in the wake of COVID-19. Originally launched as ConveyLive, Cloud Conventions automates exhibitors and virtual booths, attendee registration, speaker sessions and reminders, invitations and email communication, while at the same time producing detailed analytics on attendee, session and exhibitor activity. Trade Associations and event managers can explore all of the Cloud Conventions solutions by visiting https://cloudconventions.com or contacting info@cloudconventions.com or call 888-975-1382. Cloud Conventions™, Conduct™, One-Touch Email Share™ and ListLock™ are trademarks of Convey Services LLC Contact Details Bruce Ahern +1 770-580-0810 bahern@conveyservices.com Company Website https://cloudconventions.com

August 04, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Cloud Conventions Expands Online Training to Simplify Virtual Event Management

Convey Services

Cloud Conventions , a full featured virtual tradeshow and event technology solution today expanded its online training to help show managers and exhibitors design, manage and launch virtual events faster and maximize their effectiveness. The Cloud Conventions portal technology is designed for the non-technical user and does not require any special coding or development to customize it, but beginning users now have an even clearer roadmap on how to design and manage all aspects of a virtual event including attendee, exhibitor and session management. Each portal comes with training videos, a self-service database with frequently asked questions, checklists and guides along with suggestions for exhibitors to maximize their ROI. “Almost everyone is new to managing a virtual event, but at Convey we have been doing them for years with experience being our best teacher,” said Carolyn Bradfield , founder of Convey. “Once people overcome the anxiety of executing their first virtual event, versus managing a live tradeshow or conference, they realize everything is much easier and more straightforward. We listen to feedback from our clients and continue to streamline our solution to deliver the best customer experience. We added a wealth of resources within the platform to help the beginner, novice or even pro achieve their goals in record time.” Online training includes One-minute Skill Builder videos that break tasks down into smaller segments. The platform has built-in tutorials that are accessed within the task a user is working on. Feature sets can be turned on or off to make navigating the platform easy. The FAQ database is searchable, with easy-to-understand questions and solutions. Cloud Conventions is part a growing list of virtual SaaS platforms from Convey Services. For more ideas on how to make your virtual event both informative and engaging, visit the Online Resource Center at www.CloudConventions.com . About Cloud Conventions Cloud Conventions is a Virtual Trade Show and Conference Platform from Convey Services that brings new capabilities to a marketplace looking for solutions to replace the thousands of live trade shows, annual conferences and association meetings cancelled in the wake of COVID-19. Originally launched as ConveyLive, Cloud Conventions automates exhibitors and virtual booths, attendee registration, speaker sessions and reminders, invitations and email communication, while at the same time producing detailed analytics on attendee, session and exhibitor activity. Trade Associations and event managers can explore all of the Cloud Conventions solutions by visiting https://cloudconventions.com or contacting info@cloudconventions.com or call 888-975-1382. Cloud Conventions™, Conduct™, One-Touch Email Share™ and ListLock™ are trademarks of Convey Services LLC Contact Details Bruce Ahern +1 770-580-0810 bahern@conveyservices.com Company Website https://cloudconventions.com

August 03, 2020 02:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Minuteman Press International CEO Bob Titus Inducted into Printing Impressions - RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2020

Minuteman Press International

In 1973, Bob Titus founded Minuteman Press with his father Roy. What started as one quick printing center in Plainview, Long Island, has grown into nearly 1,000 Minuteman Press franchises across five countries today. After 47 years of hard work and dedication to the printing industry and Minuteman Press franchisees, Titus, who remains CEO of Minuteman Press International, has been inducted into the Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2020. In the feature article published by Printing Impressions , Bob Titus remains humble and gives credit to everyone who helped make the Minuteman Press franchise system a success. He is quoted as saying, “I’ve been in this industry a long time, but if we didn’t have the staff and the franchise owners that we have, we wouldn’t be talking. They all made this happen. It’s our ideas and our system, and we guide them and push them through it, but it’s them being receptive to what we suggest and how they run their businesses that makes this a success.” The article chronicles the entire journey of Bob Titus as the leader of Minuteman Press International with one common thread that is readily apparent after all this time: No matter how much the business has grown, it remains a family business with strong core values. Many of Bob’s friends who helped Minuteman Press get off the ground remain an integral part of the team today, and his son Nick Titus is now the Company’s third-generation President. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bob’s guidance as CEO and Nick’s leadership as President has allowed Minuteman Press International to continue to adapt and support its franchisees worldwide. For example, they have introduced a free Bounce Back initiative in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and South Africa that provides local businesses with free listings and free COVID-19 awareness posters. They also quickly and efficiently transitioned their training program to Zoom to allow for virtual training as needed. In the article, Bob reflects on his career and his 2020 Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame induction, concluding, “I’m proud of our store owners and our staff — they make us what we are. It’s not one person making this happen, it’s the whole team working together.” To read the full story on Bob Titus’ induction into the 2020 Printing Impressions - RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame Class, visit https://www.piworld.com/article/hall-fame-inductee-bob-titus . For more information on #1 rated Minuteman Press marketing and printing franchise opportunities, visit https://minutemanpressfranchise.com . Contact Details Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

August 03, 2020 09:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Government Marketing University 2020 GAIN Conference Goes Virtual

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Government Marketing University (GMarkU) today announced the opening of registration for the 2020 GAIN Conference, the world's largest gathering of government marketers. This year marks the conference’s fifth event and first virtual event, which will take the form of four, two-hour modules on November 10, 12, 17 and 19. “We have designed this year’s GAIN Conference to be virtual, interactive and modular especially for busy government marketers marketing and selling to the U.S. Public Sector," said Lou Anne Brossman, Government Marketing University founder and government marketing expert. "GAIN 2020 offers a rare chance for rising and seasoned government marketers to tackle the uncertainty and seize the opportunities ahead through active knowledge sharing." Federal and state and local government marketers, and students are all invited to attend and industry vendors are welcomed as sponsors. Each day is dedicated to a respective GMarkU tenet: growth, acceleration, innovation, and networking with government influencers and buyers. Special early-bird pricing is available through August 31 for industry ($195), government ($95) and free for students (with valid ID). Modular Virtual Format Features Esteemed Speakers, Interactive Panels and Training Workshops Highlights of this year’s event includes keynote sessions from esteemed industry speakers, interactive panel discussions with recognized experts and critical stakeholders in the government marketing community, training workshops and thought leadership. A detailed breakdown of the schedule is available below and online. GROW | Tuesday, November 10th | 10:00 a.m. thru noon EST Adam Vasquez, Market Inventor & Author of Toothfish, will share commentary on a new marketing model called, “Market Invention,” how it works, and real-life government case studies. GAINERs will walk away with knowledge about how to become a market leader, and why sales and marketing tactics alone are not enough. Vasquez will also explain how to shift the market to your favor, with a hopeful reminder that all market leaders began in last place. ACCELERATE | Thursday, November 12th | 1:00 p.m. thru 3:00 p.m. EST Tom Deierlein, Co-Founder & CEO, ThunderCat Technology and Industry Influencer will share insights and lessons learned from being in combat, and applied to his career in marketing, advertising research, and B2G Sales. GAINERs will learn from this seasoned government marketer as you build your FY 2021 marketing plans. INNOVATE | Tuesday, November 17th | 10:00 a.m. thru 12:30 p.m. EST (GAINER Awards) This session will feature an exciting guest speaker (to be announced) who will discuss the evolution of targeting and reaching the “new normal” government remote workforce. NETWORK | Thursday, November 19th | 1 p.m. thru 3 p.m. EST Emily Harman, Former Senior Executive Service and Director of the Department of the Navy’s Office of Small Business Programs, will discuss three key lessons learned from her 38-year career in the Navy, and how to translate your personal life experiences into authentic examples to grow your professional and personal network. Attendees (dubbed “GAINERs”) have access to all GAIN 2020 learning sessions over four days along with On Demand viewing options, Q&A opportunities with influential speakers, access to an interactive pre-GAIN 2020 community lounges, GAINER VIP “private” Facebook page (coming August 1st) and actionable templates and marketing resources exclusively available for GAIN 2020 attendees. Attendees who complete all sessions will receive a copy of Toothfish, and an official training certificate. For more information or to register, visit: https://thegainconference.com ### About Government Marketing University Government Marketing University ( https://www.gmarku.com/ ) is an innovative learning platform that applies a collaborative, community-based approach toward knowledge sharing and skills development in the field of public sector marketing. Experts from all corners of the U.S. public sector marketplace — marketers, thought leaders, government, media and sales — are contributing their knowledge to this unique, content-rich platform. Government Marketing University offers training, research, certifications, mentoring, and community resources all in one place. Contact Details Duyen "Jen" Truong, Sage Communications (for Government Marketing University) +1 703-684-5645 dtruong@aboutsage.com Company Website https://thegainconference.com

August 03, 2020 08:04 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Cloud Conventions Publishes Virtual Event Playbook Series

Convey Services

Cloud Conventions , a full featured virtual tradeshow and event technology solution today released the first in a series of eBooks entitled “ How to Plan, Promote, & Deliver the Perfect Virtual Event ” available for free online. If a tradeshow or association meeting is ‘going virtual’ for the first time to replace or enhance a live event, this eBook provides tips, hints and insight to help execute a successful show. It outlines virtual event strategies, provides successful real-life examples and details how technology can automate the process. Cloud Conventions is one of the hottest new virtual event SaaS platforms from Convey Services . “Planning, promoting and managing attendees are still critical elements in making any event successful, but for a virtual event you have to think outside the box to create an environment that captures attention while enriching your audience,” said Carolyn Bradfield , founder of Convey. “If you design your virtual event with back-to-back, hour-long webinars, or content that is not engaging, you will discover that attendees will quietly turn you off. Virtual events may be easier to attend than physical ones, but they still require a well thought out strategy, a solid platform and detailed project plan.” Virtual events have emerged as a more than viable alternative to live events because they can be executed and attended without the expense or risk of travel. Tradeshow operators, event managers and associations that depend on event revenue can keep that money flowing regardless of any disruption to travel. “ How to Plan, Promote, & Deliver the Perfect Virtual Event ” will help you organize and execute a virtual show, engage attendees and ensure exhibitors and sponsors have a strong ROI. “Memorable virtual events provide interactive experiences for attendees with opportunities to connect and network, get prizes and giveaways, express their opinion, interact with vendors, and consume content live or on demand,” added Bradfield. “You may not be able to completely replace the parties or entertainment an attendee experiences at a live event, but you can create new ways of making the attendee an integral part of your virtual event. Virtual Swag, virtual cocktail receptions and even virtual wine tastings with a live sommelier are just a few ideas that create a personal experience for everyone that attends.” For more ideas and additional eBooks on how to make a virtual event both informative and engaging, visit the Online Resource Center at CloudConventions.com . About Cloud Conventions Cloud Conventions is a Virtual Trade Show and Conference Platform from Convey Services that brings new capabilities to a marketplace looking for solutions to replace the thousands of live trade shows, annual conferences and association meetings cancelled in the wake of COVID-19. Originally launched as ConveyLive, Cloud Conventions automates exhibitors and virtual booths, attendee registration, speaker sessions and reminders, invitations and email communication, while at the same time producing detailed analytics on attendee, session and exhibitor activity. Trade Associations and event managers can explore all of the Cloud Conventions solutions by visiting https://cloudconventions.com or contacting info@cloudconventions.com or call 888-975-1382. Cloud Conventions™, Conduct™ and ListLock™ are trademarks of Convey Services LLC Contact Details Bruce Ahern +1 770-580-0810 bahern@conveyservices.com Company Website https://cloudconventions.com

July 31, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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James Crean Discusses The Future of U.S. Manufacturing

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On the podcast In House Warrior , James Crean, President & Co-Founder of Crean Inc., discusses how the coronavirus pandemic has shed light on a need for local manufacturing. If Amazon and the pandemic have taught American manufacturers anything, it is that “just-in-time” has major gaps. Cheaper labor in other markets turns out not to be cheaper when you consider the costs of shipping, the need for speed, and the impact that AI can have on efficiency. Are we at a new dawn for American manufacturing? Listen to the full episode here: "U.S. Manufacturing Set to Rise Again with James Crean" OR read the episode transcript below. In House Warrior Podcast with James Crean and Ian Lipner Welcome to the Corporate Counsel Business Journal's daily podcast, In House Warrior, with host Richard Levick, Chairman of LEVICK, a global crisis and litigation communications firm. Richard Levick: Good day and welcome to In House Warrior , the daily podcast of the Corporate Counsel Business Journal. I'm Richard Levick. With me today is James Crean, who is the president of Crean Incorporated, which consults to companies with hands-on engineering and smart factory technology to provide and help companies make the digital transformation. James, welcome to the show. James Crean: Thanks for having me Richard. I'm looking forward to it. Levick: It's great to see you. Also, with me is Ian Lipner, a senior executive with LEVICK. Ian, always great to see you. Ian Lipner: Thanks for having me, I love talking with you. Levick: Great. We'll be doing the reviews tomorrow morning, so thank you so much for those kind words. James, if you would, give us a little background about Crean and the work that you do in the manufacturing sector. Crean: Crean came out of the aerospace industry. We have over 500 engineers on our team that provide hands on engineering and smart factory transformation services to forward-looking companies who understand that smart factory technology and those methods are essential to the future survival within this competitive market. Levick: What are some examples of the kind of before and after photos, if you will, of the work that you do and the success that you have? Crean: We work with a lot of companies that do discrete manufacturing. In other words, it's not a bottling company that's doing the same things continuously, but rather might be producing a variety of different parts and different items that they deliver to their customer. We've worked with companies where they're delivering advanced electronics and we go through and we first start by understanding their business in detail, which is an essential element and then work with them to identify where there are opportunities for improvement and create efficiencies. The way we do that is, we use a variety of different tools and methods that are somewhat standard in the industry and others are smart factory technologies that bring data to the decision makers in new ways that allow them to be able to see what's going on in their operation. Then are advancing artificial intelligence capabilities with that data to be able to now analyze and provide insights that are often very difficult to derive from the data, otherwise. Levick: James, we had a conversation about a year ago and you said something then that really struck me. You said, "There's a mythology, if you will, that American manufacturing can no longer be profitable in the global environment, but that if you continue to evolve, in fact, the Delta is actually much different. That using artificial intelligence innovating constantly that American manufacturing, in fact, can be far more competitive on a global basis." Crean: Absolutely Richard you're absolutely right. I mean, too many companies assume that in order to produce products cost effectively, they have to go overseas. The reality is that, yes, China labor rates are normally five to six times cheaper in most cases to U.S. labor rates, but U.S. workers are also eight times more efficient than overseas workers and you use that to your advantage. The other obvious thing is that, you've got a much smaller and shorter supply chain. So, when you use those to your advantage, you're able to produce product faster, you're able to produce product at a lower cost. When you couple that with the advancing smart factory technology that is continuing to advance every single day, we're continuously bringing on new capabilities into the offerings that we bring to our clients, that is game changing. It's really hard to underemphasize how important that is for the future of American manufacturing, Richard. I mean, the benefits that, that can bring are so significant and so quick, when you're looking at the right information as your products are being processed through the factory, Levick: James, and I know Ian has got a question for you, but one last one before I turn it over to him, and that is, do you think the general councils and other senior executives even get to the conversation to do the math, to see a manufacturer in the United States as an option? Or for many companies has that horse already left the barn? Crean: Well, I think it depends, to be honest with you. I mean, we definitely have had conversations with people that help companies sell on Amazon for instance. So they enable companies to sell on Amazon. Their experiences is that, those companies typically just assume that they have to do their manufacturing in China in order for that to be cost effective and for them to be able to compete. What we've found is that, that companies that spend the time to really work through that and develop a very... do have to develop an efficient production operation in order to compete effectively. But there's no question about it, the benefits of that are enormous. The future is continuing to evolve every day. What we see is that the future of products, product delivery to customers is customized products. So, if you want to deliver a customized product on Amazon time, you can't produce it and then spend a week, even by air, getting it to be delivered from China, through customs and through all of the different steps that it has to go through. So if you want to deliver a customized product on Amazon time, it has to be produced locally. So you might as well start today in thinking about, how do I produce maybe a product that's not customized currently, but be prepared for the future. Be able to customize that product, produce it today, do it efficiently and effectively, implement smart factory technologies that allow you to do that and compete globally like nobody else can, you just made a current product and then you're positioned to be really agile for the future, as your customer starts demanding more and more customization. Levick: Ian, I know you have a whole lot of questions about horses and barns, so I'll turn it over to you. Lipner: Well, we won't let any leave out early. In that regard, a lot of times what we see when we... I work a lot in technology, we see a trade off between cost and capability, but it seems to me that we have an interesting thing here, where perhaps as you said, in the market, like in China, where they're not as sensitive to the cost of one extra labor, they're not necessarily incentivized to innovate along the lines of the efficiencies that American businesses are. So does America kind of have a lead right now, or at least the opportunity for one, when it comes to using AI for manufacturing? Crean : Absolutely. We have the opportunity. Do we have the lead? I think that's probably up to debate. I would say that Germany is one of the world leaders in smart factory technology, and China is not ignoring that. They definitely are focused on implementation of AI and those kinds of technologies, not necessarily as much in manufacturing. In the U.S., where you are implementing AI in a variety of different ways. Again, not as much in manufacturing as in other areas, we've been just focusing on manufacturing and engineering. So that digital thread that runs from the people doing product development and engineering all the way into production, and then through to the customer and the supplier. A simple way of thinking about this is, if you think about a Domino's, you go online, you order Domino's, you use the Domino's pizza tracker and it shows you, you've placed your order and it shows you each of the process steps as you go through the process of making the pizza, putting it in the oven, cooking the pizza, boxing it, getting it to the delivery person, and then getting it to your home. You as a customer, have visibility into that full process. Well, think about the possibilities when you're tracking your production, tracking the data, the assets that are going through the working process, as it's going through your production, to be able to provide that kind of visibility to your customer, Domino's is out in front in that. Now think about that when you have a much more complex product and being able to provide that kind of visibility to your customer, that's the future. That asset tracking, that we often talk about in our company and the technology that we we bring to our clients, is a critical element. Because as you track it, Domino's is collecting data, they can see how long does it take to make every one of their pizzas, how long does it take to cook it, how long does it take to deliver it. They're collecting data and they're continuously improving their operation, while at the same time, delivering visibility to their customer. It's phenomenal. Lipner: You know you're making me a little hungry. You mentioned pizza delivery, I'm thinking of, "Wow, that's an industry that had to pivot very quickly." It seems to me that efficiency isn't the only benefit here from the smart technology, it's not just price, it's also the ability to kind of change things up pretty quick. Crean: Well, no, that's true. That smart factory capability is, to us, it's really highlighted in this COVID environment, because those companies that have been able to pivot quickly and produce new products and some from scratch. Some saying, "Oh, I have to go find sources of supply and then I have to design the product and then I have to produce the product and then I have to deliver it." We've worked with so many different companies and small companies that said, "Oh, hey, we do 3D printing. We can start printing visors for the frontline workers in healthcare and in other industries." They started 3D printing, because they had that 3D printing, which is one of those smart factory technologies, but because they had that 3D printing technology and they had the engineering capability and whatever else that was necessary. They were able to quickly pivot and start delivering product that they never perused before. That kind of flexibility to pivot, is phenomenal. We've done it in our own company. I mean, one of the key technologies that we implement is, tracking assets, tracking work in process through the operation, just like a pizza going through the build process and delivery process. We track manufactured items, whether it's for airplanes or cars, or what have you, and collect that data. From that data, we help to optimize that operation using digital analytics. Well, similarly, we've taken that technology and said, we can use that advanced tracking technology in COVID tracking within companies and we can be able to tell a company if somebody has come down with COVID, who has been within six feet of that person and how long they've been within six feet of that person, for instance, in order to be able to help them to keep their folks safe. So pivoting is essential and that digitally enabled enterprise helps to deliver on that pivot quickly. Lipner: It occurs to me that, we're going to keep having to pivot with the way everything is going and we don't know what will happen in the next election and so on and so forth. What kinds of opportunities do you see ahead for manufacturers? How does our ability to achieve higher levels of automation, position those who are embracing the American smart factory to compete? Crean: Well, I think that the political environment on both sides of the aisle is very ripe for a renaissance in United States manufacturing, there's no doubt. I was listening to all of the candidates, that the COVID crisis has made it very clear to anybody that's paying any kind attention, even the politicians, if you will, that the COVID crisis has created an opportunity to see the dependence on foreign manufacturing can be a really critical national security issue. That's, when it comes to pharmaceuticals, when it comes to even the... What we would have otherwise considered a relatively low cost by a high production rate item, like the different items for personal protection equipment, and gowns and masks and booties and everything else that the medical folks need. If we have to have local manufacturing, we have to have U.S. manufacturing, and that's become very clear, obviously, from this COVID crisis. Levick: James, I think if anything what COVID has taught us, is that all of your early applause rounds for just-in-time manufacturing is getting a big rethink these days. Crean: Yeah. It's interesting. Like I had said, we utilize industry standard methodologies, as well as smart factory methodologies. One of those standard methods is lean, which part of that is just-in-time manufacturing. But we've never actually been big believers in just-in-time. What you actually want to focus on, is how fast can you deliver something? How fast can you manufacture it? Because delivering faster allows you to be able to meet that demand. Designing a system that's able to scale up and down as necessary with customer demand, that allows you to be responsive and agile. Designing a system that allows you to produce many different products rather than a single product, allows you to be more agile and be able to do it quickly. Our focus is on speed, because if you can deliver fast with those same resources, you're delivering cheaper. In order to deliver fast, you have to have quality built in all the way through that process, because you cannot deliver fast and rework stuff as it gets made. So our focus is speed. Speed is more important than a lot of these sort of commitments to just-in-time and some of those things that have been critical too, in the '80s and '90s. But, just-in-time, has its time and place, but not in everything that you do. Levick: James, in a minute or so, we have left, what's the key take away you want to leave for general councils and other executives listening to the show? Crean: Well, I think it's essential that that companies recognize that COVID has clearly shown some new and different types of risks that need to be managed within the enterprise, within the supply chain, in the way that companies need to be agile, to be able to respond quickly to the types of reactions that can happen within the marketplace. It's taught us a lot of lessons. I think the valuable thing that we can take away from this, despite all of the pain and suffering that we all had to witness is that, our organizations need to focus on being agile and using smart factory technologies. Those types of things can really help us to be the agile companies and the agile economy that we need to be, in order to be strong going forward. It's shown there's a great opportunity for manufacturing in the United States and we're very, very excited to help companies to do that. We're doing that every day and it's really heartwarming to have that opportunity to work with entrepreneurs and larger companies to bring manufacturing jobs home, to the United States. Levick: James, what a great point to end on. Thank you so much James Crean, of Crean Incorporated. Ian Lipner, thank you so much for joining me today. This is Richard Levick with In House Warrior, the daily podcast, the Corporate Counsel Business Journal. Thank you for joining and we'll see you tomorrow. You've been listening to the Corporate Counsel Business Journal's daily podcast, In House Warrior, with host Richard Levick. Crean Inc. provides services to industries looking to be at the cutting edge of innovation. By combining engineering talent from the aerospace industry with leading Smart Factory specialists, they help their clients develop systems from ideas to full-scale production. Crean understands the challenges of modern-day manufacturing supply chains and the pressure to deliver products quickly. Standards and production processes are constantly changing, and Crean helps manufacturing operations to implement Smart Factory methods and technologies that will outperform all competition and help companies adapt to these changes and remain competitive in the U.S. market. Contact Details Maria Stagliano +1 404-245-0899 mstagliano@levick.com Company Website https://www.creaninc.com/

July 30, 2020 03:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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