Exhibit City News 25th Anniversary Edition

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beXtreme™ Bigger plans require longer spans, and that’s exactly what our new Xtreme™ solutions provide. Featuring new products like our beTruss™ and Double Deck, Xtreme™ enables a higher load capacity, and higher level of style and scale for your designs. Our Xtreme™ solution integrates with our entire b62® frame system, and accepts both rigid, or SEG textile graphics. beTruss™ allows you to carry heavier loads, and make longer spans with fewer columns, creating impressive structures of any size. Our Double Deck allows you to add needed square footage to your design without the added cost of additional floor space. Be anything, be Xtreme™ with our all new beTruss™ and Double Deck. The industry demanded higher plans and larger spans, so beMatrix® developed our Xtreme™ solution. Integrating completely with the b62® frame system and accepting both hard panel and fabric infills, the Xtreme™ solution gives you even more possibilities to create your design.

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To Don and everyone at Exhibit City News, congratulations on 25 years of success. And from one innovator to another, thank you for all you have done to move our industry forward. Here’s to 25 more. beMatrix® USA ISSUU_Singles_Covers_ECN25.indd 2

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I’ve had the privilege of knowing Don Svehla for over 25 years, as a young man working on the docks of McCormick Place; looking for his place in our great industry. Don had a vision and was committed to becoming the voice and communication for all involved in the tradeshow and exhibition industry. Congratulations Don and Exhibit City News for a Successful 20 Years.”

In our world if you’re not evolving, you’re not relevant, and Exhibit City News has consistently evolved to meet the needs of our industry. It’s incredible to think that in 1994 this 8-page newsletter would grow into the indispensable multi-media enterprise that it is today. This growth is a testament to the hard work that has made Exhibit City News such a key resource for our industry. Congratulations and thank you to Exhibit City News for your 25 years of excellent work covering our industry. You have made our industry better, more informed and successful.”

Congratulations to Don and the Exhibit City News team for 25 years of covering all the news in our industry. News that speaks to everyone in our industry, regardless of what you do and who you do it for. When we want to see what’s going on in the world of tradeshows and events, we turn to Exhibit City News. On to the next 25!”

Dan Cantor CEO, Hamilton Exhibits

Werner J. Koos CEO and owner, CEP – Chicago Exhibit Productions, Inc.

Robert Laarhoven President, beMatrix USA


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

One of the true pillars of our industry and as strong as ever! Congratulations on 25 years to Don and the entire team at ECN. Quality reporting combined with a passion for this unique market segment have kept this publication relevant throughout. We continue to connect with our clients as a direct result of remaining informed of pain points and industry trends from ECN issues. ECN continues to weave our story in a thoughtful and intelligent way.”

Exhibit City News has been a great friend to the tradeshow and convention industry in Las Vegas for years. Don’s insight and knowledge of our industry has made this publication one of the most important publications for our industry. Congratulations Don and company on 25 fantastic years.”

Congratulations to Don Svehla and the entire team at Exhibit City News on your 25th anniversary! You have come a long way from a newsletter in Chicago to the fantastic global magazine and online news source that you are today. ECN covers all levels of the tradeshow industry, from breaking news on the tradeshow floor to the latest events, keeping up-todate with people on the move, and more. You have become the voice for this industry and go-to worldwide source for tradeshow news—in print, online and even via podcast! We look forward to your continued growth and next major milestone.”

Joe Castellano President and CEO, Color Reflections

Joe Martillaro CEO, Superior Logistics

Rob Wilson CEO, Employco The Wilson Companies


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Twenty five years ~

congratulations! What a milestone in a time of such dramatic change in media with the digital evolution. For me, ECN has always been a great source of industry information. It’s filled with industry leaders’ insights, new technology highlights and great features showcasing some of best projects, places and of course, people. Like every other business, ECN has changed with the times yet has remained ahead of the curve in delivering what we need to know, when we need it and how we want it. Whether on my desk or phone, ECN is always there. Don, I have always valued our relationship. You have been good to both me and On Location. Congrats to you and your team!”

I met Don Svehla 22 years ago in Chicago at the organizational meeting that served as the launch of the new Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association (EACA). Don was a founding member of the association, and he has spent countless hours helping it grow and prosper. His passion for the organizations and workers of the trade event industry that provide show floor services is unrivaled. ECN’s vision of creating a communication tool that reaches our community and highlights the great work that is accomplished on show floors across the nation has had a major impact on the growth and success of countless members of the industry. On behalf of your friends at Renaissance Management Inc., congratulations to Don, and the entire staff at ECN, for reaching the milestone of 25 years of service to the industry.”

ECN continues to serve as the heartbeat of the industry delivering touching and informative insights that unify and mobilize the B2B marketplace.”

Shawn Garrity CEO, Circle TPR

Michael Mulry General manager, On Location Steve Johnson CEO, Renaissance Management


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

ECN is THE source for news stories that impact our industry. We consider ECN a valuable partner as we continue to grow within the Las Vegas market.”

Congratulations Exhibit City News on your 25th Anniversary. Don has created a legacy for himself and Exhibit City News in our industry. With his dedication and passion, Don covers all aspects of our industry from the exhibit builders, transportation, budgeting, venues, vendors and tradeshows to the actual exhibitors and organizers. It is exciting to see that after 25 years, Don continues to provide valuable information and news to the entire industry that is both worthy to read and interesting to repeat.”

Brad Hayes President, TLS Productions

Congratulations to Don and the entire team at Exhibit City News. It seems like yesterday when both our organizations were celebrating 20 years in business. ECN has captured the news and stories that have shaped our industry for the past quarter century. Bravo!”

Michael McMahon President and CEO, Hill and Partners

Stephen Barry CEO TWI Group


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DEPARTMENTS Editor-in-Chief’s Corner 14 Publisher’s Notes 12 & 16

L-R: Jeanne Brei, Cynthya Porter and Andy Taylor

Advertisers Index 241 Sponsors Thank You 240

SECTION 2 STAFF & COLUMNISTS Meet The Staff (Past & Present) 48 & 50 As The Saws Turn 54 Andy’s Apps 55 Ask An Expert 56 The Digital Frontier 57 The International Man 58 L-R: Tom Gattuso, SEMA; Heather Ireland, mdg; Jay Burress, Visit Anaheim

SECTION 1 ASSOCIATIONS Behind the Acronyms (An A-Z Primer) 20 Letters From Industry Associations 24 EDPA Celebrates 60+ Years of Advocacy & Growth 36 The EDPA Foundation Helps Those in Need 38 The Randy Turns 25 40 Randy Recipients 1994-2019 44 Global Exhibition Day Unites Industry 46


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International Focus 59 AIPC 60 The Don & Mike Show 61 The Rigging World 62 The Green Piece 64 The Digital Experience 65 Pat Friedlander 66 The Power People 67 Where in the World 68 View From The Show Floor 69 Employment Strategy Corner 69


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Spazzmatics at ExhibitorParty 2018

Detroit’s TCF Center


Best Ops Team ACEs Renaissance Mgmt. LV; L-R: Bill Muller, Jim Martin, Rich Johnson, Ben Buranek & Bernie Boyd


CEP 84

SECTION 5 PEOPLE Quotes From Industry Leaders 178

Color Reflections 96

Top Designers: Then and Now 180

beMatrix 130

Trailblazers of Yesteryear: Fred Kitzing 184

Superior Logistics 138

Trail Magic & Tradeshow Thought Leaders 188

Hamilton Exhibits 146

SECTION 6 LOOKING FORWARD Quotes From Industry Leaders 216 Trends Expected to Shape the Future of Tradeshows 218 NAB Show Cares: Transforming the Industry? 223 The Battle for the Las Vegas Tradeshow Industry 226 Strides in Sustainability 230

Q&A with IUPAT’s Big Al Lichtman 192

Arthur Bloberger & Jeanne Brei with ship captain

Q&A with Teamster Michael Martinez 193 Chicago’s McCormick Place

SECTION 4 CONVENTION CENTERS & TRADESHOWS Quotes From Industry Leaders 160 Top 10 U.S. Convention Centers 162 Top 20 Largest Convention Centers Worldwide 174 10 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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Q&A with Carpenter’s Kevin McLaughlin 194 Q&A with IATSE’s John Gorey 195 Q&A with Teamster Mike Robertson 196 Q&A with EACA’s Jim Wurm 197 The 2019 ACE Award Winners 198 Father Knows Best 209

SECTION 7 IN MEMORIAM 1994-2020 232


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Congratulations on 25 years of history, accomplishments and hard work making Exhibit City News what it is today. Here’s to the next chapter!

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PUBLISHER’S NOTES PUBLISHER Donald V. Svehla Jr. (702) 309-8023 ext. 102 DonS@ExhibitCityNews.com


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeanne Brei (702) 309-8023 ext. 103 JeanneB@ExhibitCityNews.com ART DIRECTOR Thomas Speak Tom@Speak-Design.com


MANAGING EDITOR Lisa Abrams LisaA@ExhibitCityNews.com WEB NEWS EDITOR Ray Smith (702) 309-8023 ext. 104 RayS@ExhibitCityNews.com FEATURE WRITERS/EDITORS F. Andrew Taylor & Kerstan Szczepanski (702) 309-8023 ext. 105 FAndrewT@ExhibitCityNews.com & KSzczepanski@ExhibitCityNews.com

25 years is a decent “chunk” of time!


t has been (and continues to be) a privilege to cover the news and happenings in the tradeshow and exhibit world. A quick shoutout to all the lifers out there... and to the many companies, associations, and people that we have worked with for this full quarter century. In many instances, our success and longevity parallels yours! For those of you that don’t know...or for the newly-aged group with dusty memories: My start in the business goes back 41 years to Cicero, Ill.-based McCormick Display. Working the night shift loading trucks for the Housewares show.

Where have all these years gone?

It is my hope that this book will chronicalize this exciting chunk of time. Perhaps serving as proof, many years from now...that this industry existed...that WE existed! Never, before or after, has/will the world witnessed the massive growth and expansion our industry experienced here in

North America. The rapid growth of square footage across the nation spurred on the growth of organizers, airports, hotels.... and the many builder designers, general contractors...and specialized vendors... to quench the thirst of the empty cement show floors across the nation. A special thank you to our editorial team and support staff for the countless hours and all-nighters. Your efforts bear bountiful fruit! My hope is that the newcomers enjoy this compilation as much as the many of us that read our living history in each turn of the page! May we all continue to work together for many years to come...for as they say... ANNIVERSARY EDITION


COLUMNISTS Calanit Atia Amadeus Finlay Andrew Fulton Larry Kulchawik Jim Obermeyer Cynthya Porter CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Aloysius Arlando Vince Battaglia Tommy Blitsch Rachel Christansen David Cizmar Pat Friedlander Lesley Martin Mike Morrison Kristan Obeng Julie Pazina Kelli Steckbauer Doug Stevenson H.K. Wilson NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Roxanne Tomko Christy DiGiambattista (702) 309-8023 ext. 107 & 111 RoxanneT@exhibitcitynews.com ChristyD@exhibitcitynews.com CIRCULATION Manny Chico & Mike Morrison

– Don Svehla, Publisher/Founder, Exhibit City News 12 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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ECN 25th Anniversary issue, copyright 2020 by EXHIBIT CITY NEWS, published in March 2020 by Mr. Tradeshow Communications, LLC, 1675 E. Desert Inn Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89169. Editorial views presented within this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher and no liability is inherent. To subscribe, go to ExhibitCityNews.com or call (702) 309-8023. Reproduction/reuse of this material may only be permitted with expressed permission of Exhibit City News. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to location listed above.


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he challenge of bringing to life the dreams and visions of “another-great-idea-every-minute” publisher Don Svehla is truly a full-time occupation! It began when I first started writing for the magazine back in 2016 and Don wanted a regular feature that would honor the I&D segment of the industry for our Shop to Showfloor section, and the Wow Booth! column (p. 78, 102, 114, 120 & 126) was born. After I became editor-in-chief, I was tasked with creating a cover story about family businesses who are passing the torch (p. 209); stories that would be educational and talk about the trailblazers and history of the industry (p. 185); and stories that would not just cover the industry but lead the charge when change needs to be made—first in regards to material handling costs (p. 224) and then when the Nevada Dept. of Building Codes decided to take aim at the tradeshow industry. ECN attended all four public meetings and reported on them extensively (p. 226). At press time, Tommy Blitsch from Teamsters Local 631 has met with all the country commissioners and he, along with reps from Freeman, GES, the LVCVA and others, continue to press for full exemption from these industry-killing regulations. And Don’s dreams just kept getting bigger and bigger. Two years ago, he joined forces with Mike Morrison to create one of the most listened-to podcasts in the tradeshow industry—The Don & Mike Show (p. 61) and I’m happy to provide just a couple of minutes of our weekly newsblast headlines for the podcast each week. Last year we took a dream he’d had for 20 years and produced the first annual


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ECN I&D ACE awards show at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas last February (p. 198). We’re accepting nominations and submissions now for the second annual ACE awards—as we are planning where and when the awards will be this year. Chicago? Atlanta? Send in your submissions and we’ll let you know when the selections have been made. And now, we come to this extravaganza of a 25th anniversary keepsake issue. Don’s dream is that this issue be something that not only longtime industry veterans will cherish but that it will also be given to newcomers to the industry so they will have a better understanding of its history and its trailblazers, its movers and shakers of today, and a peek at where it might be heading in the future (p. 218). He always wants to honor those who have come before and left their mark and, in our continuing efforts to honor this “family” of an industry, we devote several pages to tradeshow industry associations including the EDPA (p. 36), the Randy (p. 40), and those who we hold in our hearts as they have passed on (p. 234). We hope you enjoy the 25-year-timeline of how the industry has grown and changed as well as features on our columnists (past and present), industry associations and convention centers. We want to send a very big thank you to all of our sponsors and advertisers and supporters of Don’s great ideas! ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Editor-in-chief, Exhibit City News


Top right photo by Allison Earnest

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Sitting in first office in the spare bedroom of the house where he grew up in Evergreen Park, Ill.



ven though Exhibit City News has been published for 25 years running...the journey began nearly 15 years prior, at age 15, when I entered the tradeshow industry. True still to this day, most people have a unique story about “How they entered the tradeshow industry.”

My Entry Into The Tradeshow Industry

Not many people enter a new profession with their father. Such was the case in 1979 for Don Sr., and Don Jr. My family had a hardware/building supply store on Chicago’s South Side. I was a freshman in high school while working there afternoons and weekends. My father also bought and sold equipment and surplus products. After reading an ad in the Chicago Tribune advertising surplus hardware for sale...the connection to Dick & Jane Beck and McCormick Display began. Soon after our adventure in purchasing and removing a couple of trailer loads of product from the Hardware Show at McCormick Place, it was announced that the owners of McCormick Display were getting divorced. 16 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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My dad hired Jane as office manager at Don’s Hardware and Supply. As a mother of three children in addition to working 40-plus hours a week building McCormick Display, Jane needed the job more to keep her mind off divorce proceedings. Roughly a week before the divorce was to become final...Dick Beck passed away while on a fishing vacation in Canada. Jane went from getting a settlement in the divorce to owning the entire company. My dad bought into the company and phased out the hardware business. I immediately began working the nightshift pre-tripping exhibits and loading trailers for the upcoming Housewares Show on 18th and 54th Ave., Cicero, Ill., at $5 per hour...working seven hours...getting paid for eight!

Seeing The World As A Labor Supervisor

Traveling, especially at an early age, can really shape one’s perspective on a lot of things. Dow Chemical’s third and smallest division—agriculture—was the client I was charged with servicing. Doing so had me traveling close to 35 weeks out of the year. During that time I worked in just about every convention city imaginable. I special-

ized in 10x10s up to 20x20s. Leaving a lot of time to explore the different cities...and what they had to offer!

The Birth of Exhibit City News

I had already been working in the tradeshow industry for 15 years by the time the first ECN issue came out. This includes part-time and summers while going through high school (I graduated in 3.5 years) and closer to full-time as I joined the Carpenters Union Local 10 and paid my way through college. The origin of ECN was to provide critical information needed to make a living working on the show floor, help provide a safe work environment and pay tribute to all show floor professionals. Certain I&D companies had relationships with certain exhibit builders. If you didn’t have work on certain shows, you had better find work with another company, or you would not make your hours for health care and pension credit. With so many shows coming in from all spectrums of industry, with their accompanying acronyms...you didn’t know if they were a medical show, manufacturing, high tech or


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

what else. Not to mention what size the show was...or who was the general contractor?!

Source of Mr. Tradeshow Nickname Back 15-20 years ago, moving shows in and out was a longer process—heavier exhibits with more parts. After working six 12-hour days in a row to set up a major show, mostly everyone else would rest up while the show ran. I, however, had the privilege of working every day that the show ran. I was one of two assistant city managers for Giltspur Expo Services, collecting outbound shipping information and ensuring all clients stayed happy while the show ran. Working the show gave me extra time on the show floor talking to exhibitors— learning their products and services and what life-changing things are coming to market. It was someone on the convention center management staff who originally coined the nickname “Mr. Tradeshow.”

Highs And Lows of Covering Our Industry

I was honored to be a guest to many

convention center and tradeshow business openings; probably more grand openings than most mayors of major cities (no term limits being a publisher!) Also, through our work with industry associations, I have set foot on many foreign soils and witnessed firsthand the globalization of our industry. One example is three separate trips to Puerto Rico for the construction of their convention center. One for the groundbreaking ceremony, one for the topping off ceremony and one for the grand opening…Wow, do they know how to throw a party! The lows include many friends losing jobs during the two major downturns and having to re-navigate their careers.

What The Next 20 Years May Hold

I’d like to thank the thousands of talented, hard-working professionals who collectively make so many tradeshows and events come to life. Many of you I have known for 30-plus years and have followed your careers. I sincerely hope that our industry will be the source for exciting, well-paying careers for generations to come. ANNIVERSARY EDITION



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ASSOCIATIONS ESCA Summer Educational Conference 2019

EDPA NorCal Bo

ard of Directors

bus; Josh & Alex Nunez, Or L-RL Bill Roman Hill & , and Kevin Nute Wolfe, beMatrix; s game. or iat Av EDPA LV Partners enjoying

EDPA Midwest chapter honored with the Large Chapter of the Year for the sixth time


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EDPA SE Bowling champs: WS Display team: L-R: Shawn Dean, Mike Morrison, Mike Powers and Chris Morrison

ESCA Fly Fishing Excursion 2019


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PCMA EduCon 20

IFES World Summer 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey with 38 countries represented


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BEHIND THE ACRONYMS... by Kerstan Szczepanski

AWE - Association for Woman in Events ASAE - American Society of Association Executives

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 46,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Individual and organization memberships are available. For more info, visit www.asaecenter.org

AWE, the Association of Women in Events, was founded in 2015 by Carrie Abernathy, CMP, CEM, CSEP, Tamela Blalock, MBA, CAE, CMP, DES, Mas Tadesse, Mary Higham, CEM and Kiki J. Fox. Its mission is dedicated to the professional advancement of women in all facets of the events industry. AWE’s membership benefits include access to in-person events from Frankfurt, Germany, to Washington, D.C., USA, to Wellington, New Zealand, and members-only webinars, as well as an immediate coaching program, the membership directory, a Facebook group built with intentional discussion and connection, discounted rates from their sponsors and more than 40 volunteer and committee opportunities. Individual, faculty, student and lifetime memberships are available. For more info, visit www.womeninevents.org

CEMA – Corporate Event Marketing Association CEMA advances strategic event marketing and marketing communications for senior-level event marketers and industry professionals. As members of the Events Industry Council, their corporate membership continues to diversify. The focus on best practice sharing, knowledge sharing and building relationships, connections and lifelong industry friendships. CEMA members engage in educational and networking opportunities offered each month around the country. CEMA Study Tours are their most popular professional development opportunity, providing behind-the-scene knowledge sharing about industry events. For more info, visit www.cemaonline.com

AIPC - International Association of Convention Centres AIPC represents a global network of more than 190 leading centres in 64 countries with the active involvement of more than 1,000 management-level professionals worldwide. It is committed to encouraging and recognizing excellence in convention centre management, based on the diverse experience and expertise of its international representation, and maintains a variety of educational, research, networking and standards programs to achieve this. AIPC also celebrates and promotes the essential role of the international meetings industry in supporting economic, academic and professional development and enhancing global relations amongst highly diverse business and cultural interests. For more info, visit www.aipc.org


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CEIR - Center for Exhibition Industry Research Founded in 1978 as the Trade Show Bureau, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research provides industry-leading, objective research on the exhibitions and events industry. Its mission is creating awareness and the value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events. CEIR’s company page provides timely updates on new research and reports in the following categories: Attendee/Visitor Reports, Exhibitor Reports, Performance Metrics/Economic Impact Reports, Trend Reports and Industry Insights Reports. The center is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. CEIR Chairperson of the Board Carrie Ferenac is president of CNTV. For more info, visit www.ceir.org

EACA - Exhibit Appointed Contractor Association EACA represents and supports the interests of EACs and all other organizations that provide exhibit services. The association is currently comprised of more than 200 member companies representing more than 12,500 full-time tradeshow professionals, and more than 50,000 part-time tradeshow workers. The EACA Board is comprised of 12 EAC Directors, Executive Director Jim Wurm and Ex-Officio Director Don Svehla. It works openly with all other tradeshow industry stakeholders to affect positive change including HCEA, CEMA, EDPA, IAEE, SISO, ESCA, and IAVM and our union brethren. For more info, visit www.eaca.com


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

North America. In 2012, the association changed its name to the Event Service Professionals Association. Members are in service roles at CVBs, convention centers and hotels, and their programming includes an annual webinar series, conferencing, scholarships and mentor program. For more info, visit www.espaonline.org

CSA-LV - Convention Services Association of Las Vegas EDPA - Experiential Design and Producers Association

Founded in 1954, The Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) is recognized internationally and serves thousands of professional members representing more than 300 corporations across 18 countries. EDPA’s mission is committed to driving growth within the experiential, exhibit and event industry through Advocacy, Networking, Education and Good Works. The EDPA is the network for leaders in the customer experience industry. Its members combine marketing, design and production leadership to help organizations create effective face-to face customer experiences & environments for tradeshows, events, corporate environments, museums, retailers, education and entertainment. For more info, visit www.edpa.com

EIC - Events industry Council

Founded in 1949 as the Convention Liaison Committee, it has rebranded over the years as Convention Liaison Council, Convention Industry Council and, in 2017, as the Event Industry Council to fit its growing role as a global umbrella organization for all members and related segments. The Events Industry Council advances the events industry and the professionals who lead the business of meetings. It supports the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential. For more info, visit www. eventscouncil.org

CSA-LV is a non-profit, member-based networking organization that serves the convention, tradeshow and tourism industries in Las Vegas. The organization hosts monthly lunch & happy hour networking meetups, industry-specific updates and speaking engagements. CSA-LV members represent small business owners, hotels, restauranteurs, professional organizations and craft services. For more info, visit www.conventionservicesassociationlv.com

ESCA - Exhibition Service Contractors Association Founded in 1970 ESCA has provided a voice for service contractors and their partners in the exhibition industry. ESCA has more than 178 member companies throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico and promotes the entertainment industry with IAEE, TSEA and CEIR. For more info, visit www.esca.org

ESPA - Event Service Professionals Association

Founded in 1988 as ACOM, the Association for Convention Operations Management, the association has grown to nearly 520 event service professionals from across

ESSA - Event Supplier & Service Association (UK) Coming from a merger of BECA and AEC in 2007, ESSA is a trade body representing the suppliers of goods and services to the events industry, with a focus on health and safety, education, business development and shared best practice by providing annual independently audited accreditation. For more info, visit info@ essa.uk.com

HCEA - Healthcare Exhibitor Association Founded in 1930, HCEA is a non-profit organization that works with all conventions, meetings and exhibitions of the healthcare industry with effective, quality conventions and exhibitions. Its member services include an online member directory, directory of meetings, industry expert events and webinars, and a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Membership levels include associate, corporate and industry partner. For more info, visit www.hcea.org

IAAPA - International Association of Amusement Parks Founded over 100 years ago, the organization represents attractions throughout the world. Hosting global events, conferences and webinars as tools and resources EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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for members to share ideas and practices. Membership options include small and large attractions, manufacturer/supplier/ consultant, individual and student. For more info, visit www.iaapa.org

IELA - International Logistics Association IAEE - International Association Exhibitions & Events Founded in 1928 as the National Association of Exposition Managers, IAEE represents those directly involved in the planning, management and production of exhibitions and buyer-seller events and those who provide products and services to the industry. Their membership packages include Individual, Industry, Events Facility, Student, Faculty, Educational Institution and more. For more info, visit www.iaee.com

Founded in 1985 by Hans R. Brauchli, Peter Kuoni, Klaus Rauch, Steve Barry, Ernest Droessaert and Philip Powell, IELA is a world-wide network of contractors who provide movement of material to and from an exhibition site, as well as for contractors providing customs clearance, lifting, handling, trucking and storage services on-site. They provide industry standards and a database of membership, global import and customs regulations, and floorplans of venues across the world. For more info, visit www.iela.org

ILEA - International Live Events Association Founded as the International Special Events Society in 1987, ILEA provides a network of creative event professionals promoting professionalism, education, webinars, speaker database, CSEP certification and the industry’s Esprit Awards. For more info, visit www.ileahub.com

IMEX - Incentive Travel, Meetings, Events Industry. IAVM - International Association of Venue Managers Founded, as Auditorium Managers in Cleveland in 1924, its purpose is to discuss issues facing the auditorium management industry. Members now include managers and senior executives from auditorium, arenas, convention centers, exhibit halls, stadiums, performing arts centers, university complexes and amphitheaters worldwide. The IAVM is a source for all public assembly research, information, services and life-safety issues. For more info, visit www.iavm.org

IFEA - International Festivals & Event Association IFEA establishes an industry code of professional conduct and ethics, educational webinars, the Event Management School and CFEE certification for the professionals, volunteers and sponsors who create, run and support individual festivals and events. For more info, visit www.ifea.com

IFES - International Federation of Exhibition Services IFES provides support and promotion of commercial and professional interests of its international members. It provides reports with information about the country you plan to exhibit in. The organization also has an exclusive international law firm for IFES members that offers consultancy on employment, tax and competition law. It provides the IFES Certified Expert and IFES Global Exchange programs. For more info, visit www.ifesnet.com


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IMEX’s mission is to educate, innovate and create a network for meetings industry professionals throughout the world. It holds two of the largest meetings industry tradeshows in the world, IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America in Las Vegas. For more info, visit www.imex-frankfurt.com, www.imexamerica.com and www.imexexhibitions.com

JIMC - Joint Industry Meeting Council JMIC was established in 1978 as a link for international meetings industry associations and meets twice a year to collectively review industry conditions and strategies. In 2003, JMIC developed the Profile and Power Program, an industry advocacy program for the overall image of the industry and the economic and professional impacts it delivers. For more info, visit www.themeetingsindustry.org


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

MPI - Meeting Professionals International

Founded in 1972, MPI is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide and provides innovative and educational networking opportunities/business exchanges to promote the meetings industry. MPI has a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals including its Plan Your Meetings audience. It has more than 70 chapters and clubs in 75 countries and holds the World Education Congress (WEC), European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC) and the GMID live 12-hour broadcast. For more info, visit www.mpi.org

SITE - Society for Incentive Travel

PCMA - Professional Convention Management Association Formally incorporated in 1958, Chicago-based PCMA’s 7,000 membership has 17 chapters and activities for an audience of 50,000 worldwide. Its brands include the PCMA Foundation, Convene magazine, the Digital Experience Institute which supports the DES certification, the Visionary Awards, PCMA EduCon and various webinars. Its vision is to drive global and economic transformation through business events. For more info visit, www.pcma.org

Founded in 1973, SITE is the only business events association dedicated exclusively to the incentive travel industry. SITE Foundation funds certification for mid-manager level incentive travel professionals (CITP) and the Incentive Travel Industry Index (ITII). Its events include various SITE Incentive Summits, SITE Young Leaders Conference, the SITE NITEs evenings before the two annual IMEX exhibitions, and the Global Conference. For more info, visit www.siteglobal.com

NAME - National Association for Museum Exposition

Established in 1981, NAME is an organization for museum exhibition within the framework of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). It provides a network to promote excellence in the creation of museum exhibitions and organize workshops and seminars on design and other aspects of museum exhibition. For 31 years NAME has given the Excellence in Exhibition Awards for achievement in exhibition from all types of museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens and non-commercial institutions. For more info, visit www.name-aam.org

UFI - the Global Association of the Exposition Industry SISO - Society of Independent Show Organizers

SOS was formed in 1990 and has been dedicated to the for-profit show organizer through networking and the exchange of ideas and experiences. Members include companies, corporations and other for-profits that provide management of over 3,500 tradeshows, consumer shows, expositions, conferences and events. It includes a Best Practices Library, cross marketing partnerships and presents the annual Krakoff Award. For more info, visit www.siso.org

UFI launched in 1925 under the name “Union des Foires Internationales (Union of International Fairs) to develop cooperation among European international trade fairs in order to revitalize international commerce after World War I. In 2003, members decided to simply go by UFI and the tagline, the global association of the exhibition industry. It has evolved to now represent, promote and support the business interests of 50,000 tradeshow organizers and exhibition operators and member organizations worldwide. Its events include the Global Congress, Global CEO Summit, regional conferences throughout the world, and its education program includes the Events Management Degree and the UFI-VMS University. For more info, visit www.ufi.org ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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Mr. Don Svehla Publisher Exhibit City News 1675 East Desert Inn Road Las Vegas, NV 89109 Dear Don & ECN Team, On behalf of the Experiential Designers & Producers Association (EDPA), its member companies, our Board of Directors and internal staff, we want to congratulate you and the Exhibit City News team for 25 years of success. What a great accomplishment! Your dedication to the experiential, exhibit and event industry is well recognized. We appreciate all that you have done to share EDPA’s advocacy, networking, education and good work efforts to help our industry grow. We wish you continued success and look forward to working with you for many years to come. Cheers!

Dasher Lowe Executive Director EDPA


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

3 February 2020 Mr. Don Svehla Publisher Exhibit City News 1675 E. Desert Inn Road Las Vegas, NV 89169 Dear Don, On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), I would like to congratulate Exhibit City News on 25 years of providing timely and insightful coverage of the exhibition industry. CEIR understands the importance of reliable information, as our mission is to provide industryleading, objective research on the exhibitions and events industry. We provide comprehensive research designed to inform a broad range of exhibition industry constituents, and develop impactful research which helps exhibition industry professionals and businesses to grow. As such, CEIR appreciates dependable news outlets such as Exhibit City News which support the growth of the exhibition industry. Thank you for 25 years of service to the industry! Sincerely,

Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM Chief Executive Officer Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

February 9, 2020 ESCA Board of Directors Officers Neil McMullin President Fern Bob Ryley President Elect GES Damon Ross Vice President Cort Taylor Vriens Secretary/Treasurer Modern Exposition Services Chris Schimek Past President Freeman

Board Members Steve Basch Shepard Exposition Services, Inc Dustin Blaine Blaine Event Services Chris Casconi Willworks Cory Clayton Freeman Diana Gonzalez AFR Trade Show Furnishings Mitch Isaacs Las Vegas Expo Sheila LeMaster Global Experience Specialists Kevin McLaughlin United Brotherhood of Carpenters Mark Staples American Exposition Services Rich Stone ACT Expocad Ray Suppe Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority

Don Svehla Publisher Exhibit City News Don, In this day and time, responsible reporting of facts is not something that is generally “a given.” However, ECN can be counted on to report the facts, rather than a reporter’s personal opinion. For this, we applaud you and ECN. We also applaud you and Mike Morrison for the everpopular “Don & Mike Show.” It is nice to get “up-to-date” on industry developments with a light and refreshing audio show. Our best wishes for another successful 25 years that we can celebrate together! We look forward to seeing you and Jeanne in Asheville, NC, June 28-July1, for ESCA’s 31st Summer Educational Conference. Best Regards,

Larry Larry Arnaudet Executive Director

Headquarters Office 17330 Preston Road Suite 200D Dallas, TX 75252 Tel: 972.447.8210 Fax: 972.447.8209 www.ESCA.org


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11 February 2020 Mr. Don Svehla Publisher Exhibit City News 1675 E. Desert Inn Road Las Vegas, NV 89169 Dear Don, On behalf of the Board of Directors and members of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events® (IAEE), I would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Exhibit City News on your 25th anniversary of publication. For 25 years, Exhibit City News has served as a trustworthy source for industry news and information. IAEE appreciates the support it has received from Exhibit City News in our mission to globally promote the unique value of exhibitions and events. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the advancement of our industry, and best wishes on the next 25 years. Warm regards,

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA President & CEO International Association of Exhibitions and Events® (IAEE)


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

January 25, 2020

Ms. Jeanne Brei Editor-in-Chief Exhibit City News 1675 E. Desert Inn Road Las Vegas, NV 89169

Dear Ms. Brei, The Board of Directors and Officers of the Society of Independent Show Organizers sends its sincere congratulations to the team at Exhibit City News on your 25th Anniversary. Exhibit City News provides independent and topical information to the industry on a timely basis and SISO is happy to support ECN in this endeavor. We wish you much success as you start the next 25 years! Sincerely,

David Audrain Executive Director Society of Independent Show Organizers

Society of Independent Show Organizers 3350 Riverwood Pkwy SE, Suite 1900 (#64), Atlanta, GA 30339 +1-404-334-4585 | David@SISO.com | www.SISO.Org


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21st of February, 2020 Jeanne Brei Editor-in-Chief Exhibit City News 1675 East Desert Inn Road Las Vegas, NV 89109

Dear Exhibit City News team, On behalf of the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC), our members, and the AIPC Secretariat, we would like to send our sincere congratulations to Exhibit City News for reaching its 25th anniversary. This publication anniversary is a massive achievement in this day and age, and the occasion deserves to be celebrated and recognized! Throughout its 25 years, Exhibit City News has continued to stand out as a leading publication for the meetings industry. With the challenges that our industry faces today, having effective & high quality media coverage is an indispensable resource for all of our members to keep up to date with the latest economic trends, events, and industry news. Keep up the great work! We will look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with Exhibit City News, and wish you all the best for the exciting 25 years ahead. With warm regards,

Aloysius Arlando AIPC President

International Association of Convention Centres – AIPC 22 – 24 Rue du Luxembourg, Brussels Belgium | +32 2 761 66 70 | secretariat@aipc.org www.aipc.org


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

Exhibit City News Wherever you are, wherever you meet the Industry

Brussels, in January 2020 Dear Don, What a year: The new decade starts and Exhibit City news celebrates it 25th Anniversary. Nobody knows if we will have roaring twenties again, like we had in the last century. But for sure the upcoming years will be challenging. Sustainability, Digital Disruption, Gen X,Y,Z, Globalization just to name some of the Buzz-words. We all are expecting some Winds of Change. It is good that there is a partner who goes one step further, who points a direction, who explains the connections in excited times. One such partner is Exhibit City News. The magazine manages to put the importance of the trade show business in the right light, not "only" in the USA but also across national borders, without giving up critical questions or comments. We look forward to each new issue, which we read with great passion. Therefore, we are sure that we can celebrate your 50th Anniversary together, perhaps with one or two more wrinkles on our faces. Until then only the best to you and your whole ambitious team, by the IFES Board and Management

1 global collaboration network.


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Paris, 17 February 2020

Dear Exhibit City News Team,

Back in 1995, 25 years ago… - Michael Jordan came out of retirement to rejoin the Chicago Bulls - The U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis docked at Mir, the Russia space station - An unprecedented heat wave struck the Midwestern United States, as temperatures exceeded 104°F in the afternoon for five straight days. - Microsoft released Windows 95 - Pixar released Toy Story – the first -ever wholly computer generated motion picture. And, of course, Exhibit City News hit the shelves for the first time! 25 years later, your magazine is still going strong reporting on the developments around exhibitions and every business. From all of us at UFI, congratulations on this impressive achievement! At UFI, we connect the movers and shakers of our industry around the world as our industry’s global trade association, so we know that trade publications have an important role to play. Without you and your work, we all would struggle to stay up to date on the many issues that trade shows and events are facing. In times where the next tweet, the next social media post is always just a click away – your role is more important than ever! It takes journalists, reporters, editors, and publishers to separate the signal from the noise of the daily chatter. So on behalf of UFI’s global community, thank you for being the amazing publication that you are. And here’s to the next 25 years! Yours,

Mary Larkin UFI President


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Kai Hattendorf UFI CEO


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▪ ▪

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ECN PRODUCTS OVER THE YEARS From Tradeshow Dogs to Tradeshow Lifestyles and Tradeshow Calendars to the First Annual ECN I&D ACE Awards and the First Annual 40 Under 40.

ECN is at the forefront of what matters to the industry. 024_Sec1_Letters_ECN25.indd 11 ECN_Products_HouseAD_FP_Final_ECN25.indd 1

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Welcome to the exhibit experience you deserve

Expert labor where and when you need it. Premier provider of skilled installation & dismantling services throughout the U.S. and beyond. Tradeshows, conventions, private events, and more...

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(800) 235-9200 3/4/20 1:08 PM


ASSOCIATIONS…THE PULSE OF AN INDUSTRY EDPA Celebrates 60+ Years of Advocacy and Growth by Larry Kuchalwik


here are 22 associations in North America that represent the meetings and tradeshow industry. One such association began in 1956 as the Exhibit Designer & Producers Association and became the internationally recognized Experiential Designers and Producers Association serving thousands of professional members and representing more than 300 corporations across 18 countries. The evolution of its place in the tradeshow industry has changed over the years to now include “events” and “experience” and

Each past president shares a common passion, and that is to grow and strengthen the exhibit industry and the people who serve it. In the early days of EDPA, most exhibit company owners were designers or carpenters who went on as entrepreneurs to start their own companies. Few had formal training to be a business manager, but excelled in spite of this shortfall. They all knew exhibit design and construction better than management. As their companies grew, owners grew to be more business savvy and began hiring others to help with

Toasting ECN in 2014, L-R: Jeff Provost, Rob Cohen, Justin Hersh, Cam Stevens, Kelli Glass, Jay Burkette and Dave Walens

included the name change from “exhibit designers” to “experiential designers.” The EDPA board of directors meets regularly to focus on the hot issues that face the industry. Each year EDPA elects a new president who takes office on the first of the year. All EDPA presidents start on the EDPA executive committee sharing a different committee chair for four years before serving as president. They then serve an additional year as a past president. This year’s 2020 incoming president is Amy Sonders. All board involvement is voluntary. 36 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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management issues and financial expertise. From 1956-1985 EDPA leadership was affectionately coined “the good old boys club” of the exhibit industry. Norman Hadley (Hadley Exhibits/Buffalo, NY) served as its first president. In the early days, exhibit company owners from the East Coast and the Midwest played the strongest role in leadership and gradually attracted involvement from the West Coast and the South. EDPA members were owners of exhibit companies with their main concerns being fair competition, work

rules and business management issues. The leaders were keen to realize that exhibit building success was dependent on the success of tradeshow marketing success within the overall marketing mix for each client. EDPA supported the creation of other associations such as the Trade Show Bureau (now CEIR), NTSEA (which became TSEA), HCEA, EAC, ESCA, IAEM, IFES and E2MA. The strength of these relationships incrementally supported the success of face-to-face marketing as a whole. Note that many influencers within the industry played a strong role behind the scenes and chose not to be EDPA presidents, including Buck and Don Freeman, Lew Johnson, Bill Mee, Peter Hausner, Fred Kitzing, Dan Vander Sanden, Bill Haney, Clay Wilkening, Paul Willett, Bob Dallmeyer, Marco Alvarez, Rich Johnson, Dan Hartwig, and Dick Swanby, to name a few. There are others today who are playing similar roles and continue to contribute quietly as members. The success of EDPA did rely on any single individuals, but on the collective passion of their board members and teams. EDPA rolled along until 1977 as the “good old boys,” and then nearly went bankrupt. In 1977 they recovered by collecting $2,000 from each exhibit company member to get EDPA back on its feet to serve the industry. EDPA then changed its management from using a selected association director only to hiring an association management company in Milwaukee, Wisc. The perception then slowly changed to include all levels of the tradeshow supplier industry. Growth of the EDPA association began to increase in the 1980s when other levels of the expo industry (designers, AEs, project managers, supplier manufacturers, I&D, contractors, freight companies, portable/ modular specialists and fabric specialists) got involved as active members.


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

Further growth kicked in when the popularity of trades now marketing in the U.S. exploded in 1980s-2000. Many new components of the industry (fabric, graphics, systems, freight, lighting, AV, furniture, I&D, measurement/training services, and now international) began to flourish, adding to its growth. As the maturity of the industry grew, so did belief in the value of EDPA membership. In the early years, the EDPA president served as an industry agent when engaging with the other industry associations. Just about the time that this president became known, and figured what they were doing, their term was over. EDPA now needed more than just association management and a one-year president, they needed a consistent figurehead, a face of the association, that would maintain continuity from one year to the next. In 1996 EDPA hired Kellen & Company to manage EDPA. They assigned Pete Dicks as the figurehead. Kellen also managed HCEA which added to create stronger connectivity with other related associations. Four years later, EDPA hired Red7, another association management company. With it

came Jeff Provost who served as the EDPA director and the face of the association until 2018. A few years later, Provost split with Red7 to start his own association management company. Director Dasher Lowe replaced Provost in 2018. With the growth of the industry, and EDPA’s added success, came the EDPA ability to create fundraisers and the cre-

recognition and the power of face-to-face marketing through tradeshows and events. Today, the meeting and exposition industry in North America collectively contributes nearly $325 billion to the GNP of the economy. Of this $325 billion, exhibit/ event organizers, show contractors, and exhibit suppliers contribute nearly $100 billion. It has been estimated that the world

Today, the meeting & expo industry in N. America collectively contributes nearly $325 billion to the GNP...” ation of the EDPA Foundation. Events like the Randy Smith Golf outing and the ACCESS Silent Auction allow EDPA to grow its war chest and give back to support the industry as work “family” members face medical challenges and hardships. With each EDPA growth spurt came new industry issues to focus on. EDPA lives on with pride knowing that its members each played a role to push for industry

size of the industry is $1.5 trillion USD. Of the 22 associations that make up the conventions, meetings, and events segments of the now multi-billion dollar industry, EDPA is a shining light that focuses on the core reasons, design and strategies for effective participation at F2F communication for tradeshows and events to deliver and experience worth remembering to grow sales and awareness for exhibitors. ANNIVERSARY EDITION

International Guidebook & RFP Template International

Request for a Trade Show Service Proposal

A request for international trade show services with Expo words and terms translated for clarity

It’s not what you Say, but what you Mean that really matters

English / Italian Version

A review of Venues, Regulations, Exhibit Design, and Cultural Differences when Exhibiting in any of 45 Countries.

There is no right Way, there is no Wrong way, there is only a Different way. Know and respect what is different!


An RFP Template for requesting international trade show services Printed in English with 150 key industry words and terms translated into 13 different languages Avoid misunderstandings in communication. Buy one language get another free! $15.00 Free to EDPA International Chapter Members


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L-R: Jennifer Smith holding daughter Emmy with husband Justin Smith and his brother Austin (Randy’s sons)



ounded in the spring of 2001, the EDPA Foundation is led by executives from all segments of the industry who have a common goal: the heartfelt desire to help peers in their time of need. In less than 20 years, the EDPA Foundation has garnered 51 Foundation Grantors, awarded more than 80 scholarships to

students, provided financial and emotional support for more than 150 industry families, partnered with two schools to support their exhibit design programs, the Fashion Institute of Technology and Bemidji State University and reached a million dollars in the EDPA Foundation Endowment. The Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic is the oldest continuous chari-

table benefit in our industry. The event raises funds to aid industry members and their families suffering emotional and financial hardships.

Togethe r, We Are Making a Difference .



Downing Displays


Eagle Management Group


EEI Global

Nth Degree

Elevation Exhibits

Nuvista Event Services

Access TCA

Exhibit Technology

Octanorm USA

ACER Exhibits & Events


OnSite Exhibitor Service

AFR Tradeshow Furnishings

Expon Exhibits


Art Guild

EWI Worldwide

Renaissance Management

AV Dimensions

Excalibur Exhibits



Exhibit Concepts


Bowman Design Group


Southwest Displays &


Featherlite Exhibits

Events (SWX Global)

Classic Exhibits

Freeman Co.

SMT Expo (Glenmore

Coastal International Inc.

Group Delphi



Hamilton Exhibits

Spectrum Show Services

Deckle and Moneypenny

Hill & Partners, Inc.



The Inside Track


Diper Exhibitions

Kubik, Inc.

TS Crew

Display Supply & Lighting


Vector5 Collaborative


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

EDPA HAZEL HAYS AWARD WINNERS • 1981 Donald Vaughn • 1983 Fred Kitzing • 1984 Robert Dickman • 1985 Robert Konikow • 1986 Donald Fairweather • 1987 Donald Stacy • 1988 Daniel Hartwig • 1989 William Mee • 1990 Lee Knight

EDPA AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS • 2000 Larry Kulchawik • 2001 Eugene Winther • 2002 Paul Willet

• 1991 M.A. “Moe” Bell • 1992 Molly Seeger • 1993 Richard K. Swandby • 1994 Clay Wilkening • 1995 Thomas Knott • 1996 Leo McDonald • 1997 Jan M. Spieczny • 1998 Ingrid Boyd • 1999 Theodore R. Zeigler • 2000 Ron Malliet • 2001 Stephen Barry, Jr. • 2002 Tom Cassell • 2003 Gary Stewart • 2004 Mary Carey

• 2005 Elaine Cohen • 2007 Douglas Ducate • 2008 Larry Kulchawik • 2009 Hans Bruder • 2010 Jack McEntee • 2011 Charles Corsentino • 2012 Gene Winther • 2013 Paul Willet • 2014 Benedict Soh • 2015 Pat Friedlander • 2016 Mick Parrott • 2017 Bill Haney • 2018 Amanda Helgemoe • 2019 Robert Laarhoven

• 2003 robbie Blumenfeld • 2004 Robert Laarhoven • 2005 Susan Brauer • 2006 John McGregor • 2007 Dave Walens • 2008 Mark Brauer • 2009 Adam Beckett • 2010 Don Svehla • 2011 Alan Cordial

• 2012 Norm Friedrich • 2013 Derek Gentile • 2014 Dan Cantor • 2015 Dan Greene • 2016 Rob Cohen • 2017 Jay Burkette • 2018 Rich Johnson (Foundation) • 2018 Rick Pierson • 2019 Michael Boone

Thank You For An Amazing Year. To date the Foundation has awarded nearly 100 scholarships, provided financial and emotional support to more than 170 industry families, and helped bring new talent to the industry through support of exhibit design programs. And last December we reached our goal of having a million dollars in the foundation endowment.


When we say “together, we are making a difference,” we mean everyone in this industry who lends a hand financially and through their hard work. This generosity and dedication ensures the Foundation’s activities and events are successful, and for that we are grateful. We would like to say a special thanks, and congratulations on their 25th anniversary, to Don and his team at Exhibit City News who have certainly never hesitated to do their part to make a difference whenever we called on them.

Be Part of the Story. Visit www.edpa.com/edpafoundation to see how. Now You Can Donate Online At www.edpa.com/edpafoundation

Together, We Are Making a Difference.


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by Jim Obermeyer

Our Story

Randy Smith was a project manager for an Atlanta based exhibit house, IDEAS Inc. After working long hours at the Sporting Goods Super Show in January 1995, he died tragically in an automobile accident on his way home. Randy left behind a wife, Jenny, and two small children, Austin and Justin. Two of Randy’s co-workers at IDEAS, Ted Peterson and Rich Johnson, started the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic (known today as “The Randy”) in August 1995 in hopes of helping with the emotional and financial burden Randy’s death caused his family. That first event was held at Hidden Hills Country Club in Stone Mountain, Ga. For the first two years, the event focused solely on providing support for the Smith family. In 1997, the decision was made to open up the event to other families who had suffered similar tragedies or faced true hardship. The first additional recipient was Nicole Sheldon, daughter of long-time shipping industry veteran Chris Sheldon in Wheaton, Ill. Nicole was eight years old at the time and had undergone a heart and liver transplant. She was said to be the “sickest child ever to leave a Chicagoland hospital alive.” Since its inception in 1995, the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic and its officially sanctioned ancillary events have assisted more than 170 families with fi40 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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nancial and emotional support. And over the years, the event has grown from a few golfers to literally hundreds of golfers and volunteers. The Randy blankets all segments of the exhibition industry from exhibitors to show managers to general contractors to exhibit builders and freight and labor suppliers, and all down the tradeshow supply chain. One of the many things the founders and the governing board are most proud of is how they’ve been able to bring everyone together for this day of fellowship and good will. Many competing companies in their respective fields have known The Randy as the day they “lay down their swords” for the good of the over-all cause. Participation can come in many ways from being a golfer

at the event to the various sponsorship and volunteer opportunities. “We have sincere appreciation and gratitude to each and every one that has contributed in the past to the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic,” says Rich Johnson, one of the founders of the event. “Our event has sustained and survived through the years due solely to the continued support of our participants.” One of those participants, active for many years with the event, is Exhibit City News founder and publisher Don Svehla, also celebrating the 25th anniversary of his publication this year. Don has supported the event through sponsorships, access to his publication and his personal participation. Don is but one of literally hundreds of industry folks who are committed to the goals of The Randy.


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

Each summer, The Randy board of directors reviews and decides on who will become the beneficiaries of the event’s funds for that year. Over the history of this event, the board has accepted over 95 percent of officially received assistance requests. And each year over the last 25 years, as participation and contributions have grown, The Randy has been able to help more and more people. It is that growth and that ability to reach more industry people in need that has kept the core team passionate about this cause. It is almost unheard of to note that the original founders of this event are still actively involved, still contributing incredible amounts of time and energy, 25 years later.

Stories from the 25th Randy When our publisher asked me to write an article on this year’s 25th anniversary of The Randy I was a bit hesitant. I have been to this event many times and am a steadfast supporter of what this event stands for—helping exhibition industry families who have suffered severe tragedies or face insurmountable medical expenses. And that was the issue—I felt I was too close to this to provide an objective, journalists viewpoint. That didn’t seem to bother Don. So, what is it about this event that has allowed it to sustain this momentum for 25

years, in an industry that changes so rapidly? And how do you describe what it is like to attend this particular “golf outing?” Yes, it is a golf outing. If you are a golfer, this is a great event, with lots of opportunities for fun on the course. But you don’t have to be a golfer to be a part of it. And it is an industry event; in fact, one of the best opportunities to talk business with some of the most influential people in our industry. And it is a networking event. There are literally hundreds of people from our industry here to connect with, talk with and hang out with. Call it what you want, but when it all comes down to it, it is really all about the stories. The stories of our industry. The stories of our people’s lives: Stories of people and companies touched by having one of their own suddenly become a recipient and then committing to becoming involved in supporting this cause. Stories of people showing up each year and seeing each other for the first time since last year— with hugs and handshakes—coming from all over the country to “lay down their swords” and spend a day in 96-degree heat for this cause. Stories of volunteers—lots of volunteers—committing to a day in the heat to make sure this event—and the people participating—have the most successful one yet. Stories of the leaders of this event—Rich Johnson, Robert Laarhoven and Sandra Braun—who continue to amaze me with

their passion and commitment to this. Stories of golfers contributing to everything—donating their own cash for mulligans, move it on ups, raffle tickets by the thousands, cigars, food and drinks—all to support the cause. The story of this year’s Don Drew Sponsor of the Year Award winner—Les Bunge—and his undeniable commitment to this event and its recipients. And the reason behind it—his own wife a recipient in 2010 following a long battle with cancer. Stories of past recipients—25 years’ worth—more than 170 in all, remembered by tribute videos and stories told in conversations throughout the day. And some of them who still come here to participate every year. EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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Stories of this year’s 11 recipients, each one presented on a graphic panel for the audience to read, and three of them who stood in person in front of this group during the evening banquet and told their own stories. The story of the original recipient, Randy Smith, told through a very well-produced video created by his son, interviewing Rich Johnson and Ted Peterson who started this all 25 years ago. And then told in person by Randy’s wife and two sons during the banquet. And stories of the next generation, preparing to take this event into the future—Randy’s and Ted’s and Rich’s adult children—and all the new young participants here creating stories yet to be told as this industry and this event continues to support those in need. Yes, it is a golf outing, and it is an industry event and it is a networking opportunity. But it really is all about the stories of our industry and our people. You cannot attend this event and not be drawn into the stories. Unlike so many other charity events where the proceeds go to un-named and unknown recipients, the receipts from The Randy go directly to people in our industry.

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People whose stories are told. People we know personally. Let’s just say it like this: “once you go, then you’ll know.” For more info, visit www.rsmgc.org. ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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• Gena Brooks, Exhibitus • Mackenzie Hall, Myndshare • Jack Jasper, Derse • Tammie Kotara, Laser Exhibitor Service • Ronnie Kotara, Laser Exhibitor Service • Steve Larson, Trade Show Exhiibit Marketing Group • Logan Martin, Renaissance Management • Marietta Schoenherz, Viewsonic • George Wurm, EACA



• Randy Haas, Czarnowski • Ricky Conway, Pinnacle Exhibits • Robyn Barclay, wife of Ben Barclay, Exhibitor • Drew Camier, TWI Group, Inc. • Tom McDowell, husband of Shari McDowell, Display Supply & Lighting • Josephine Poe, daughter of Benjamin Poe, e4 Design • Matt Stark, Art Guild, Inc. • Mary Ann Furnish, Art & Display • Aimee Welch, Laser Exhibitor Service – New Orleans • Brandon Meeks, son of Anthony Meeks, id3 Group, inc. • Scott Gray, VCPTV


• Phil Jordan, McCormick Place • Cynthia Gribble, wife of Duane Gribble, CEI • Rhonda Cook, Nth Degree • Kurt Walker, Momentum Management • January Lashane Smith, Legacy Exhibitors Service • Jill Dalton, ACES • Tammy Rood, EliteXPO • Rolando Garcia, son of Fabian Garcia, Display Supply & Lighting • Joel Spuck, son of Gavin Spuck at Mirror Show Management • Nga Tran, wife of Sang Le, Czarnowski • Ron McEntee, ArtGuild • Steve Barry, TWI Group • Anthony Lucafo, TERM Group, EWI 44 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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• Kinley King, daughter of Brian King, Lancaster Management • Alex Flores, CSI


• Maria Lombardo, Nth Degree • John Abernathy, CSI • Paul McNamara, Splash • Arthur Bloberger, Exhibit City News • Gwynn ‘Beau’ Lockwood, Exhibitus • Frank Fabian, Fab Creative LLC • Richard Letell, ShowBox Exhibits • Georgia Spear, Nth Degree • Pete Nelson, Clearr Corp. • Sergio Rosati, Exhibit Masters • Greg Pfrommer, PRG • Mike Bollin, husband of Michelle Bollin, Angles on Design • DeAngelo Griggs, son of Irish Bender, MC2 • Walter Raymond, PRG Scenic Technology • Osker Gamboa, son of Edward Blas, Exhibit Fair International • Roy Kunz, Echelon Design


• Bonnie Bruha, Alpha Omega Exhibits • Kim DiStefano, Classic Exhibits • Sarah Griffin, wife of Dan Griffin, Czarnowski • John Hopper, Nth Degree • Bryce Latham, Grandson of Scott Latham, Coastal Int’l • Logan Leone, Son of Brett Leone, Renaissance Mgmt. • Michele Lewis, Apple Rock Displays • Sig Lutyk, Skyline SE

• The family of the late Ray Banak, Freeman • Michael Darby, Blue Sky Exhibits • Kathryn and Hoyt Hagens, Promission Projects • The family of the late Mike Johnson, Skyline Genesis Event Marketing • The family of the late Scott Lively, 1220 Exhibits • Pam Milburn, Echelon Design • Wendy Murray, Printonix, Panasonic, Siemens • Monica Park, EWI Worldwide • Johan van Die, Exhibit Resources • The family of the late Rik Williams, Coastal International


• Christina Arnold, Laser Exhibitor Service • Greg Berger, Display Works • John Cantu, The Expo Group • Rick Janin, Spoon Exhibits • Kurt Johnson, Momentum Management • Kim Hally, Blue-Hive • Kim Hayes, Nth Degree • Gina McLane, Expo Systems • Vince Rodriguez, Czarnowski


• The family of the late Mark Daves, The Expo Group • Frank Feliz, Exhibit Fair International • Judy Kackley, Exhibit City News • Sierra Luby, Nth Degree • The family of the late Bob Oswalt, Czarnowski • Wallace Prough, Renaissance Management • Olivia and Elena Tate, Freeman


• Kathy Bartol, The TERM Group • The family of the late Steve Hutinett, American Academy of Family Physicians


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years • The family of the late Smithesh Kamar, Taylor Group • The family of the late Tim Provo, Elements Exhibits • The family of the late Larry Przybyla, Freeman • The family of the late Bill Radtke, Hamilton Exhibits • The family of the late Carli Rogers, Czarnowski • Mike Swartout, Classic Exhibits • Sandi Todd, Exhibitgroup, Czarnowski • Tom Wolf, Czarnowski

• Don Kendrick, Coastal International • Chris Lindroth, Coastal International • Kelly Privette, Zenith Labornet • Craig Rodgers, Stetson Convention Services • Cleo Spoon, Freeman • Charlie Stewart, MC2 • The family of the late Wayne Veal, Nth Degree • Jeff Yero, Moose Exhibits


• Julia Bunge, Laser Exhibitor Service • The family of the late Jim Clark, Exhibit Concepts • The family of the late Will Cottrell, Czarnowski • The family of the late Daniel Earls, GES • The family of the late Melih Kutsal, Shepard Exposition • Mel Stelmack, Renaissance Management • Joe Williams, Freeman

• The family of the late Ryne Adam Brock, 3D Exhibits • Gail Flannery, 1220 Exhibits • The family of the late Douglas McArthur Jr., Jack Morton Worldwide • The family of the late Joe Murphy, Elevation Exhibits • The family of the late Lewis Rogers, Mainstream • The family of the late Greg Rupp, Eagle Management • The family of the late Randall Watkins, Sho-Aids




• Chris Baty, Pictura Graphics • Becky Ellithorpe, Coastal International • Lee Jacobia, Hamilton Displays • Chris Kolesnik, Champion Logistics • The family of the late Mark Linser, Downing Displays • Vicki Sams, Phoenix FORMations


• The family of the late Richard Coronet, Zenith Labornet • Bonnie Distasio, Champion Logistics • The family of the late Jim Dock, Heritage Communications/MN • The family of the late Jeff Gates, PRG/ Hi-Tech • The family of the late Keri Lee Ann Mincy, The Design Agency • Jane Perchinske, Andrews-Bartlett • The family of the late Mike (Milenko) Skutor, The TERM Group • The family of the late Jim Vrzal, GES • The family of the late James Wetherington, Optima Graphics


• The family of the late Jack Bourne, Avalon Exhibits • Karin Brennan, Folio Boston

• The family of the late Mike Adams, HB Stubbs • Don Drew, UAV • Al Gniadek, MC2 • The family of the late Art Kiple, Freeman • The family of the late Carol Lane, Freeman • Brian Nikrasch, The TERM Group • The family of the late Frank Palminteri, Asics • Autism Society Georgia Chapter, Kswiss


• The family of the late Carol Larson, Renaissance Management • The family of the late Paul Olavarietta, Jr., Czarnowski • The family of the late Nelson Ortiz MC2 • The family of the late Daniel Sexton, EWI Worldwide


• The family of the late Trevor Burton, Pinnacle Exhibits • The family of the late Bruce Carl, Champion Logistics • The family of the late Dave Herrendeen, Derse • The family of the late

Mike Hiller, Exhibitgroup • The family of the late Steve Pomper, Expotechnik • Dalene & Jeff Threeton, GES


• The family of the late Alexandria Koshoshek, UAV • The family of the late Michael Porter, Omnigroup • The family of the late Sherry Reynolds, Nth Degree • The family of the late Mark Witt, HB Stubbs • The Arbor Foundation Display Arts


• Michelle Dekker, Renaissance Management • The family of the late Steve Roberts, Design South • Danielle and Conner Smith, Exhibitree


• Ashley Daly, IDEAS • The family of the late Gary Decinque, Display Arts • The family of the late Stanley Keenan, Zenith Labornet • Scott Lambert, CBA South • The family of the late Kevin O’Dowd, Renaissance Management


• The family of the late Dan Carlo, Sparks • The family of the late Mike Clohessey, IDEAS • The family of the late Alan Crandy, Renaissance Management • The family of the late Frank Pozza, Nth Degree


• Jonathon D. Hollingsworth Foundation, Nortel


• Nicole Sheldon, Bekins


• The family of the late Randy Smith, IDEAS



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As part of Exhibitions Day, GES team members lobby on Capitol Hill, pictured L-R: Julie Smith, Joe Miller, Josie Caldwell, Cindy Covington, Femke Morelisse.



he annual Global Exhibition Day, coordinated by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, celebrates the exhibition industry and highlights its positive impact on jobs, business, innovation and local investment across 85 countries and regions each June. In 2018, both Freeman and GES ran activities globally showcasing the broad range of career activities in the industry. The Int’l. Assoc. of Exhibitions and Events invited its members to travel to Washington, D.C. for a day of advocacy talks with parliamentarians and their staff. IAEE’s events were part of their fifth Exhibitions Day, where exhibition professionals and industry members come together to foster relationships and build awareness with federal legislators and other policy influencers on Capitol Hill. “I was with the California contingent, and we met with staff in the offices of Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, and staff in the offices of Reps. Lou Correa, Dana Rohrabacher and Ed Royce,” says Julie Smith, CEM, CTA, GES senior vice president, exhibition sales, based in GES’ Cypress, Calif. office. “We focused on the issues of online booking scams and the bills that have been introduced to address the issue of hotel 46 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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poaching (H.R. 2495 and S. 1164). We also discussed industry security issues, and how IAEE and its membership, along with other industry organizations, have aligned with the Dept. of Homeland Security to develop the Exhibitions and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative.” IAEE members also discussed advancing the mission of the Visit U.S. Coalition, and promoting policies that enhance global travel to the U.S. for business and tourism. Additionally they addressed aging airport infrastructure, and the need for improvements to compete with other countries. Smith felt the groups were well received. “The staff with whom we met were very engaged, and we left feeling optimistic that our messages had been heard,” Smith says. “Exhibitions Day provides a unique opportunity to see how government works, and how we can make a difference in advocating for our industry. Whether you are a supplier, a show organizer, represent a venue or a destination, Exhibitions Day is a valuable experience and important effort.” She adds, “This was my fourth Exhibitions Day. I think each one gets better—we have more participants; more of the participants are comfortable carrying our messages and

making the ‘asks.’ IAEE provides better tools every year…this year they introduced an app that housed our appointments, data on the legislators and staffs, the bills and their sponsors, talking points, an attendee list and other information like state-specific industry facts. And because of our repeat visits to the Hill, and those of other industry groups, we are making strides in educating government officials about the economic power of our industry.” In 2018, GED’s advocacy campaign united 41 GED partner associations and included a wide range of activities, both on-site and online, promoting exhibitions as business platforms, as well as highlighting opportunities for career and business development. “I watched the action unfold throughout the day from my home country Italy,” says UFI President Corrado Peraboni. “All around the world, our industry stood up to be noticed–and we succeeded! I am especially pleased to see the prominent support from ministers in national governments who shared their understanding of how important exhibitions and business events are for their economies and citizens.” The different organizations celebrated GED in many varied ways. In Australia, the


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View this entire issue online at issuu.com/ exhibitcitynews

Women in the Industry: Progress, Challenges & Taking a Seat at the


July/August 2018 • VOL. 24 • ISSUE 4


Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment endorsed GED in a video message to the industry. The Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia organized the 2018 Global Exhibitions Day & Leaders’ Forum Dinner, and launched a talent acquisition campaign called “A Career for Life.” The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau ran an “Exhibition Industry Forum” focusing on the theme of change and the Indian Exhibition Industry Association organized meetings with ministers and government officials to raise awareness of how important the industry actually is and “IEIA Youth CONNECT” used interactive sessions to reach out to students from MICE/event management institutes to encourage them to pursue a career in the exhibition industry. The Assoc. of African Exhibition Organizers put together the first edition of “Exhibition Games,” with 44 contestants taking part. The Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Qatar adjusted the lighting of its roof sun-wells to reflect the name of the event (“GED18”), creating a unique visual over the course of the week. The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company gathered and linked up staff at their different venues from around the world to demonstrate their connectedness. In Europe, AUMA, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, shared the findings of national research to demonstrate just how important the exhibition industry is for the German economy. AEFI, the Italian Exhibition and Trade Fair Association, hosted a government advocacy event in Rome. AFE, Spain’s Event Planner organization, also scheduled government meetings. UNIMEV, The French Meeting Industry Council, hosted the third Annual Global Exhibitions Day Run in Paris. The Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs organized the seventh Russian Exhibition Industry Conference in Moscow. EXPOCENTRE Moscow assembled a display of vintage exhibition posters in the Vystavochnaya (exhibition) metro station. In Latin America, AMPROFEC, the Mexican Association of Professionals in Fairs, Exhibitions and Conventions, hosted events all across Mexico. Corferias, Colombia gathered 510 industry professionals in one GED picture and now holds the lead in the global #GEDNumberChallenge. Joint initiatives by the industry reached a record number of people, both F2F and on social media. The number of events and projects rose again this year. UFI’s media partner Exhibition World, together with the UFI US $12 CAN $18


Celebrating GED at UFI Asia-Pacific Conference in Malaysia

GES team in the U.K. celebrating GED

Celebrating GED at UFI Asia-Pacific Conference in Malaysia

team, will review all reported GED activities, and select best practice examples in five categories: Most Creative Activity, Highest Profile Online Activity, Biggest Scale Physical Activity, Industry Impact Award and the Talent Promotion Award. “It has once again been absolutely amazing to see our industry united for this cause,” says Kai Hattendorf, UFI managing director/ CEO. “While the whole UFI team around the world will really need some sleep now, it’s been an absolute pleasure to support our global exhibition industry community in this way. When we started GED in 2016, we were encouraged by the strong support we received. Now, just two years on, GED has helped all of us make a real difference in obtaining tangible recognition for our industry. So a huge thankyou to everyone–no matter how large or small–who joined in the GED activities.” The 41 GED partner associations under the

UFI umbrella are: AAXO (S. Africa), AEFI (Italy), AEO (UK), AFE (Spain), AFECA (Asia), AFIDA (Central & S. America), AMPROFEC (Mexico), AOCA (Argentina), AUMA (Germany), CAEM (Canada), CEFA (Central Europe), CENTREX (Central Europe), CFI (Italy), EEAA (Australasia), EEIA (EU), EFU (Ukraine), EMECA (Europe), EXSA (S. Africa), FAIRLINK (Sweden), FAMAB (Germany), HKECIA (Hong-Kong), IAEE (U.S.), IDFA (Germany), IECA (Indonesia), IEIA (India), IELA (Global), IFES (Global), LECA (Lebanon), MACEOS (Malaysia), MFTA (Macao), PCEI (Poland), RUEF (Russia), SACEOS/ SECB (Singapore), Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Industries Assoc. (China), SISO (U.S.), TEA (Thailand), TECA (Taiwan), TFOA (Turkey), UBRAFE (Brazil) and UNIMEV (France). For more info, visit www. globalexhibitionsday.org. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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2014 staff Illustration

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DON SVEHLA Publisher

‘HAHA’ Security

RAY SMITH Web Editor

CHRISTY DIGIAMBATTISTA New Busienss Development ROXANNE TOMKO Admin/Sales/ Social Media

TOM SPEAK Art Director

LISA ABRAMS Managing Editor

JEANNE BREI Editor-in-chief

2020 staff Illustrations by F. Andrew Taylor

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Meet t Publisher

Don Svehla

Managing Editor DonS@ExhibitCityNews.com

Don has been in the tradeshow industry his entire life, beginning as the son of a tradeshow trucker. He began working at Giltspur, and coming from the show floors of Chicago, he realized the need for an industry news source in 1993. With the support of industry friends, he began putting his 20+ years of tradeshow experience into Exhibit City News, which launched in June 1994 as a small eight-page newsletter for Chicago’s tradeshow community. By 1996, the newspaper had grown into a 32-page national newspaper bearing the tagline “Uniting the Nation’s Tradeshow Community.” Over the past 25 years, ECN has become an indispensable resource for industry news and info—both online and in a glossy magazine.

Lisa-Corinne Abrams lisaa@exhibitcitynews.com

Lisa -Corinne Abrams, a citizen of the world, came to Las Vegas about a decade ago via Paris, NYC and Istanbul. Formerly a Park Ave. lawyer and Wall Street trader, Lisa landed in Las Vegas and the frenetic and fun tradeshow industry and has never looked back. Leveraging her nine-plus years as the director of sales and marketing for Exposures Ltd., now a nationwide exhibit photography business, she is also consulting at Exhibit City News as Don Svehla’s financial assistant and contract-negotiating Girl Friday.

Admin/Sales/Social Media

Business Development/Sales


Roxanne Tomko

Christy Giambattista

Celestia Ward



Born in Istanbul Turkey, raised in the SF Bay Area, Panama and NYC, she’s also lived in Miami Beach, Cyprus and Las Vegas while doing sales, marketing and tradeshows for companies including MetroPCS, a graphics firm and a security firm. She’s built, worked and modeled for tradeshow booths and loves the industry!

Christy has more than 15 years of tradeshow/ events experience. She began her career in Atlantic City creating unique fine dining events and a show for the Food Network. In 2008 she worked with the Philly Eagles to create a wine labeled “Happy Tails” to benefit the ASPCA.

Celestia Ward has worked as a manuscript editor at the Johns Hopkins Press and written for several magazines and trade publications over the years. She moved back to her hometown of Las Vegas in 2002 and founded Two Heads Studio, where she and her husband draw cartoons and caricatures. She still enjoys the written word and all manner of publishing tasks, so she’s happy to be part of the ECN family.

Want to advertise with ECN? Email sales@ExhibitCityNews.com! 050_Sec2_StaffAd_ENC25.indd 1

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t the Staff Editor-in-Chief

Jeanne Brei

Art Director JeanneB@ExhibitCityNews.com

Jeanne is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and has worked and written for Photo District News, The Independent, The Sunday and others. She is also a singer, tap dancer, entertainer and producer with a 7-piece swing band, The Speakeasy Swingers, and a monthly show, The Swanky Supper Club Soiree, now in its tenth year. She’s spent many years working in the tradeshow industry, producing events for DMCs and as a tradeshow rep. She’s a published author on Amazon and has written/narrated and co-produced five PBS Las Vegas documentaries and 13 episodes of her own Vintage Vegas Variety Show that aired on VegasTV in 2012.

Thomas Speak


Tom is a UNLV graduate, where he earned his BFA with honors. He has worked at FREEMAN Las Vegas as an exhibit designer, lead the local AIGA Las Vegas design chapter and later at Vegas Seven magazine. He now heads Speak Design, an award winning print and web design studio in Las Vegas which focuses on identity work, web and publication design. While not on the computer he enjoys traveling, foodie activites and snowboarding.

Staff Writer/Editor

Web Editor

Editorial Assistant

F. Andrew Taylor

Ray Smith


Kerstan Szczepanski

FAndrewT@ExhibitCityNews.com F. Andrew Taylor has been in the journalism field for 23 years working for alt-weeklies, tourism publications, hyper-local papers and others. He illustrated Christmapus, the tale of the Christmas Octopus and his first fiction prose story, published in 2018, was featured at the Vegas Valley Book Fair.

An award-winning journalism graduate of San Diego State University, Ray Smith worked more than 35 years as a newspaper reporter, writer and editor, including 20 years with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He resides in Las Vegas where he partakes in nearly all of the city’s vices.

A New York native who lived in Kuwait during his teen years, Szczepanski studied theatre at Northwestern Univ. and moved to Vegas in 1993. He worked at MGM Grand as the Cowardly Lion, a Gatekeeper at Ka and at the Hilton’s Star Trek: The Experience as a Star Fleet officer, a Borg and an Andorian. Currently, he acts for Touro University’s clinical simulation program and freelances as a blogger, social media evaluator and writer. He loves writing, cinema, history, his cat and Dungeons & Dragons.


Have news or story ideas for ECN? Email newsdesk@ExhibitCityNews.com! 050_Sec2_StaffAd_ENC25.indd 2

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Meet Our Columnists As The Saws Turn Jim Obermeyer has been in the tradeshow industry 35 years, both as a corporate tradeshow manager and exhibit house owner. He is currently a vice president at Hamilton Exhibits and can be reached at jobermeyer@ hamilton-exhibits.com.

Andy’s Apps F. Andrew Taylor is an award-winning journalist, artist, photographer, cartoonist and illustrator. He also works in film production, does local historical research and has been an amateur stunt driver and rodeo participant. Contact him at fandrewt@exhibitcitynews.com.

The International Man Larry Kulchawik is the head of Larry Kulchwawik Consulting and author of Trade Shows from One Country to the Next. For more info, visit www.larrykulchawik.com

Don & Mike Show Mike Morrison, the national sales director for WS Displays, has partnered with ECN publisher Don Svehla to interview leading industry people in the weekly “The Don and Mike Show” podcast, now in its third year. “Brought to You by SMT Expo,” the podcast focuses on tradeshows, events and experiential marketing issues and can be heard at ExhibitCityNews.com, TheDonAndMikeShow. net, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn group pages and iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and more.

Social Media Strategies Amadeus Finlay is a writer, strategic growth marketer and communications/ public relations consultant who resides in Rhode Island. He’s a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and has lived in the U.S. since 2014. Contact him at AmadeusF@ ExhibitCityNews.com.

International Focus Cynthya Porter is a 70-time awardwinning journalist recognized by national and international associations for her expertise in tradeshow topics, travel writing, photography and news. She has covered the exhibition industry since 2011.

Ask An Expert Calanit Atia is an award-winning event planner, exhibit management expert, the founder and president of A to Z Events and Trade Show Talent, a Las Vegas destination expert, Air Force veteran and speaker. Contact her at Info@AtoZevents.com

The Rigging World Andrew Fulton, member of IATSE Local 720, is the lead production rigger at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center and was lead rigger for PRG at the Sands Expo, Venetian and Palazzo Hotels from 2012-15. He co-founded RIG FOR SUCCESS with Jason Sellmann and is also one of three owners of RIGGING INTERNATIONAL GROUP (R.I.G.) Contact him at andrew@rigforsuccess.com

Have news or story ideas for ECN? Email newsdesk@ExhibitCityNews.com! 052_Sec2_MeetTheColumnistsHouse_ECN25.indd 1

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2/24/20 5:00 PM

w w w . m c n a b b e x h i b i t fl o o r i n g . c o m








Making Every Floor Uniquely Yours


How may we help you with your next exhibition? Las Vegas , NV | Dalton, GA | Milford, MI

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Congrats on 25 years Exhibit City News… The best are yet to come! After 69 years we are still the foremost provider of all your exhibit flooring needs. D.E. McNabb Floooring proudly offers the most products, best service, and an experienced staff to help guide you into the best flooring solutions for all of your exhibits and events.

3/4/20 1:37 PM




ran into Don Svehla, publisher of Exhibit City News, at a reception at the now-defunct TS2 show in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2000. Somewhere during our conversation he asked me if I would be interested in doing some writing for his tradeshow industry newspaper. We talked about me doing a monthly opinion column. I agreed on one condition: I could write about anything I wanted, as long as I tied it to the industry in some way. Over the last 20 years, the column has gone in a lot of different directions, but always I tried to link it to our industry in some way. Sometimes it was quite a stretch to make the connection, but I have enjoyed the challenge of trying to come up with something worthwhile to write about each time. I’ve written columns at home, at work, in hotels, in airports, in airplanes; wherever and whenever the idea for a column struck me. Sometimes I’d have an idea and write the column well before the deadline. Other


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times I’d be staring at my monitor desperately trying to come up with a kernel of a thought to write about. Going back and reading through the columns, I realized two things: (1) For industry folks, it is a bit of an historical look at our industry and the issues— some serious, some not so much—that we’ve dealt with in the last 20 years. Topics like intellectual capital and selling value against price have been a part of our industry for a long time, and unless something radical changes, will most likely be for a long time to come. Other problems such as special freight handling fees and union work rules in certain cities have been pretty much resolved. (2) For family and friends, it gives a clue about just who I am, what I really do for a living, and what is important to me. I think perhaps that second reason is the real motivator for me to keep writing. Whether it’s of any value to you as a reader is always in question! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this publication for so long. ANNIVERSARY EDITION

JIM OBERMEYER has 38 years of experience in face-to-face marketing and has spent 12 years in corporate tradeshow and special event management. He spent 10 years as the tradeshow manager for McDonnell Douglas Corporation, producing shows and events in North America, South America and Europe, and served for two years as a tradeshow & events manager for Electronic Data Systems Company. In September 1993, Jim joined Hamilton Exhibits as the director, sales and marketing, where he managed the sales force and directed all marketing and sales support efforts. His marketing expertise helped grow the company from a local exhibit builder to a nationally recognized tradeshow marketing firm. In September 1997, Jim was promoted to vice president and general manager, and relocated to St. Louis where he was charged with building and managing all aspects of a full-service division of the company. This included developing new business, developing marketing and financial plans, recruiting staff, locating and leasing office space, acquiring office and production assets, and managing the staff. He also acted as a full-service sales executive, selling to top prospects in the St. Louis market. Jim’s leadership of the St. Louis team led to strong loyalty among employees and clients, and to the growth and profitability of the division. In January 2001, Jim left Hamilton to become a partner in forming a new tradeshow marketing firm, Reveal. Reveal managed tradeshow marketing programs for large and small companies on a local, national, and global scale. Jim and his partner sold the business in 2015 and he returned to Hamilton Exhibits as a vice president. He now manages the sales, marketing and new business development activities for the company. In addition to Jim’s practical experience in our industry, he has also lectured at Ball State University, Indiana State University, Webster University and the University of Missouri regarding tradeshow marketing, and has been on the seminar faculty for groups such as the Exhibitor show, Trade Show Exhibitors Association, Business Marketing Association, International Association of Business


3/4/20 1:40 PM

Covering the Industry for 25 Years



ongratulations, Exhibit City News, on 25 years. As a relative newcomer to the magazine, I’ve been able to enjoy its rich history in reverse, seeing my first issue in the last days of 2017 and reading back to see all of the changes and history. It has been fascinating to read back and see the publication’s growth from a newsletter to newspaper to the current slick magazine. I can’t claim to have had much to do with the transformation, but it’s awe inspiring to see each issue look better than the last. My hat is off to you Don, Jeanne and the rest of the staff. Here’s to 25 more years. I’ve had an eclectic job history. So eclectic, in fact, that I rarely list it all in one place, for fear of it being assumed to be fiction. Among the jobs I’ve held are fly boy, (an old printer’s term, not the dancing kind), stationer, (yet another archaic term, pre-dating big box office stores), roofer, comic book store clerk, children’s book illustrator, property master for several films, caricature artist, busker and carny. Often several of these at the same time. The results are an interestingly rounded writer who knows a little about a lot and a lot about more than enough. Despite that,

I remain endlessly curious about the world around me and the people I meet. My writing career began in 1996 while employed at a Las Vegas alt weekly as an illustrator and graphic designer. I heard an editor say he couldn’t find a writer for a new column he wanted to launch. Since that day, I’ve worked for dozens of publications both as a freelancer and on staff. As a journalist I’ve off-roaded to archeological sites, interviewed a man who was hitchhiking around the world, done open mike stand-up (badly) at the orders of an editor, participated in Vegas’ first Muddy Buddy, a filthy bike ride/ run/obstacle course, tracked down a marine biologist charged with keeping 3,000 lobsters alive in the desert and photographed a jet fighter refueling over Area 51 from inside the refueling plane. And that’s just a few of the highlights. During a phone interview, Rick Springfield told me, “You’re a bit of a nerd, aren’t you?” For Exhibit City News I’ve been a general interest writer, covering the exhibit industry, writing a column on apps that are helpful to this industry and writing some of the magazine regular features, such as the Airport Snapshot and Convention Center Spotlight. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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am often asked how I got started in the tradeshow industry. When I was 15 years old, I came to Las Vegas to attend the Comdex convention with the Israeli Pavilion. I remember flying into town, amazed by the lights of the Strip. The first day as we were setting up the booths, I was fascinated by all the action on the show floor, and how everything came together. When the show opened, the energy, the people and just everything amazed me. I remember having a fantastic feeling of being alive. I was full of excitement. Later that day, we were all invited to a party at Sheldon Adelson’s suite. Adelson was the owner of the Comdex show as well as the Sands hotel. The party was lovely; towards the end of the party, he came and introduced himself. We had a lovely conversation, and then I asked him a question that changed my life. “What is this world? How do you call it?” Mind you; I did not possess the tradeshow lingo yet. He answered that this is called the convention and tradeshow industry and explained what it entails. I then asked, “where do you learn this industry?” He answered that I could attend the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and get a degree in hospitality. After serving in the Israeli Air Force during the Gulf War, I started my journey by attending UNLV in the Hotel Management and Convention program. Don Walters, past president of IAEM (International Association for Exhibition Management), told me that once you get the tradeshow bug, you cannot shake it off. Well, I got it, and I got it bad. While attending UNLV, I worked more than 300 tradeshows, conventions and events, working with show management, general contractors, exhibit houses,


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facilities and exhibitors in every aspect of the industry. I wanted to gain as much experience as I could and develop a greater understanding of how everything works together. I wanted to become the BEST in the industry that I love and proud to be a part of as my professional life. In 2001, I opened A to Z Events, a full-service event planning and entertainment company specifically catering to the tradeshow industry. I offer booth entertainment and props, tradeshow lounge management, on-site concierge services, Las Vegas destination management, planning evening offsite events, dining, tours, activities, events entertainment and convention models. Our booth interactive entertainment division offers the most extensive selection in Las Vegas. I am proud that exhibitors, exhibit houses, general contractors and tradeshow management know they have a reliable company that understands the industry and cares about their clients’ tradeshow success. My team and I appreciate that we are a crucial part of their success, and we take it seriously. We understand the importance of getting things done for exhibitors as well as show management. There is no greater feeling than helping an exhibitor who needs you desperately to help them with their booth. We have countless examples. We have worked with an exhibitor who needed a craps table for his booth since their shipment did not arrive. Another required a dinosaur costume for his booth, which was their entire booth branding. They could not find one anywhere, and we saved the day when our costume designer created, designed and constructed their desired costumed. Another exhibitor called us to assist with finding a venue to hold his press conference. Caesars Palace Hotel in Las Vegas,

where the show was held, was completely sold out. The exhibitor did not know what to do; they had to have their event. Once again, we came to the rescue and booked them in a venue adjunct to Caesars Palace, and they were able to have their event with much success. Lastly, for more than seven years, we were in charge of all JCK lounges. That was a big responsibility because we interacted with all the exhibitors and attendees. Exhibitors and attendees grew to rely on us. They became our dear friends throughout the years. They knew that we would take care of them while they were in Vegas. That was a great satisfaction. Destiny, fate, call it as you wish, brought me to my true calling in life, my happy place, which is being on the show floor helping everyone with their Las Vegas tradeshow and events needs. Exhibit City News gives me an outlet to spread my love for the industry, its people and the different destinations, and I will always be grateful for that. I truly appreciate all the support everyone has been giving me through the years and allowing me to tell their stories. Feel free to contact me for new stories and ideas since I want to spread the word of our wonderful people, companies, the different destinations and overall, our remarkable industry. I look forward to many more years of telling people about our exceptional industry. Calanit Atia is an award-winning event planner, exhibit management expert, the founder and president of A to Z Events and Trade Show Talent (Las Vegas DMC and entertainment agency), a Las Vegas destination expert, 2020 MPI Women’s Advisory Board Member, Air Force veteran and speaker. Contact her at Info@AtoZevents.com. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


3/4/20 1:42 PM

Covering the Industry for 25 Years



xhibit City News has been an integral part of my American experience since the earliest days of living on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. I first encountered the publication while working the tradeshow circuit on the exhibit building side of the equation, but when I made the switch to contractual work as a freelance writer and filmmaker, the first person I called was Don Svehla. Don was always (and still is) one of my absolute favorite people in tradeshow land. We had worked as advertising partners prior to me becoming part of the Exhibit City News staff, during which time I had seen the publication grow from something great into something indispensable. During that period of growth, one thing remained consistent; the quality of the editorial content, and it resonated with me as a writer. When Don agreed to bring me onto his writing staff I was overjoyed (I’ll never forget where I was when I heard the news; in the park-

ing lot at the Providence Marriott) and the experience has only exceeded expectations. Working under the guidance of Jeanne Brei is a pleasure (I dare you to find a better editor), while having fellow writers such as Andy Taylor only motivates me to improve the quality of my output. In the two years I’ve been contributing to ECN, I’ve had a free rein to write whatever I feel is the most important and useful content for the tradeshow and event industry, and that is priceless. Highlights, of which there have been many, include corporate profiles for Champion Logistics, Full Circle Events and GEM Exhibits, but the piece I wrote in January 2020 for my column Digital Frontier was particularly special. In it I discussed how social media in the tradeshow industry is best served by taking the path of least resistance; a concept some know as Occam’s Razor (named for a 13th Century friar named William of Occam).

As a child, my father frequently referred to Occam’s thinking, and while I knew what neither of these words actually meant at the time, I always appreciated the sentiment. When my father unexpectedly died in 2012, the young man that I was spiraled into a world of confusion, but when I came back to the surface, I made every attempt to remember and celebrate his legacy in my art. The fact that I can immortalize the man in such a worthy publication as this 25th Anniversary book is a pleasure and honor that even this wordsmith has a difficult time expressing. So, here’s to you, Dad, Alan Neil Johnston Finlay, and here is to my wonderful colleagues at Exhibit City News for giving me the opportunity to write about an industry I love. Which brings me to you, the reader; if it wasn’t for your support and loyalty, none of the above would be possible. And for all that, I owe each of you a great deal. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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arry Kulchawik has been working in the tradeshow industry, specializing in international tradeshow marketing for 45 years. He recently published Trade Shows from One Country to the Next—a book that reviews doing face-to-face business and exhibit design in 45 different countries. One size does not fit all. Recalculating a company’s marketing strategy is critical when marketing across borders. Recognizing cultural differences is key to achieving success when marketing internationally. He studied design under Buckminster Fuller at Southern Illinois University in the early ‘70s where his design thinking was influenced the most. “It took me 30 years to recognize this!” says Kulchawik. He worked with three of the top exhibit design companies in the U.S. (Exhibitgroup, Derse and 3D Exhibits) and served as president of EDPA and IFES (International Federation of Exhibition Design), which represents companies in 45 countries and world associations. He was honored to receive the Hazel Hays Award at EDPA in 2008, and the Roger Taurant Award from IFES. Today he is semi-retired and continues to stay active in the industry as a consultant. He speaks at industry events on international tradeshow differences and


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supports college-level training for exhibit design at Bemidji State and FIT/ NYC. He has written a regular column on international topics for Exhibit City News for the past ten years and continues to do so. “Over the past years Exhibit City News has evolved to be a ‘must read’ publication, along with Exhibitor magazine, as an industry reference regarding exhibit design and services. ECN maintains a focus on the needs of exhibit suppliers who each provide ideas and solutions to help exhibit designers, and their partners, to stay current with their competition, and to provide quality services for the clients they serve. ECN helps to promote and connect them” says Kulchawik. It is not unusual that those who have discovered this industry to stay involved for 20+ years. Making money and having fun in the process really matters when it comes to workplace satisfaction. We all have fumbled into this magical industry in one way or the other and have grown to develop a passion for what we now do for a living. As I ride off into the sunset here in Colorado, my passion for the industry remains strong, and I wish you all happy trails on your journeys ahead! Congratulations to ECN for their 25-year journey in keeping the industry informed and connected! ANNIVERSARY EDITION


3/4/20 1:43 PM

Covering the Industry for 25 Years



aving watched Exhibit City News evolve over the past decade, I have to admire the smart decisions that have brought this magazine to its 25th anniversary. I like the mix of news and inspiration found in each issue and online, and I encounter a growing number of industry professionals who agree that this publication is giving them what they need to stay current in the tradeshow world. But beyond that, I enjoy working with the Exhibit City News crew—Don Svelha and Jeanne Brei are kind, generous and appreciative, and more than just caring about what I write, I know that they care about me as a human being. It’s a nice family to be a part of. My deepest congratulations to Exhibit City News on turning a quarter of a century old. With such great momentum and so much more out there to write about, I know there will be another exciting 25 years to come,” says Porter. Cynthya Porter is a freelance writer for Exhibit City News who has been covering the exhibition industry since 2011. Her work has also been featured by USA Today, the Huffington Post, Houghton Mifflin Publishing, Flatiron Press and dozens more regional and national magazines and newspapers. Since becoming a professional journalist in 2001, her writing and photography have garnered more than 70 awards from publishing associations all over the globe. Her areas of expertise include inter-

national exhibiting, photography, profile features and first-person storytelling. Outside of her magazine work, Cynthya is an intrepid traveler, amassing more than 30 passport stamps in the last handful of years and 20,000 Instagram followers for her travel brand “Things I Wander.” In addition to vlogging and producing travel photography, she leads small groups on trips to some of the world’s most beautiful and interesting places. Having started her writing career as an investigative journalist at a newspaper, Cynthya’s favorite stories have been those with a lot of moving parts, history, unseen factors and divergent opinions. Here are excerpts from some of her favorite stories written since joining the team at Exhibit City News: “Fighting Pirates – An Intellectual Property Rights Primer for Exhibitors” – September/October 2017 “In the tradeshow world, there is perhaps nothing more valuable, or more fragile, than intellectual property rights. As evidenced by thousands of products, bringing a brilliant idea to the show floor can turn a company into a superstar. But it can also turn a company into a target for would-be thieves who spend their research and design budget on product espionage instead, trolling exhibitions for their next great knock off….”

“Wading into the Trade Show Technology Waters” – March/April 2017 “It wasn’t that long ago when the newest rage in technology for the tradeshow floor was the invention of lead collection systems that didn’t include a stack of paper and a fishbowl. But new technology can be onerous and expensive, and even as waves of rented badge scanners and newfangled customer relationship management (CRM) apps swept through show halls in the early days, there were as many eager adopters as there were opponents who said things were fine without adding that technology to their booth, thank you very much…” “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” – November/December 2018

“One needn’t look far into history books to find the ubiquitous “booth babe” of tradeshows past, as the practice of draping products with beautiful, usually scantily clad women was de rigeur for shows of virtually every kind for at least four decades. But talent-agency professionals say those days are largely gone— at least the half-naked part—because exhibit managers are finding that today it takes a lot more than sex appeal to sell products. What’s more, there is a new reality in the tradeshow world: The rise of women in the ranks of most industries may sometimes work against booths sporting babes as much as it may have helped in years gone by…” ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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Greg O’Dell

THE AIPC COLUMN: AIPC BOARD & MEMBERS Aloysius Arlando, Greg O’Dell, Julianne Jammers, Maurist Van Der Sluis, Peter King, Rod Cameron, Marc Rodriguez and more!

Aloysius Arlando

Julianne Jammers


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he AIPC organization has been writing a column on issues that concern convention center management internationally for ECN since July 2016. Many of the columns have been written by the current AIPC president, Aloysius Arlando, who is also the CEO of SingEx Holdings, which comprises several entities focusing on the MICE business; including the management of the Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition entre. In addition, he is also the president of the Singapore Association for Convention and Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers (SACEOS), organizer of Singapore MICE Forum. But other AIPC board members have also contributed columns including AIPC Vice President Greg O’Dell, president and CEO at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Events DC, wrote about why embracing a disruptive leadership mindset is necessary for success In ECN’s March 2019 issue; Maurist Van Der Sluis, COO at Rai Amsterdam, who wrote about how the Rai Amsterdam ensures a warm welcome for medical conferences in ECN’s January 2019 issue; and AIPC board member Julianne Jammers, managing director at the SwissTech CC in Lausanne, Switzerland, wrote about how convention centers can contribute to member value of associations in ECN’s July 2019 issue. In 2018, the AIPC columnists included Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s Peter King who wrote about em-

bracing the “customer journey;” then-exec. director AIPC and JMIC Rod Cameron who wrote how tradeshow and event attendees prove their economic worth to their communities; and Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona’s Marc Rodriguez wrote about the public and private section collaboration, which is the driving force behind Barcelona’s model. Since AIPC represents a global network of more than 190 leading centers in 64 countries with the active involvement of more than 1,000 management-level professionals worldwide, ECN looks forward to receiving contributions from many more convention centers directors from around the world. We want to recognize the efforts of former AIPC Executive Director Marianne de Raay who coordinated the column contributions each issue until she left in July 2019 and the current efforts of Member Relations Rep Oisín Nolan as he continues the column coordination. AIPC is committed to encouraging and recognizing excellence in convention center management, based on the diverse experience and expertise of its international representation, and maintains a variety of educational, research, networking and standards programs to achieve this. AIPC also celebrates and promotes the essential role of the international meetings industry in supporting economic, academic and professional development and enhancing global relations amongst highly diverse business and cultural interests. For more info, visit www.aipc.org ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years



came into the industry in 2001 with Octanorm USA. My first ever meeting with Don and Exhibit City News was EDPA’s annual meeting in Las Vegas in 2002 when my colleagues and I won the (at that time) prestigious Golden Ham award for the best one-minute commercial about the company. Many may remember that fateful 60 seconds involving a ladder, a long piece of aluminum extrusion and an innuendo regarding how fast Octanorm was/ is to erect. Since that time, I’ve attended many Exhibit City News parties and functions over the years, boats on Lake Michigan for TS2, Light nightclub for Willwork/ ECN parties at Exhibitor and a few times at In and Out before catching “red eyes” back to Atlanta. However, a phone call in the summer of 2017 changed that forever. My experience prior to coming into the tradeshow industry was in broadcasting, specifically in radio. So when I looked around my office and saw the years and years of collecting audio equipment for both commercial and low power radio use ... and with the seemingly strong growth in the world of podcasting ... it only made sense to start an official tradeshow, event

and podcast show which no one at the time was “really” focused on. Don’t get me wrong, there were several out there, but the norm seemed to be two, three months worth of programming and then an eternal pause in producing more. The reason for that? Simple...podcasting is hard work. Dedicating the time to create episodes and maintaining a reasonable level of professional results is not the easiest task to accomplish. So...I emailed Don, and if I’m honest...I was expecting a resounding no as an answer. I compiled my ideas together and sent off an email to him. His reply is still in my archives in the email files... “I am intrigued!” It is a staple response from Don which I’ve learned means, “if we can do it and it doesn’t hurt anybody...then onward!” So, we bolted into the podcast realm. The first shows were...amateurish, at best. We’ve come a long way in a little over two and a half years. Tens of thousands of listens and a respectable stable of repeat interviewees and topics. I look forward to working on the show with Don and Exhibit City News specifically, as without it... we have no vehicle to reach the tradeshow and event audience.

Congratulations to ECN for 25 years! Not sure I’ve done anything other than marriage for longer than 25 years consistently. At least things I can speak about publicly! Mike Morrison, national sales director for WS Displays, has partnered with ECN publisher Don Svehla to interview leading tradeshow and event industry people for the weekly “The Don and Mike Show” podcast. In its third year of weekly podcasts which focuses on tradeshows, events and experiential marketing issues in today’s world. Shows can be heard at ExhibitCityNews. com, TheDonAndMikeShow.net, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn group pages as well as iTunes, Google Play and many other podcast locations such as Spotify, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, TuneIn.FM and more. The podcast is “Brought to You by SMT Expo,” their first sponsor. A division of Glenmore Industries, an OEM manufacturer of a wide variety of home, industrial and automotive products, SMT stands for Smart Modular Technology and is the exclusive provider of the industry’s leading, full floorplan, fabric booth system and the sole manufacturer of this revolutionary tool-free system. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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ongratulations are certainly in order to Exhibit City News founder, Don Svehla, and his talented staff. A silver anniversary is always something to be proud of. Since June, 1994, Exhibit City News has become the premiere magazine covering the meeting, convention and tradeshow industries, and is read by more than 37,500 industry professionals (CEOs, CFOs, VPs, managers, meeting planners, suppliers, facility personnel, account executives, exhibitors and show floor workers). ECN is a master at covering an industry so dynamic that it will generate close to $20 billion in the next few years—and that’s just in the United States! This remarkable magazine has demonstrated excellent staying power as it has served a growing and ever-evolving industry—no small thing. As a 23-year entertainment rigging veteran, I’ve seen a few of these evolutions. For instance, in the early 1990s, COMDEX was one of the big shows in town—one of the largest tradeshows in the country. Its’ exhibit booths at the LVCC were enormous. The volume of rigging hanging above everyone was amazing; and a person could easily walk in the air from one end of central hall to the other due to the massive amounts of suspended truss. But today, COMDEX is just a memory. By 2004, COMDEX was cancelled due to “a lack of interest.” This decision took a financial toll on everyone, especially we tradeshow riggers. A huge tradeshow such as COMDEX that brought millions of 62 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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dollars to the Las Vegas economy, going from massive, to medium, to small, then gone—THAT was serious change. However, this drastic event taught those of us in the tradeshow industry the importance of diversification and the truism that nothing is more constant than change. We all watched as one show went away, another very quickly took its place. And ECN was at the forefront, covering this diversifying effort as Las Vegas met the challenge of change. In fact, the Las Vegas tradeshow industry has done such a great job of dealing with change, that we now have several million square feet of new event spaces soon to open, with not enough qualified workers to execute the events. And that’s another evolution ECN has covered—growth in all directions within the tradeshow industry, as well as how the industry is facilitating it. They’ve addressed the industry’s willingness to experiment, and its ability to truly understand tradeshow attendees’ and exhibitors’ specific needs. With growth, though, comes another evolution, and that’s the call for constant and never-ending improvement, in the form of standardization. ECN has reported on this improvement evolution. In the early 2000s, a group of entertainment rigging industry titans decided it was time to create a certification standard for entertainment riggers. Their goal was to establish rigging certification requirements that employers and IATSE and other unions that do tradeshow rigging

would insist on. Their motivation for this push was the belief that there needed to be a safety standard established and adhered to. Just as it makes sense that everyone who drives should have a license (certifying that they’re qualified to safely drive on the road), so does it make sense that everyone who rigs events should have accredited authorization to hang heavy construction over the heads of unsuspecting event attendees (certifying they’re qualified to safely hang tons of lighting, truss, LED walls and audio equipment). It’s been ECN that’s championed this improvement evolution (aka need for training and certification) through my articles on the LED Wall rigging failure (Nov/Dec 2019), the benefits of education and certification ( Jan/Feb 2020), along with a list of improvement-oriented topics for upcoming issues (“Questions to Ask Your Rigger or Rigging Company,” and “Why Structural Engineers Prefer Hardware Over Welding,” for instance). And inside the March/April 2020 issue, you’ll read about the compelling benefits associated with having an ETCP-certified rigger on your team. For 25 years, ECN has been not only informing and educating us on the changes, growth, and improvements within the tradeshow industry, it’s been inspiring and motivating us to support and contribute to these changes, growth, and improvements. Here’s to your continued staying power and cheers to the next 25 years, Exhibit City News! ANNIVERSARY EDITION


3/4/20 1:46 PM

Lighting Group

Lenovo Exhibit, Sapphire NOW 2017, Orlando, Florida ASTOUND

MORE THAN JUST A LIGHTING SUPPLIER • Custom Lighting Solutions • DMX Special Lighting Effects • Easy-To-Install Products For Labor Savings • OEM Product Design • Thousands Of LED Lighting Options PROGRAMMABLE LOVOFLEX™ LED STRIP LIGHTING





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f you had asked the child version of ECN columnist Haley (H. K.) Wilson what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would have told you that she wanted to be a writer. Fortunately, even though life does not occur in a straight line, childhood dreams can come true. Born in Ohio but raised in the Southwest, Haley grew up enchanted by the region’s open spaces and national parks. Those early experiences coaxed her sense of adventure and inspired her passion for the natural world. Haley had several vocations prior to becoming a writer, including occupations in the legal and real estate sectors before her tenure as an experiential event designer at a boutique firm. According to Haley, she is happy that it took her awhile to achieve her childhood ambition, as each of those


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experiences broadened her perspective and enriched her storytelling voice. Haley is the author of more than 1,500 published articles on business, social and environmental topics. Her ECN column, “The Green Piece,” chronicled sustainability in the tradeshow industry for nearly a decade. Haley currently resides in Southern California where she drinks lots of organic coffee and is neighbor to a famous mouse. Like ECN, she is celebrating her 25th birthday this year, but for the second time. “Many felicitations to Don and everyone at ECN on 25 years of informing, elevating and uniting people in the meetings and exhibitions industry! I’m proud to be part of the ECN family!” Connect with Haley at: linkedin.com/in/ haley-h-k-wilson-378b8413 ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years



esley joined Exhibit City News to work on a special project, the I&D and Event Labor 40-page special insert, that ran in our September 2015 issue, and inspired our regular Shop to Showfloor section in today’s ECN. She continued to write feature stories about I&D and other industry topics and in 2018, she began

her Digital Experience column, which ran until March 2019, and connected technical advances like chatbots, facial recognition, AI and VR with face-to-face marketing tactics. Currently she’s a project manager at Original Shift in the San Francisco Bay area. Connect with Lesley at www.linkedin. com/in/lesleymartin. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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appy 25th, Exhibit City News! Don Svehla and I have been friends since Giltspur, a name I now have to explain to people in the industry. After teaching rhetoric in college for seven years and taking on sales and marketing roles in book publishing, I discovered that there was a whole industry I never knew about. In the publishing industry, I was on the client side; when the exhibit manager came to me, I was the one who said, “How much????” When I joined Giltspur after Rupert Murdoch bought my last company, I was amazed at the possible complexity of show floor interactions. I was also surprised to find that eating lunch in the exhibit was not something good marketers would do. And so it happened that my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1997, and I realized that this life isn’t the dress rehearsal. I asked myself, “When I come to the end of the ride, will I wish I had struck out on my own?” and the answer was yes. Twenty-two years and so many friends later, here I am, wishing Don and his crew a happy anniversary. As much as ECN has evolved from a newsprint tab-


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loid to a class publication, my own life as evolved. I have spent a hefty portion of the last 22 years working in the healthcare space—writing, training, marketing. I’ve worked with some positively wonderful supplier-side clients, and now I’m delighted to be working with two women, Amy Yag-Sondrup and Debbie Parrott, who are second-generation presidents. And yes, I worked with both their fathers. Since I don’t have the right pedigree for The Junior League, my “volunteer work” is centered on industry associations. The industry has been very good to me. Many of my contemporaries have retired, and people ask me when I will retire. Why would anyone retire when she is living a life she loves? Working with young people (and at this point, everyone is younger than I am) keeps me young and engaged. Those of you who know me know that I’m not all work. I have grandkids (also kids), I have my bike, I have my Fitbit, I have the Bears, I have my theater tickets, my Kindle—and my streaming services. At this point, I jump in whenever Don and Jeanne say “jump,” and I hope they’ll keep saying it for a long time. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


3/4/20 1:48 PM

Covering the Industry for 25 Years



ongratulations to Exhibit City News for 25 years in the tourism and exhibition industry! When I f irst joined the industry, Don and the ECN team made me feel at home. Here’s to the next 25!—Julie Pazina, national director of sales, Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services Julie began writing for ECN in 2007 and her column, the Power People, reflected not just her position at Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services, but also the subjects of her writing. When looking for inspiration for a column, she would talk to exhibition industry veterans and her columns would share their stories. Pazina started her career at Edlen in 2006 and currently serves as the company’s national director of sales, overseeing sales in the Las Vegas market, as well as regional and national sales efforts. She served on the Board of the Las Vegas Hospitality Association for six years, including her tenure as president in 2013. She is also a member of the Junior League of Las Vegas, is an active community volunteer and is a member of the International Association of Exhibitions

and Events, where she has served as a committee chair, graduated from the Krakoff Leadership Institute and was named the 2011 Young Professional of the Year and the 2019 Woman of Achievement. She also currently serves on the International Association of Venue Managers Convention Center and Industry Affairs Committees. She was one of the first graduates of its CEM-Advanced Professional program in December 2019 and was appointed to Nevada’s Commission on Tourism by Governor Sisolak in September 2019. She recently engaged in a campaign for a Nevada State Senate seat, in order to represent her community in upcoming legislative sessions. Prior to her time at Edlen, Pazina worked for the cruise industry as an assistant cruise director and port and cruise consultant. Before living and working at sea, she worked in the advertising industry on such accounts as The Ritz-Carlton and Ohio’s Electric Choice campaign. Pazina is an Atlanta native and Vanderbilt University graduate. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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ongrats to Exhibit City News on 25 years! Thank you for supporting my column for four years and for all your work keeping the industry up to date on the latest topics. Just like in 2011 when I stared writing the “Where in the World” column, global shows continue to grow and pick up steam. Globalization is bigger than ever as people fight for a piece of the marketplace. Today, we are seeing how connected we really are, through the coronavirus not only affecting the markets, but also the tradeshow industry. A major show like Mobile World

Congress not taking place puts the globality of our world into perspective.” “While I haven’t written the column in nearly five years, as I reflect on my travels and experience global exhibit work from a different lens, I see many of the same trends. I’ve also been able to take my experiences and turn them into ideas for how to improve domestic build methods and operations, becoming more efficient. I encourage everyone to embrace the global market and be open to new experiences.” —Kelli Steckbauer, executive VP, operational development, 3D Exhibits ANNIVERSARY EDITION

KELLI STECKBAUER started in the industry in 2002 as an intern at MG Design Associates. In 2004, upon finishing her degree, she was hired on as a full-time account manager. Steckbauer started MG Design’s Global Department in 2010 upon completing her master’s in International Executive Management. In addition to both account management and global work at MG Design, she also worked in sales and became VP, Operations. In June 2018, she became Executive VP, Operational Development for 3D Exhibits in the greater Chicago area. Her column in ECN ran from 2011-2015. Her love for different cultures started at a young age and only grew stronger while living in Germany and completing a year at the university. As she traveled more to other countries, she realized there are so many key items that people just forgot to relay when traveling to a certain area. How to navigate a city (whether that is through public transportation, airports or taxis) along with currency information, tipping and other like items people often forget to research. They focus on the business at hand or the hot places to go and visit. Realizing this became the inspiration for her columns. Tell people what they need to know…the basics! Naturally, this does lend to business culture and customs, but there is so much more to traveling and global business.


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years



grew up in the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park area of Chicago, and in those days, life in Beverly was much like growing up in a Norman Rockwell painting. As I progressed through the public school system, I learned the most under-appreciated profession is that of a teacher. Where I lived there were a lot of police, firemen and city workers; at times it seemed like everyone’s father had a union job. Pensions and health insurance were taken for granted. I was born the year Sputnik was launched and 12 years after the end of WWII. I watched Americans walk on the moon while we were bogged in a war in Southeast Asia by a foe with primitive technology. I graduated from Western Illinois University in 1980, a week after John Lennon was shot, and a couple of weeks before a veteran movie actor was inaugurated as President. I guess that was a harbinger of things to come. I attended Richmond College in London in the late ‘70s and traveled extensively throughout Europe. It was a great experience because I learned to respect the differences between cultures on the planet we all share. It also sparked a passion for travel, which continues to this day. I began in the tradeshow business in 1976 and it was pretty much my life for the next 37 years, but now I’m retired and beginning my second life. I have a fairly secure retirement, which is due in large part to pension programs set up by previous generations. I hope future generations have the same security I enjoy. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the tradeshow industry; it

exemplifies America, full of opportunity while at the same time, enigmatic and contradictory. But looking back...there are worse ways to make a living. I’d like to congratulate Exhibit City News on 20 years of serving the tradeshow industry. Don Svehla started this publication while working as a carpenter at Chicago’s McCormick Place, and over the years, it has grown to become one of the leading sources of news and information for the convention and tradeshow industry. Many changes have taken place over the past 20 years, and other tradeshow publications have come and gone, but Exhibit City News is still here and stronger than ever. While I’m no longer active with Exhibit City News, I wrote a monthly column for half of its existence beginning in 1994. I began as a tradeshow decorator in Chicago in the mid-70s, and I felt this gave me a unique point of view on the evolving nature of the industry. Some changes have been positive and others were not, but one fact remains, the greatest asset of our industry is the army of unseen working class heroes who do the dirty work that’s often ignored. I’ve often said that I never wrote any of my columns, my co-workers did. I just listened to them and summarized what they told me. Providing a perspective that’s often overlooked was the most gratifying aspect of writing my column. Congratulations to Exhibit City News for a legacy of 25 years of quality and integrity. Good luck in the future and I hope you’re around for a long, long time.

The Employment Strategy Corner columnist Philip H. Kemper Jr. passed away Jan. 16, 2018. He wrote regularly about job search and interviewing techniques for Exhibit City News. In 1977, the longtime Chicago resident founded Kemper Associates, recruiting experts for business meetings and events, tradeshow, exhibit and A-V production staffing. The company specialized in visual communications industry professionals. Its clients included leading Fortune 100 corporations and production facilities of all sizes nationwide. Prior to founding his own company, he had a significant career with several of the country’s largest advertising agencies, helping to direct the agencies’ marketing efforts on leading food and packaged goods accounts including the American Dairy Association, Coopers ( Jockey) Underwear, Brach Candy and many more. He also helped clients develop successful new consumer food products. While working in the advertising agencies he developed an interest and expertise in the production of business meetings, events and tradeshows which included the creative use of audio-visual and special effects to market his clients’ products. This interest in the meeting side led to him branching out to create his recruitment company. ANNIVERSARY EDITION



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I met Don when it all started, in 1993, we are close, like brothers. He has a heart as big as a whale. He serves the industry with passion, trying to make a difference, and we wish him the very best, and much success.”

Mike Boone Director of International Business, Coastal International

Exhibit City News is an immensely valuable resource for the meetings, exhibitions, and events industry. From local to international coverage of our sector, ECN delivers highly interesting and highly useful feature stories, commentary, industry outlook and projection, schedules, and facts and figures. Of course, in that Willwork Global Event Services has long recognized the strength and reach of ECN, and the respect it is accorded, we have also been a long-time and frequent advertiser in the publication. Indeed, Willwork’s analysis tells us that we always realize excellent return on our investment in advertising with ECN. Willwork Global Event Services congratulates Exhibit City News on its silver anniversary. And we look forward with great optimism and enthusiasm to working with ECN over the next 25 years, and beyond.”

On behalf of the entire Champion Logistics Group, it is my pleasure to congratulate you on the 25th anniversary of Exhibit City News. The publication is a reflection of you and your readership, and is an important part of the unique fabric that is the tradeshow industry. This is an achievement that would not be possible if not for the dedication and passion represented by you and your staff. We appreciate the important service you provide to the hardworking professionals of our industry at every level. Cheers to you, and continued success for years to come!”

Drey Lucibello CEO, Champion Logistics Group

Billy Nixon, CEO Willwork Global Event Services


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

A GLIMPSE OF TRADESHOW HISTORY 1909 The Road Show The construction industry held its first show in Columbus, Ohio, with 40 exhibitors and about 1,000 attendees. Considered a hazardous experiment with all 40 exhibitors displaying new devices that could do the work of 15 horse-drawn carriages. Later changing its name to ConExpo and later joining forces with ConAgg in 1996, ConExpo/ConAgg is now the largest tradeshow in North America, taking place once every three years.

1923 Freeman

Due to his success decorating fraternity parties in college, Donald S. “Buck” Freeman started the New Idea Service Company in Iowa City, Iowa. Expanding to Freeman Decorating in 1927, Freeman supported the war effort with the spray painting of government barracks and hospitals, airport runway striping and camouflaging services for training airports. Still owned by the Freeman family, the company now produces more than 4,300 expositions annually, including 135 of the 250 largest U.S. tradeshows and 11,000 other events worldwide.

1945 Helen Brett

In a male-dominated industry, Helen Brett became the first woman to become a show manager by happenstance. As a traveling saleswoman for the Sellright Gift Corporation, she decided that instead of competing against fellow colleagues, she would help them. Securing a hotel room to display her merchandise when others had lost their space, she invited five salespeople to join her. Doing well, the same group asked Brett to make arrangements for them again. Word got out about Brett’s successful planning, and in 1946 the first official Helen Brett Gift & Jewelry Show took place in Minneapolis. Brett’s name is now renowned for Gift and Jewelry shows held semi-annually in New Orleans and Memphis.

1953 National Association of Exhibit Managers (NAEM)

The first association of exhibit organizers celebrated its 25th anniversary after establishing local chapters in New York, Chicago and Washington the previous year. Starting as a group of six to eight organizers meeting informally to voice concerns over the industry and share information, the group had a hard time establishing itself over the course of the next two decades. It was difficult to generate interest in the midst of two wars, the stock market crash and the ensuing Great Depression. As the industry gained speed, so did the organization, officially changing its name to the International Association for Exhibition Management in 1991. It is now known as International Association of Exhibitions and Events.

1972 TWI Global Exhibition Logistics Founded by Steven Barry, TWI Global Exhibition Logistics was integral in paving the way for U.S. companies participating in overseas exhibitions. Barry’s was the first American company to create a standardized specialty service for American exhibitors that included overseas transport, foreign importation, delivery to show site, provision of on-site personnel, exportation and re-importation into the U.S. TWI was one of seven founding members of the International Exhibition Logistics Associates (IELA) in 1985. In 2000, the group had around 100 members representing 40 nations on every continent.

2000 Cyberservice

Deciding technology should work for the exhibition industry and knowing the internet would revolutionize the way business is done, The Expo Group launched Cyberservices, a real-time, online ordering service. By offering the service via the Internet, this gave exhibitors the opportunity to place orders 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In April 2003, the company received a patent for the database-driven software that makes Cyberservices possible. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

MEET THE TRADESHOW WORKFORCE! The goal of publisher Don Svehla, aka Mr. Tradeshow, was to represent all facets of labor that keep the show floor running smoothly. Don, along with the help of Associate Editor Dan Greene and Photographic Consultant Tom Fox, produced a bulletin called Exhibit City to report for and about the tradeshow and exhibition industry.






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THE WOW! BOOTH Factory in the Forest: ProExhibits Brings Stikwood’s Rustic Booth to Life Originally Published Mar/April 2017 issue PROJECT CREDITS Client Team: Stikwood (Jerry & Laura McCall, owners; Amy McVay, marketing director, www.stikwood.com) ProExhibits Account team: Berkeley Dowd, sr. account executive; David Liau, designer; Janis Machado, account manager

IN AUGUST 2016, ECN editor Arthur Bloberger introduced Medill alum Jeanne Brei to publisher Don Svehla at an EDPA outing at Cashman Field and the Wow Booth! became a regular feature as a result of that meeting.


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Exhibit Design & Construction: Tom Foley, VP operations; Dan Berterretche, project manager; Sal Medina, custom shop manager; Noah Ploch-Jones, shop lead/ field services; Joe Williams, detailer/project manager (www.proexhibits.com) Exhibit Installation & Dismantle: Momentum Mgt.


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tlsproductionsinc.com info@tlsproductionsinc.com 855.515.TLSP

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Lighting Rigging Audio LED Video Projection SFX Design Management Rentals Sales

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Mike Ebert

by F. Andrew Taylor


e are one of the best companies in the industry,” says Mike Ebert, president of CEP. “I’m biased, but we really are. We have a rock-solid reputation for adapting to all industry scenarios, demanding quality and being very client-centric.” Despite the pride he has in the company, he has a deep respect for his peers in the industry and recognizes that it is a golden age for exhibition and exhibit companies. When the industry faced hard financial times a few years back, several entities had to shut their doors for good. Ebert contends that those that remained were flexible enough to reformulate products and services to meet the new industry tapestry. “Everybody needs to be able to do design very well, and that is one of our strongest assets,” Ebert says. “Everybody ought to be able to build things really well, and we do… our carpenters are some of the best in the world. So, what defines success and how do you remain in the industry? Stay true to your unique position, visualize your brand, constantly strengthen client communication by listening and responding with solutions, and finally, building a strong company culture.” He maintains that there is an ineffable quality apparent among CEP’s staff that outsiders recognize when they see the team in action or visit the offices. He says it’s something you can just feel; you don’t even have to talk to anyone to be aware that something wonderful is happening. He touts the fact that the CEP staff is totally focused, knowledgeable and always project prepared. “Five years ago, we set out to develop the best Standard Operating Procedures in the industry, which provide our internal teams with a consistent roadmap that can be followed in the dark,” explains Ebert. “And like any roadmap, there must be flexibility built in; our team knows that 84 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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at times they might need to take a detour to get the job accomplished.” “Maybe it’s because we’ve got a good mix of people who have been in the industry

it’s like that great championship team where everyone gels... our employees share a passion for servicing clients...

a long time along with some new people in the mixture,” Ebert says, “It’s like you have that great championship team where everyone gels. From every level, employees

share a passion for servicing clients from all business categories…it is a shared vision based on pride. That’s where we’re at now, and it’s an enviable position.” The company has been around since 1985, when it was founded as Chicago Exhibit Productions. It was built on “solid Midwestern ideals and a belief system that held high the concepts of relationships, accountability, value creation and family,” the company profile states. Those principles are still an asset CEP’s staff and management are proud of, along with steady growth, an extraordinary rate of employee retention, an impressive client list in a diverse array of important industries, a nationwide presence and a global footprint. Ebert came to the company seven years ago when Werner Koos, owner and CEO of CEP, felt the company needed some changes. Ebert quickly ascertained that there was room for improvement in communicating with and appreciating employees, collaboration across all departments, inspiring new ideas and self-awareness, focusing on staff development and strengthening long range planning. “The company had always set new goals


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and met them, but there came a time when our goals needed to be more aggressive to bolster the company’s financial position and industry leadership,” explains Ebert. “Werner said it was time for fresh ideas, organizational restructuring, new solutions and hands on leadership. He led the company exceptionally well for 28+ years, but realized that, change is inevitable, and that time was here. He recognized and appreciated my successful business management experience and I was recruited from Michigan. The one thing that stood out in my mind during our initial phone conversations were the questions Werner would ask were about my family. How were they? How would it affect them? How can we make it easier for them during the transition? When a man cares so much for an employee’s family, you will do whatever it takes to carry the torch. After so many years of guiding the company, ‘letting loose’ for Werner was a process he embraced from day one. He trusts his senior management to make the correct decisions…he trusts us as leaders.”

“When Werner hired me, I presented a long-term business plan and vision,” Ebert continues. “I’m proud to say we’re on track and in great shape. I’m very happy, with where we’re at as a company right now, but there is a lot more to accomplish. Our drive for improvement is never-ending.” Over the years the company has expanded its operations in Orlando and Las Vegas by establishing full-service operations to meet coast-to-coast business demands. CEP LaborSource, their field services division which completes their integrated concept-to-installation offerings, has also been steadily expanding annually. Additionally, CEP’s international sector has grown dramatically. By offering one source, one point of contact for turnkey exhibition services, CEP currently has extensive business in more than 50 countries. The international division, led by Allison Trost, has created a strong foothold in international business through integrated procedures and great relationships in the international community. Global sales have tripled under Trost. Ebert sees expanded

international business as a very strategic part of CEP’s overall plan and a major contributor to incremental sales for the company and adds, “Allison is an exceptional talent with an amazing connection to details, she will be a great leader for CEP well into the future.” Ebert takes a special interest in all CEP employees, both personally and professionally. He fosters a healthy work/life balance that employees appreciate. He professes that a content and motivated employee has a much greater penchant of making significant contributions to the company. To display his dedication to employee esprit de corps, Ebert has instituted many internal employee programs including individual anniversary recognitions, employee appreciation days, seasonal parties and fun activities outside of work. He feels this type of support and recognition is a major contributor to team strengthening and success. “It’s a magical thing that’s going on right now,” Ebert says. “I’m proud of CEP’s success, and especially proud of the people that wear the CEP brand so proudly. Stay tuned, there is a lot more to come.” ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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ExhibitorParty Celebrates 20th Party in 2020!

EXHIBITORPARTY is THE place to be on Tuesday night, March 31, at 9 p.m. during ExhibitorLIVE. The “Networking Party of the Year” will again be at Light Nightclub at Mandalay Bay and is hosted by Willwork and Exhibit City News during THE tradeshow for tradeshow and event professionals. In 2020, they will be celebrating their 20th party! With live performances and a premier DJ to keep the party rocking as well as the best networking opportunities around. At press time, sponsors include in4med, 4Productions, beMatrix, Willwork Global Event Services. See you on the dance floor! Visit www.exhibitorparty.com to get your tickets!


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We’re Back! 2020 is our 20th Party! Light Night Club | Mandalay Bay March 31st | 9pm exhibitorparty.com

The Networking Party of the Year! Hosted by:

Sponsored by:

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20 MAJOR EVENTS • Contempo becomes latest Los Angeles powerhouse

• EACA to facilitate the formation of labor commttee

• Trade Group and Nomadic/Dallas merge • Contempo, Powerhouse merge

• GES and Penton sign long-term agreement • Folio unifies offices with new identity at ExhibitorShow 2000

• CEIR to provide comprehensive census of exhibition industry


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000 • IAEM issues revision of ‘guidelines for display rules and regulations’ • Freeman acquires PM Displays, party time • Jack Morton acquires part of Cairibier

• Decorators Local No. 17 president Mike Fitzpatrick wins by one vote • Attendance down but quality high at Silicon Valley TEN Show

• Convention Liaison council renamed to Convention Industry Council • Carpeting supplier Brumark under new management

• Construction underway on Pittsburgh’s new facility: Center will be the first in U.S. to incorporate high performance green features • Western Exhibit Productions of CEP opens doors in Las Vegas • First GES vendors fair meets in Las Vegas • ConvEXX launched in Las Vegas

• COMDEX surpasses one million net square feet-Fall 2000 • Unique option LLC furniture rental opens in Florida • Ten Show goes to Chicago

• Name change from IAEM to IAEE approved by numbers


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20 MAJOR EVENTS • Regency Exposition Services made official contractor at Navy Pier

• Freeman acquires Stage Rigging, Inc. • GES sells division, Anderson will lead Exhibitgroup/Giltspur • Nth Degree acquires FAIRTEAM • TSEA will move to Chicago

• New drayange program debuts at the Super Show • Obermeyer & Chapin form new exhibit marketing firm Reveal


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

001 • Exhibit Dynamics moves to new facility in Ohio

• Merger formed between Freeman, TELAV

• After the fall…Flower show blooms after floor collapse at Navy Pier

• Nimlok Company teams up with Sho-link Incorporated

• Heritage Exhibits expands Dallas facility

• Freeman acquires Hoffend Xposition

• Mandalay Bay to build 1.9 million-sq.-ft. center

• ICON joins Sho-Link venture

• Sparks Exhibits shuffles southeast operations

• First Kulchawik open benefits UNLV

• Exhibit Dynamics launches slogan, website

• TSEA opens offices in Chicago

• Philly union dispute disrupts show set-up

• Czarnowski moves to new Las Vegas facility

• Klose acquires Sundance Communications

• European Union bans non-treated exhibit crates

• Flat Cord at Chicago’s McCormick Place approved

• Mandalay Bay breaks ground

• LVCVA raises exhibit space rates

• Brian Cree Buys Southwest Displays & Events


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olor Reflections has been in the industry for more than 70 years and provides a full spectrum of digital imaging and traditional photographic services. As innovators in photographic reproduction services, they employ technology, networked across platforms and across the continent, to create a whole new realm of imaging possibilities. They have developed a reputation for providing your world’s most life-like reproductions with uncompromising customer service. They specialize in the design of impactful images that will bring customer’s message to life through grand format signage, large format photographic prints, tradeshow graphics and hardware, wallpaper and fabrics, 96 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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and cut vinyl and dimensional lettering. The Color Reflections team can also help develop a customer’s business through increased brand recognition by utilizing digital printing to create dynamic banners, vehicle wraps, billboards and brochures. The company has deep roots in the printing industry. It began as a black-andwhite reprographics shop in Houston run by Carl and Florence Magaziner called Arrow Graphics. Today the organization has grown to five large operations in four different states, with a staff of hundreds and state-of-the-art color printing capabilities that can print everything from a letter-size piece of paper to a building-sized mesh banner.

Carl and Florence’s son, Paul, took over the company in the 1980s and expanded his family’s business into the world of color reproductions, later renaming the firm. Color Reflections prides itself on being a nationwide company and for the quality of work they provide for the top tradeshow displays across the country. Over the past 50 years, Color Reflections has continued to grow and revolutionize the large-format visuals market. Joe Castellano is president and CEO of the Las Vegas office, the newest of the operations, which opened in 1995. The other operations are Hollywood and Orlando Fla., Atlanta, Ga. and the original office in Houston, where Castellano was initially


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

hired as their first outside sales rep before he moved to open their Las Vegas location. “The best way to describe my job is that it’s my hobby,” Castellano says. “I enjoy all of the people who work here. I enjoy the variety of projects. I enjoy the technology and, most of all, I enjoy the problem solving.” Each of the locations caters to the specific businesses of that area. For example, the majority of what they print at the Houston location is oil and natural gas company related. In Las Vegas, much of what they print is for the gaming, tradeshow and special events industry. Castellano is amazed at the changes he’s seen in the technology of the industry. “In 1995 we got a Cruse camera, which was basically a positive-to-positive camera,” Castellano says. “You could give us an 8x10 image and we could blow it up as large as 4’x8’. It was full color and the quality was very good. Shortly after that we figured out

a way to put negatives on there and print like a traditional photo lab, so we brought equipment to make hi-res 8x10 negatives and transparencies, so everything was done with a negative or transparencies.” With that system they produced high quality slot toppers and 22x28” signage for lollipop signs in casinos. “In 1997 we purchased the Durst Lambda, which was the first digital direct photographic printer,” he says. “It allowed us to take a file, send it to the Lambda, which threw red, green and blue lasers through a series of mirrors and came out with a gorgeous, even tone. This was our first venture into the digital age. From there we found board printers and roll-to-roll devices. Today, we don’t do anything without a computer file.” Their printers can make a single print on vinyl that is 16’ wide by 150’ long. They can weld several of those together to larger images, like eight large mesh banners they created recently for the World Market Center in Las Vegas. In addition to those 52x52-foot pieces, the project included two building wraps an a lot of tenant signage. The company has done countless major projects over the years, but one of the ones that Castellano remembers as one of the most notable, fun and a personal favorite, are the two Super Bowls the company did extensive work on—Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz., and Super Bowl L in Santa Clara, Calif. “We were on site for a few weeks prior to the game,” Castellano explains. “We got to see all of the behind-the-scenes preparation as we created banners, wrapped fences and worked on signage and branding on huge tents that held about 1,000 people.” The industry faces a number of challenges, but one of the biggest ones is that a quick turnaround has become the norm. “The equipment is so fast and the quality is so good that now everything is due immediately,” Castellano says. “Fortunately,

... A quick turnaround has become the norm. The equipment is so fast and the quality is so good that now everything is due immediately. Fortunately, our people are up to the task ... our people are up to the task.” Another major issue in the industry is employee retention. The work is fast paced and the hours can be long, and not every employee is up to that. Color Reflections is aware of the issue and treats its crew with respect and camaraderie that prompts loyalty and makes everyone proud to be a part of the team. The Las Vegas operation is open 24/7 in the month of January, one of the busiest months for the tradeshow industry, thanks to CES, . “We rotate everybody and people are pretty good about grabbing shifts and lending a hand,” Castellano says. We can get exhausted. We try to make it fun even though it can be really stressful sometimes. We fight like brothers and sisters, but at the end of the day we’re still friends. That’s important.” The majority of the Las Vegas staff are long-term employees who have been with the company, seven, ten and even 20 years. “If you ask anybody who has been on the tradeshow business for a long time, they’ll tell you that it grows on you,” Castellano says. “They like the fast pace and that the problems are different. The items that people ask us to create for them are different. You don’t get bored.” ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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20 MAJOR EVENTS • Champion acquires Aaron Group

• Idea acquires TigerMark Exhibits products line

• San Diego CC expansion complete ; Anaheim CC goes wireless; LVCC bans use of halogen lamps • MC2 opens Salt Lake City division

• TSEA moves to McCormick’s Lakeside Center

• TWI Founder Stephen Barry Jr. receives EDPA Hazel Hays Award • Calvin Cotton named new president of IATSE • Hood Exhibits expands S.F. warehouse space

• Advanstar acquires image and information management show


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Informing the Industry for 25 Years

002 • Gaming shows merge: American Gaming Assoc. acquires World Gaming Congress and Expo

• EDPA announces new charity foundation

• CeBIT attendance down 18 percent to 700K

• Kim Fracalossi appointed CEO at Exhibitgroup/Giltspur

• Shabang! Exhibits opens in Dallas

• RND Exhibits join Octanorm family

• Elite Expo moves to building in S. Elgin, Ill

• EXHIBITOR Show moves to Mandalay Bay in ‘03

• MICE North America acquires Marketcraft and opens design office in LA

• Derse adds exhibit division in Pittsburgh

• Exhibit Works gets ISO 9001 certification

• 3D Exhibits acquires Ballyhoo Productions

• Consolidated Freightways Bankruptcy

• Moss gets OK from National Fire Protection Association to provide its own fire certificates

• MICE North America adds I&D firm Delta management group

• Launch of CEIR Index

• CyClonix veteran Nate Sublett launches Benchmark Exhibit Inc.

• Architectural Concepts forms partnership with Hong Kong-based Pico • Moss takes over rival Exhibit Architecture • ICON Exhibits opens California branch

• Freeman acquires Canadian subsidiary Kerry Technical Services Ltd.

• CEA boss reaches the Pinnacle: Gary Shapiro wins the awards EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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• Orange County CC Riggers’ union push turns nasty

• Rossi Ralenkotter promoted to executive VP at LVCVA

• Exhibitgroup/Giltspur to centralize manufacturing centers • Politics are the latest snag in Philly labor woes

• MICE DisplayWorks expands with office, GM in Silicon Valley • Lynch Industries gets new name, acquisitions

• MICE celebrates one-year anniversary in N. America • Jevic creates new tradeshow solutions group

• Avalon Exhibits & Corp. Dimensions announce merger

• Richard Simon named Chicago CTB chairman of the board • Lynch Exhibits makes offer for Sparks’ parent • Expo Group patent for ‘ Single Source’ process


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003 • Global Exhibit Mgmt enters int’l market

• PMMI creates exhibitor servicer company

• CompuSystems introduces wireless solutions for show organizers

• Sparks Exhibits & Environments acquires Exhibit Crafts Inc.

• Pinnacle Exhibits opens third location; new facility in Irvine, Calif.

• Exhibit Group opens new Chicago Studio

• Joe Popolo Jr. named Freeman pres.& CEO

• Omaha’s Qwest Center to open

• Freeman Companies named premier vendor for Microsoft events and programs

• Exhibitgroup/Giltspur inaugurates leasing, financing program with Wells Fargo

• Sullivan Transfer and Freeman Decorating to consolidate, combine resources

• Pittsburgh ‘Powers Up’ with new ‘green’ convention center

• EVA rejects call for one association of UK exhibition industry

• Gift Show exhibitors left in the dark at Javits

• Telesis Design Group closes doors

• Agile Trade Show Furnishings ‘going national’

• Yellow acquires Roadway Corp.for $966M

• TEN debuts in N.J. Conv. & Expo Center

• IAEM opens European office

• Gold LEED certification for Pittsburgh center EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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THE WOW! BOOTH Zig Zibit Delivers a Dynamic, Innovative & Vibrant Booth for Fujifilm Originally Published July/Aug 2019 issue PROJECT CREDITS Client: Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (Morrisville, N.C.)

... it accomplishes absolutely everything that we were looking to do: meeting space, striking, innovative...

Show: BIO International Conference 2019, June 3-6, Philadelphia, PA Client team: Andy Fenny, Anitra Johnson, Emily Longstaff, Liza Rivera, Sabrina Borges Production Design: Zig Zibit Exhibit Design: Zig Zibit I&D: Nth Degree Digital Production: Phosworks, Inc. (Stockholm, Sweden) Graphic Design: RDW Creative (Eagles Cliff, U.K.) Fabric Graphics: Moss, Inc AV: NMR Events Photography: Zig Zibit


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• Yellow Roadway names leadership team

• Nth Degree names John Yohe as president

• Access TCA consolidates eastern operations

• 2004 Hazel Hays Award goes to Gary Stewart

• Spoon breaks ground on new global headquarters • Scott Rudel named VP of operations at Sho-Link • Sho-Link names Alan Scaccia new CEO

• Reed Exhibitions announces new president Chett Burchett, North America • Exhibit Dynamics files for Chapter 11 • Rex Walker joins ECN staff

• Square Mile Studio a new adventure for industry vets • Exhibit Resources becomes Octanorm OSPI


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004 • Gaylord opens ‘total destination resort’ near Dallas-Fort Worth

• Exhibitgroup/Giltspur opens new home in Pittsburgh’s north shore

• Matrex Exhibits expanding to larger Chicago facility

• Industry addresses homeland security issues at ESCA Summer Educational Conference

• Showtime Enterprises opens sales, support office in Phoenix

• Chicago’s Riggers Union re-elects Fred Schreier

• MC2 names Gary Benson CEO, announces other promotions, appointments • Kim Wilkins joins ExpoPros labor team

• XHIBITTRADER.COM is launched by Ex-COO of Exhibit Dynamics Ray Rogowicz • PRG and VLPS Lighting Services International complete merger

• GES I&D services redesigned to operate independently

• VIAD spins off moneygram

• CEP adds LaborNet to service offering

• Plan View opens Northern California Facility

• a17: Hurricanes force postponment of Restaurant Row

• Opening of MICE Dallas

• ZigZibit Exhibit Design moves HQ to Raleigh, N.C.

• Oscar Associates and Einzig join forces

• The Rogers Co. opens in Orlando

• Canada’s Stronco Group acquires CE3

• MICE North America opens Atlanta office


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• Exhibit City News get a new visual identity/logo from Canyon Creative, a brand strategy company • Sparks Exhibits to buy Showtime

• Nomadic Display to build new Houston home

• Octanorm combats alleged copyright violation • IAEM to launch entirely new publication EXPO magazine

• Steven A. Schuldenfrei selected TSEA president • Rosemont packages services, attracts clients • Coverings 2005 donates tile to Habitat for Humanity

• Zenith LaborNet, A-Plus join forces

• CME program modified to include essays


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

005 • Dazzling Connecticut Convention Center opens for business

• Nomadic Displays appear on American Idol

• Golden Arches GOLDEN ANNIVERARY: Exhibitgroup/Giltspur helps McDonald’s celebrate 50 years with innovative Chicago restaurant design

• Showtime unsecured creditor funds to emerge from escrow

• Gaylord Entertainment breaks ground on Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center

• Czarnowski moves San Francisco unit to larger East Bay location

• Revitalization efforts underway at Morial Convention Center in New Orleans

• Canadian group Global Convention Services Ltd. buys Freeman’s Halifax unit

• Reveal adds key staffers, wins 9 marketing awards

• Kellen Co. promotes Rachel Barlow, Pete Dicks as VPs

• New Puerto Rico Convention Center opens

• Raleigh Convention Center staff members aid train wreck victims

• Abex Displays Systems celebrates 25 years of innovation

• McCormick Place reaches out to exhibitors, contractors in wide effort to lower costs

• Edlen selected by Wynn Las Vegas

• FormDecor opens Northeast office


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Deckel & Moneypenny at KBIS

EXPOSURES PHOTOGRAPHY CAPTURES EXHIBITS Photographer Gary Prochorchik Shoots Tradeshows Since 1983 by Lisa Abrams


hundred years ago, Fred Barnard said it well, “A picture speaks a thousand words.” With today’s images going viral at an unbelievable pace, this could not be truer for the tradeshow industry. You spend countless hours and thousands of dollars selling, designing and building the most incredible exhibits. Innovative fabrication combining a tried and true system and the most awesome lighting and LED screen technology adorn your new 100,000-squarefoot build. Do you trust this to an iPhone

or someone who happens to give you the lowest price or do you call a photographer who specializes in tradeshow exhibits? They say it’s not all about a “bike” or a “camera,” but a photographer that is truly adept in photographing exhibits will have specialized equipment. Your photographer needs an expert eye—and the right tools. Some lenses have features that allow the photographer to see more like our brains. Our eyes are only lenses. Our brains are what makes everything look

how we perceive it to be. Have you seen photos where the vertical lines converge? Some lenses keep this from happening. A photographer serious about their work will invest in the proper tools needed to produce the best images; tools that allow the photographer to capture the exhibit in ways the designer hadn’t even imagined. After all, you want only the best images for your portfolio. Speaking of portfolios, be sure you see photos of the photographer’s previous work.


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years Hamilton at ASIS

Include photos of smaller inline exhibits along with large island exhibits to show you’re able to scale your creativity...

Derse at CES

Blue Sky at World of Concrete

You should see many examples of photography similar to what you need. You don’t want to waste your time and energy getting a photographer onto the show floor only to find out they usually shoot weddings and pets. Whomever you choose should have a good understanding of how to photograph architecture and be nimble enough to work within the confines of shows. Make sure your photographer understands the tradeshow industry. Include photos of smaller inline exhibits along with large island exhibits. Customers want to know that you’re able to scale your creativity. And some 10x10s are pretty amazing. Be sure to have a large example of built exhibits so potential clients know that you actually did build them; not only design them. Some exhibit builders will show a rendering and the finished photograph next to each other, using it as a selling tool to show what was sold and what was delivered.

Bottom line The goal of the exhibit builder is to make the brands look great. The goal of the photographer is to make the exhibit builder look great. The brands win. The exhibit builder wins. Mission accomplished. The next time you need a photographer to photograph your exhibits, call Exposures, Ltd. Gary Prochorchik has been photographing in the tradeshow arena since 1983 and truly understands exhibit photography. His team at Exposures, Ltd. work closely with designers, builders, account executives and marketing professionals to identify and capture the critical aspects of your exhibit to support design contests and future case studies. So improve your image…call Exposures, Ltd. Gary can be reached at www. exposuresltd.com or at (781) 715-1216. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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20 MAJOR EVENTS • Planview acquires Innovations

• FIT exhibit design degree successfully launched • Global Reach for Delphi Productions expands into Europe • Czarnowski expands into Denver, buys PEAK Exhibits

• Moss opens new office in Las Vegas • McCormick Place 1st to receive cardio certification

• Carpenter picketing Detroit-area exhibit builders • MC2 to moves its operations in Las Vegas • $293 million Schaumburg Convention Center opens in July


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

006 • Morial bounces back after Katrina

• ExpoSystems Canada earns second Consumers’ Choice Gold Award

• ECEF co-founders announce leadership change • AD-EX International acquires Marathon Exhibits

• E3 downsized, no longer a major tradeshow • Smart City purchases Priority Networks • The Expo Group promotes Randy Pekowski to COO

• OSPI meeting held in Las Vegas and Park City • Exhibit Works expands operations in Asia • Southwest Displays & Events Moves Into New HQ Building in Carrollton, Texas


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• United Brotherhood of Carpenters training center renovations nearing completion

• Messe Frankfurt breaks 400M euro mark in sales • Reed sells Canadian manufacturing and industrial portfolio to Society of Mfg. Engineers • Julie Holzer joins Edlen Electrical

• Hall-Erickson to manage The Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo and Salon industrial du Bois Ouvre • Sparks unveils new corporate identity

• Democrats to be Denver’s largest convention

• GES acquires U.K. contractor Melville and Database service co. CTS


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

007 • RW Exhibits launches

• Elevation Exhibits acquires INOEE Exhibits

• Steelhead Productions to open Vegas office

• NMR Staging & Events open 7th loc. in Chicago

• Moss and Nichols merge under MOSS name

• InterEx of Nevada moves into new $5.6 million building in Henderson, Nev.

• Exhibitgroup/Giltspur rebrands TL Horton Design

• Sparks opens creative office in Detroit

• Freeman acquires marketing Proactive Inc.

• GES acquires Poitras Expo. Svcs. of Canada

• Conexpo-Con/Agg floor space tops 2M sq. ft.

• MC2 expands fabrication capacity with Arizona acquisition of Hoffman Productions LLC

• PRG acquires High Performance Images

• Foreign Convention & Tour Incentive Program to replace Visitor Rebate Program in Canada

• Impact Unltd. expands hdqtrs in Dayton, N.J.

• Moss moves corporate offices to Chicago

• Smart City buys Convention Communication Provisioners Inc.

• Champion & George E. Fern acquire The Audio Group

• Viad Corp. first quarter revenues $283.7 M

• Derse opens new Minneapolis/St. Paul div.

• Washington CC renamed after first mayor • Maltbie now a Kubik company @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

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THE WOW! BOOTH Willwork, Inc. and SACKS Exhibits Partner To Revolutionize The Sig Sauer Booth At The Shot Show Originally Published Nov/Dec 2016 issue PROJECT CREDITS Client Team: Sig Sauer (Shawn McDonald, dir. of global events & tradeshows and Aisling Meehan, tradeshow specialist)

Production, Exhibit Design and Construction: SACKS Exhibits (Michael Hanifan, account director + Bob Mitchell vice president of business development)

Exhibit Installation & Dismantle: Willwork Inc.

(Chuck Texeira, account executive)

Media: The Filias Agency, (Greg Filias, dir.)

Portsmouth, NH Rigging: Sands Expo, Las Vegas, NV


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Visit us at Exhibitor Live 2020! Booth #343 Professional Skilled Labor Nationwide & International University Training Program Dedicated Project Managers

Event Decorating Data Management Audio Visual Technology

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MAJOR EVENTS • TSEA unveils new logo • Shepard acquires U-Neek, expands to Las Vegas • U.S. division of AVW-TELAV changes name to Freeman • Laarhoven Design changes name to e4 Design • Freeman recycles 25 million square feet of carpet • The Expo Group relocates headquarters to Irving, Texas


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

• Hargrove provides décor elements for 2007 Middle East Summit

• Trade Show Exhibitors Association names Margit B. Weisgal, CME, executive director

• ESCA, SISO, IAEE & MATSO oppose facilities using exclusive in-house vendor services

• Freeman returns Republican convention site to original state

• New Carpenters Union contract lowers exhibitor costs at McCormick Place

• Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre wins 2008 Construction Week ‘Project of the Year’: A milestone for future exhibition centers

• LVCVA sponsors Exhibition and Convention Executive Forum

• Oscar & Associates Inc. announces the acquisition of EventGallery LLC EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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• Reno-Sparks Convention Center Atlantis Skybridge project completed • GES expands in Phoenix and New Orleans • EDPA South Central Chapter has voted to change its name (The Lone Star Chapter)

• ASAE successfully resolved suit to stop unauthorized solicitation of meeting attendees

• Phoenix opens new convention center light rail • Hotels continue to invest in new convention space

• Tradeshow giant Freeman acquires event firm AVT • Nimlok Chicago named top Nimlok distributor


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

009 • Boston bowling event Rally at the Alley boosts tradeshow industry, supports RSMGC

• Spectrum Show Services opens new office in Las Vegas

• Matrex Exhibits announces new president Christopher Kappes and other hires

• Moss introduces the easy fabric wall system

• ClassicMODUL opens extrusion facility in Cheshire, Conn.

• Stylemark Acquires Interlock Structures

• Tradeshow industry revolutionized through social media networking • 3D Exhibits taps veteran talent to establish Northern California office

• Nimlok Grand Rapids completes acquisition of Exhibits Now

• Delphi and ICON launch Group Delphi

• LMG wins contract for Orange County Convention Center

• Judy Venn and Associates opens corporate offices in Las Vegas

• Las Vegas hosted the most Tradeshow Week 200 shows in 2008

• Coastal International Celebrates 25 Years in Business

• Orbus launches full custom division


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THE WOW! BOOTH Hill & Partners Put Motto to Test For IGT at G2E Originally Published Nov/Dec 2017 issue PROJECT CREDITS Client Team: Liette Hebert, Staci Behnke, IGT

…to erect, for all intents and purposes, a small casino in five days.”

Production Design & Execution: Hill & Partners Exhibit Design & Construction: Hill & Partners Photography: Josh Terceira, Hill & Partners Additional Partners: The Sands Expo Center - SES Freeman Nick’s Exhibit Service Collabric Color Gamut Digital Imaging Angles on Design Exhibit Technologies Hartlauer Signs Highmark Tech Systems Eagle Management Group Harmony Fire Scotia Woodworking 120 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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20 MAJOR EVENTS • Employco launches Employco USA • Access TCA acquires M2 Creative

• Employco USA acquires FirstSourceHR • Derse expands agency reach with New Jersey office, staff • Pico closes Atlanta branch office

• Hargrove to support Global Nuclear Security Summit

• Orbus Exhibit and Display Group achieves green status


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

010 • Rossi Ralenkotter picked to lead U.S. Travel and Tourism Board • Tradeshow Week ceases publication

• Derse donates $10K to aid disaster, hunger relief • Echelon Design wins two awards at Winter NAMM 2010 • Cees Smit expanding in U.S., France • IAEE launches sales academy

• Tradeshows are becoming ‘app happy’

• Mexico ranked 14 worldwide in attendees • Social media explosion reaches exhibition industry


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• Creatacor welcomes employees as partners

• AFR Event Furnishings acquires Plush Lounge

• New electrical work rules debut at McCormick • Marketech changes name to Marketech360

• MPEA selects SMG to run McCormick Place • CCS Trucking expands to Orlando

• Nexxtshow settles lawsuit with Champion

• Freddie Georges celebrates 10 years of design


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

011 • ClassicMODUL opens extrusion facility in Birmingham, Ala.

• GLM to be acquired by Providence Equity Partners • Group Delphi and GGE merge

• CorpEvents becomes general contractor for Boston convention centers • Teamsters Local 631 announces reinstatement of dental benefits • Derse land donation preserves ancient tropical reef


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...a fully enclosed, weather-tight and secure first floor...

THE WOW! BOOTH Highmark Outdoor Launches EventMAX at The World of Concrete Originally Published Sept/Oct 2018 issue PROJECT CREDITS Design: Skyline-Holt Exhibits + Events Fabrication: Highmark Outdoor/ Highmark TechSystems I&D: Nth Degree Project Mgmt.: Philip Foust, Skyline-Holt Exhibits + Events Photography: Exposures, Ltd.


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Highmarktech.com / 260-483-0012

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• Messe Frankfurt reaches $600 million in sales

• Midwest Exhibit and Event Professionals hold inaugural meeting • Creatacor launches interactive website for 25th anniversary • Angles on Design banks on Las Vegas show room

• Detroit’s Cobo Center undergoes major transformation


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

012 • Anaheim Convention Center undergoes $20M expansion

• Las Vegas Convention Center expansion planning underway • Pennsylvania Convention Center dramatically reduces electrical usage. • Caesars Entertainment selects Freeman as preferred vendor • Rise in medical show attendance

• Southwest Displays & Events Celebrates 25 Years in Business


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hile the rest of the tradeshow industry talked about change, beMatrix made change happen. Known affectionately as “the frame with the big holes,” beMatrix has fulfilled the exhibit and event industry’s wish to create designs that are 100 percent custom, use frames that are 100 percent lightweight and are modular. beMatrix reduces exhibitors’ operating costs— while increasing exhibit and event house operating margins. beMatrix products are now used by more than 500 North American partners—and beMatrtix is available in 63 countries around the world. The company’s innovations were recognized industry-wide in December of 2019 when beMatrix USA president Robert Laarhoven received the 43rd annual Hazel Hayes Award, the highest honor bestowed by EDPA in recognition for his contributions to the industry. The beMatrix system is a collection of aluminum frames. Each frame can be used interchangeably to create walls, floors, or ceilings—in virtually any rectilinear or curved shape. The company supplies frames to companies who are general contractors, event companies, exhibit designer/builders, graphic printers and audiovisual companies. These companies then create the design and custom components—including graphics, cabinets and the finish/infill panels that cover the beMatrix frames. With innovations including the ability to accept silicon-edge fabric graphics; LEDskin, which enables the use of beMatrix frames to create seamless LED walls; and the 100 percent sustainable ECO Frame—exhibit and event designers can build pretty much everything with beMatrix. beMatrix creates the frames and structure, but leaves the creativity, custom fabrication and customer service to the exhibit and event houses. 130 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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beMatrix differs from aluminum extrusion systems in that frames arrive pre-assembled—which means fewer parts and faster setup. Frames are connected together effortlessly with toolless connectors. The system is three-times faster to install than an extrusion system—which means reduced labor costs. beMatrix frames are also lighter weight than traditional wood panel construction (lower drayage costs) and more durable than traditional wood panel fabrication. And when there is damage, or when an exhibitor wants to change-up the appearance of his exhibit or graphics, the infills can be swapped out. beMatrix’s roots go back to 1993, but the company’s pivotal year was 2013—the invention of the current beMatrix frame. Prior to 2013, the company’s standard frame was 55mm wide with holes that

were 62mm on center. But in 2013, the frames were completely redesigned. “Someone said, ‘Let’s make the frames 62mm, the same dimension as the holes,’—and just like that we truly had a disruption, a perfect matrix,” Laarhoven says. At the same time, the frames were re-tooled with a groove that enabled seamless infills in any material, texture or finish that clients’ designers can imagine. Another important factor was that the re-designed frames also accepted silicon edge graphics—which, together with beMatrix’s lightweight aluminum frames, satisfied the industry’s need for lightweight exhibitry. Laarhoven received two protype samples of the new frames—which he took with him to EXHIBITORLIVE! in March. “We knew the companies who invested in our product would make a profit, we just had to show them all of the things


3/20/20 2:34 PM

Covering the Industry for 25 Years

they could accomplish with beMatrix,” Laarhoven says. Immediately, Laarhoven found himself in the middle of a “Perfect Storm” situation. “Exhibit and event builders were ready to invest in lighter weight, more flexible solutions—and we had the best-of-class solution,” Laaarhoven says. By the end of the year, the sizes of the orders beMatrix received had grown exponentially. The company invested in establishing manufacturing in the U.S., and in sourcing its raw materials from the U.S. as well, to ensure it would always be able to fill orders quickly. (Today the company stocks more than 60,000 square feet of inventory in Atlanta, Ga., plus has additional manufacturing facilities in Belgium and China.) Those 2013 innovations set the stage for beMatrix to truly became a 360-degree solution—with the same frames being able

to serve as walls, ceilings and floors. “We make sure that everything continues to fit with—and on top of—everything else,” Laarhoven says. In 2017, the big innovation was LEDskin, which enables the use of beMatrix frames to create seamless LED walls. With LEDskin, companies can wrap the corners and ceiling of their exhibits with LED—or even display video content on curved walls. beMatrix also offers a sustainable version of its product—The ECO Frame. The ECO Frame has welded corners and an environmentally friendly brushed finish. The result is a 10 percent lighter weight, lower cost, 100 percent non-toxic, fully recyclable frame system. Both the ECO frame and standard anodized frame are exactly the same size and completely interchangeable. The other thing that makes beMatrix an ideal solution for exhibit designers and event producers is that beMatrix’s customers belong to a network of collaborators. When one company prefers not to ship frames from city to city, they can rent frames from each other. Or, in the case of printed tension fabric infills and LEDskin, beMatrix connects customers to a large network of printer and AV partners that are experienced in working with its product. beMatrix holds multiple training sessions each year—both at its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta and at other locations convenient to its customers—to ensure that everyone in the network stays up to date on the company’s innovations. beMatrix’s proprietary beCAD sales and service platform enables designers to create exhibit and event solutions by dragging and dropping images into place. The software generates renderings, validates connections, automatically generates an inventory list (frame sizes and quantities plus connectors), and generates a cost to purchase the

In 2013 someone said, ‘Let’s make the frames 62mm, the same dimension as the holes,’ —and just like that we truly had a disruption, a perfect matrix” components. beCAD users enjoy 24-7 quoting and CAD drawings. Ever since its introduction of the 62mm frame, the company has experienced impressive growth, with beMatrix earning a place on the Inc. 5000 for the past three years. At CES 2018, 150,000 square feet of exhibits— nearly 10 percent of the show floor—used beMatrix components. But what excites Laarhoven more is that his team is in love with their own product. “We like to call ourselves beManiacs,” Laarhoven says. So what will this industry innovator introduce next? Look for two new beMatrix line extensions in 2020. “We will continue to create new solutions that make beMatrix more effective, versatile and profitable for our clients,” Laarhoven says. beMatrix designs and manufactures the renowned aluminum frame system beMatrix b62. Affectionately known as “the system with the holes,” beMatrix is a Tooless, continuously-reusable frame system for the exhibit builder, general contractor and event producer. beMatrix is recognized for its quick and easy construction and for its versatility—each frame can be used as a floor, wall or ceiling. For more info, visit www.beMatrix.us. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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• Norm Friedrich named EDPA Ambassador

• Boycott over ban on assault rifles postpones sports and outdoor show

• AFR buys AGILE Tradeshow & Event Furnishings • Fifty years of success and new facility keep Dimensional Communications moving forward • Experience, innovations propel Brumark’s success • Freeman acquires UK’s SO Group

• Las Vegas remains the No. 1 tradeshow destination • McCormick Place achieves sustainability cert. • NexxtShow to become an indep. part of Fern


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

013 • LVCVA partners with U.S. Dept. of Commerce to drive international tourism

• Urban Expositions acquires several food shows

• San Diego Tourism Authority gets funding

• Dealer Expo leaves Indianapolis for Chicago’s McCormick Place

• Onex finalizes acquisition of Nielsen Expositions • CEIR Pres./CEO Doug Ducate steps down

• LVCVA narrowly approves five-year contract with SEIU Local 1107

• SISO makes $100k commitment to CEIR research

• RES company president David Houston celebrates 30-year anniversary

• EDE Corp. starts construction of new facility

• CORT announces grand opening of a new contemporary showroom

• Meetings industry survives Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing

• PACK EXPO and the Shop.org Annual Summit drive economic progress despite

• Freeman wins federal discrimination lawsuit regarding hiring practices

• government shutdown

• LVCVA solidifies agreement with Cox Communications amid RFP debates

• Tradeshow industry veteran Matt Naert purchases Elements Exhibits


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Exhibit City News

The Secret Lives of Industry Salespeople

Finding the Future I&D Workforce

P. 34

MAY 2015 • VOL. 21 • ISSUE 3

MARCH 2015 • VOL. 21 • ISSUE 2


p. 32

Expo Milano p. 66

P. 52

FIT’s 10th Anniversary p. 26

Global AV Consolidation Trend P. 24

Woman on the Move Shelley Simpson-McKay

3 Perspectives on Show Management P. 32

p. 48



March 2015 ExhibitorLive! Preview

US $6 CAN $8

May 2015 Women in the Industry

Ten Questions with Exhibit Source’s Bob Hopkins

Ten Questions with Tectonics’ Tony Helfman

P. 44

MAY 2016 • VOL. 22 • ISSUE 3

MARCH 2016 • VOL. 22 • ISSUE 2

ExhibitorLive! Recap

Mark Holme Creative Director, Hill & Partners

JULY 2016 • VOL. 22 • ISSUE 4

SEPTEMBER 2016 • VOL. 22 • ISSUE 5

Breaking the Glass Ceiling The Women of Orbus


The ‘M’ Word

Well Balanced

Move Over, Baby Boomers Meet The Millennial Movers

Julia Smith, IAEE’s New Board of Directors Chairwoman

The Changing Face of the Tradeshow Industry

EXHIBITORLIVE! Preview P. 42 March 2016 • Vol. 22 • Issue 2

Riverview’s “Rock Concert” Experience

The Story Behind GlobalShop P. 22

P. 38

Global Exhibitions Day P. 56

FCC Cracks Down on Industry P. 50

Trends in Tradeshow Booth Design P. 25


US $6 CAN $8


US $6 CAN $8

Connecting with Millennials at Trade Shows


EDPA Spotlights Innovators P. 68

March 2016 ExhibitorLive! Preview 2016

May 2016 Canada is on Sale



Enlightenment and The Tough Questions: Tolerance in the Trade Laura Fee and Show Industry Mary Kilda

Susan Reuter – Having Her Cake and Eating it, too

US $6 CAN $8

Getting Schooled – Educated Exhibits


July 2016 Women in the Industry

US $6 CAN $8

September 2016 The Changing Face of the Tradeshow Industry




Year-in-Review: A Look Back at the Top Stories From 2017

Spotlight on The Tradeshow Industry’s Big Three D’s

July/August 2017 • VOL. 23 • ISSUE 4

January/February 2018 • VOL. 24 • ISSUE 1

September/October 2017 • VOL. 23 • ISSUE 5


November/December 2017 • VOL. 23 • ISSUE 6



Q&A: Imperial Events Security Services

From Hot Dog Cart to Hustle Con

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July/August 2017 Women in the Industry


September/October 2017 Tradeshow Images/Property Rights/Drayage Fees

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US $6 CAN $8

May/June 2019 • VOL. 25 • ISSUE 3















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January/February 2019 Tradeshow Shipping / Vendors / Indianapolis Spotlight

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November/December 2018 Booth Talent /Millennial / New Orleans Spotlight

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ECN’s 2019 I&D ACE Awards Honoring Our Industry ACES!

March/April 2019 • VOL. 25 • ISSUE 2




January/February 2018 Tradeshow Shipping / Material Handling

ECN’s First Annual I&D ACE Awards Debut!

January/February 2019 • VOL. 25 • ISSUE 1

November/December 2018 • VOL. 24 • ISSUE 6


November/December 2017 Spotlight on Dallas, Denver & Detroit / #VegasStrong

Call For Entries for ECN’s First Annual I&D ACE Awards!

Call For Entries: ECN’s First Annual I&D Ace Awards!

Challenging the Status Quo on Material Handling Rates

2017 Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic

Orbus’ Boot Camp Training Leads to Business Building

The Real-life Super-heroines of CEP

US $6 CAN $8

Marshaling Yards, Loading Docks & More





Keith Kirsten and Claude Molinari Share Must-Sees in Detroit

Veteran Photographer John Staley Captures the Convention Circuit’s Scene and Stories

2/12/19 2:33 PM

March/April 2019 Future Vegas / ExhibitorLive Preview / CSR

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May/June 2019 ECN’s I&D ACES / Museums / Atlanta Spotlight


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years Exhibit City News

Exhibit City News

I&D and Event Labor Series 2015 Parts 3 & 4 P. 40-73

Impact & Versatility of Fabrics P. 18 & P. 22

NOVEMBER 2015 • VOL. 21 • ISSUE 6

Giving Shouldn’t Hurt: Exhibition Industry Goes for Charity P. 34

JANUARY 2016 • VOL. 22 • ISSUE 1

[JANUARY] CES 2015 Considered ‘New World’s Fair’

[FEBRUARY] Las Vegas Convention Center to Expand Onto Famous Las Vegas Strip





I&D and

LMN Architects in front of their model of the Washington State Convention Center addition

P. 34-85

P. 34-37

Digital Flooring Technology P. 16

Orange County CC Expansion P. 78 EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

US $6 CAN $8

September 2015 I&D and Event Labor Series 2015

2016 Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic Pictorial

November 2015 • Vol. 21 • Issue 6

July 2015 • Vol. 21 • Issue 4

US $6 CAN $8

July 2015 The Logistics Issue

Confronting Lead Retrieval P. 32

GSC Economics 101 P. 28


[APRIL] UFI Selects Winners of 2015 Sustainability Competition

Choosing an Event App P. 20

Insuring Your Show Investment P. 26

November 2015 Conv. Center Architects

NEW! Shop to Showfloor Section: Sharpening Soft Skills in I&D

Introducing Our New “SHOP to SHOWFLOOR” Section

CC Space Surplus Benefits Exhibitors


Romance on the Road

EuroShop: The World’s No. 1 Retail Trade Fair


January 2016 Year in Review 2015


January/February 2017 Tradeshow Shipping: The Cold Truth

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March/April 2017 The Industry’s Most Important Show?

TEAMSTERS 631 Opens New Training Facility in Las Vegas

Latin America: the New Frontier for Trade Show Managers


10 Questions with Kevin Dana of CORT Events

US $6 CAN $8


May/June 2017 Man On A Mission & Much More

Women in the Industry: Progress, Challenges & Taking a Seat at the Table

May/June 2018 • VOL. 24 • ISSUE 3



Magic Sells! Bewitching Tradeshow Crowds

All the King’s Horses and all the KINGSMEN US $6 CAN $8

EXHIBITORLIVE New Product Showcase

P. 66

US $6 CAN $8

AI Services That Can Boost Your Trade Show ROI

Tradeshow Trends: 2017 and Beyond

November 2016 Muscle, Health & Labor

Tracking Beacons at Events

29th Annual ExhibitorLIVE The Sky’s the Limit at Mandalay Bay

Navigating the Minefield of Tradeshow Shipping

How to Avoid Unpleasant Shipping Incidents


P. 72

P. 54



The Life and Times of nth degree’s Melvin Alston

US $6 CAN $8

Liverpool’s Exhibit Centre Sees the Light

May/June 2017 • VOL. 23 • ISSUE 3

March/April 2017 • VOL. 23 • ISSUE 2


What’s Happening Houston?

SHOP to SHOWFLOOR Section: Exhibiting With Our Northern Neighbors

NOVEMBER 2016 • VOL. 22 • ISSUE 6

I&D Workers’ Health Risks Over Time

[DECEMBER] IAEE’s Expo! Expo! Grows, Focuses


Call for Entries: ECN’s First Annual I&D ACE Awards!

July/August 2018 • VOL. 24 • ISSUE 4

March/April 2018 • VOL. 24 • ISSUE 2

September/October 2018 • VOL. 24 • ISSUE 5






EXHIBITORLIVE by Day; Live Musicians by Night US $12 CAN $18


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US $12 CAN $18






US $12 CAN $18


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March/April 2018 ExhibitorLive by Day Live Musicians by Night

May/June 2018 Museums Exhibits/ San Francisco Spotlight

July/August 2018 Global Exhibitions Day / Austin Spotlight ECN’S 2020 I&D ACE Awards! Submissions Deadline is Jan. 30

ECN’S 2019 40 UNDER 40! Submissions Deadline is Sept. 30

September/October 2019 • VOL. 25 • ISSUE 5

November/December 2019 • VOL. 25 • ISSUE 6

Corporate Social Responsibility Means Making a Difference

January/February 2020 • VOL. 26 • ISSUE 1











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September/October 2019 CSR / Giveaways / GSCs / Denver Spotlight

To view our entire glossy archive visit issuu.com/exhibitcitynews

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July/August 2019 ECN’s ACES / NAB ShowCares / Nashville Spotlight

8/22/18 9:13 AM

September/October 2018 Industry Salespeople / Security / Miami Spotlight





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ECN’s 2020 I&D ACE Awards Submissions Deadline is Jan. 30

July/August 2019 • VOL. 25 • ISSUE 4

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US $12 CAN $18

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ECN’s 2019 I&D ACE Awards Part II Honoring Our Industry ACES!






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November/December 2019 TCF Center / 40 Under 40 / Detroit Spotlight

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January/February 2020 Code Regulations Fight / Drayage / Anaheim Spotlight



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• Industry veterans unite forming Circle TPR • Aluvision sets up operations in Atlanta

• Assessing the EDPA RFP Certification Program • Freeman opens regional EMEA headquarters in England • Miami Beach revokes $1B convention center project

• Boston attendees suffer credit card breach • Emerald Expositions acquires GLM

• E2MA welcomes Affinity Program Partner


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

014 • Access TCA acquires majority stake in Nuvista

• SMG acquires Premier Food Services

• Xtreme Exhibits becomes Nimlok St. Louis

• SISO Executive Director Lew Shomer stepping down in 2015

• IAEE launches inaugural Exhibitions Day in Capitol Hill

• Freeman expands AV operation

• San Diego Convention Center expansion faces legal woes; associations disapprove SDCC ruling

• GES acquires event housing service providers onPeak and Travel Planners

• Freeman enhances virtual planning with PLANTOUR drone technology

• GES A/V services expand globally with acquisition of Blitz Communications

• MPI acquires health care certification program

• Circle TPR Works With MGM on IHeartRadio Music Festival Daytime Village, Wine Amplified & Route 91

• Prime EES and Absolute open office inside McCormick Place


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he management of Superior Logistics, tradeshow and event transportation specialists don’t want it to be just a great transportation company. They want more. “We don’t want to be just a trucking company,” says Joe Martillaro, one of the company’s managing directors. “We want to be a value-added, supply-chain partner to the tradeshow and event community. We want to be a part and a participant in the industry at large.” The company has relationships with assets and organizations throughout the industry, from general contractors, fabricators, audio-visual experts and more. It participates in the EDPA both locally and nationally. The company strives not just to work with the community but to be an active part of it. “That’s one of the things we’re most proud of,” Martillaro says. “That’s why we go to tradeshows. It’s why we talk with people throughout the industry. It is critically important that we have a knowledge base that is cross sectional in the industry at large.” The company’s national headquarters is in the Chicago area and serves the entire country for all modes of transportation. It is full service in every sense of the phrase and can handle shipments of all sizes and scopes 138 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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for the event and show industry. Tradeshow and event transportation is their specialty. “We are focused on something that is very simple:” says Martillaro, “We are focused on delivering superior results, every time.” Part of what sets the company apart is a captive fleet of 150 company trucks. The management believes that being an asset-based carrier gives them a competitive advantage. “In addition to that, our experience and market penetration dictates that we are in the vast majority of convention centers and event centers,” says Martillaro. “Sometimes there may be an on-paper price difference between us and another carrier, but ultimately you pay the price and more if your goods are damaged or delayed by a firm that doesn’t understand the intricacies of a particular marshalling yard. To that end, Superior is constantly marking changes and directions on their routes. Bringing a 53-foot trailer hauled by a 15-20 foot tractor through big, congested cities like New York, Washington D.C. or Los Angeles, can be very challenging. Martillaro notes that if you give it to just any “Tom, Dick or Harry who’s going to broker it out to someone without the experience … someone who’s never been to a tradeshow”—that can easily be a recipe for disaster.

Superior Logistics’ focus is providing personal service at superior price points. “We understand terms like marshaling yard and target time,” continues Martillaro. “Whether a major industry event or a smaller venue for a more intimate experience, we can be relied upon to deliver on time, every time. We believe our job is to make the logistical piece as easy as possible, so that our clients can focus on ROI for these critical shows and events.” He adds, “Developing a personalized experience with our clients’ specific and unique needs in mind has allowed us to grow and separate ourselves from the competition. We are not a big-box broker and do not want to be. We are a nimble company focused on investing time and capital into creatively sourcing solutions for our clients’ needs in the various modes of transit required in today’s marketplace. Our business model calls for us to engage only in the business that we can handle efficiently, ethically and affordably for our clients. You can count on Superior Logistics to always answer and always be accountable.” Patrick McConkey, also a managing director at Superior Logistics, says that the company was formed when they saw that there were critical improvements that could


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Developing a personalized experience with our clients’ specific and unique needs in mind has allowed us to grow and separate ourselves from the competition... be made in the industry. He felt there was too much opportunity to pass it up. For example, for decades clients asked McConkey why it took so long for invoices to run. He says that he thought he had to make excuses and dance around the issue, until one morning he came to a realization: They didn’t have to. ”There was really no reason,” McConkey says. “Some places were taking 30 days plus. It was unacceptable. Invoices should be turned around rapidly. At Superior, our goal is to run every invoice between 24 and 48 hours. Not just for the customers that request it, not just for the squeaky wheel, but for every single customer.” The company, recently relocated from Itasca, Ill., to Bartlett, Ill. “The new location is multi-faceted,” says Martillaro. “We have a full truck repair and tire cen-

ter, parking for over 250 trailers, bobtail units, 40,000 square feet of warehouse space and office space to comfortably fit over 100 employees for the Superior family of companies.” He adds, “This move is big for Superior because we can now house and repair all of our company assets under one roof. With the advent of ELD (Electronic Logging Devices) for the trucks, we are able to get drivers off the clock and to the rest period more rapidly and efficiently than our competition. We are completing a full drivers’ lounge and recuperation area on site and we have two repair overhead doors and exterior docks to handle our cross docking and scaling operations as well.” While the ELDs were mandated by federal regulations to govern the length

and number of hours a driver could be on the road, the company has embraced the change and turned it into an asset. “One of the pillars of our organization is real-time communication,” says Martillaro. “That is not a buzzword. That’s something we talk about. It’s our passion.” To that end, Superior lets its clients know where their shipments are at all times, notifying them when a driver checks in and when a shipment is delivered. “That may sound basic, but it’s a critical part of the industry that’s been lacking for a long time,” Martillaro says. “A lot of people are very reactive. We are proactive.” The new location was fully up and running as of Sept. 1 and according to Martillaro, “We are absolutely looking to expand with additional salespeople and tradeshow-experienced operations personnel.”



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Edition P. 36-57 EXHIBITORLIVE! Preview

Aluvision Brings Lightweight Solutions to Environments


By Stephan De Mulder


MARCH 2015 • VOL. 21 •

ow to achieve maximum silicon edge fabric graphics. efficiency in tradeshow But the greatest innovation environments? about this extrusion is without That is the question that a doubt the Quickfix connecevery tradeshow exhibit comtor: a patented bracket that pany, no matter how big or is completely tool free, which small, faces once a project has guarantees a fast and easy setbeen sold. The design has been up, just by using your thumbs. approved and now it’s time to figure out how to bring it alive. To achieve maximum efficiency on the realization of a project, many different factors need to be taken into account. One of the key factors is what materials will be used. Over the past decade, more and more tradeshow companies turned to aluminum systems and extrusions, leaving behind the heavy, less E PEOPLE ON THE MOV versatile custom wall panels as much as possible. One of The patented Quickfix bracket allows for a 100% tool free frame assembly the fastest growing exhibit system developers and suppliQ&A The Omni-55+ extrusion ers worldwide is Aluvision: Its thus offers the possibility to success lies in the wide-range exhibit companies to either of well-engineered, high-qualstock preassembled frames or ity and lightweight solutions just full length of the Omniit offers. Not only does the 55+ extrusion and assemble Aluvision frame system help the frames as they wish. No save on drayage and labor, The patented Quickfix bracket allows for a 100% tool matter what option they go for, the frames are also easily free frame assembly the key feature of the Aluvision reusable without having the 40 different extrusions for a on the fore, it has been engineered system remains:presi serving as director additional time and cost to to guarantee very wide range of applications: to match the is senior vice Industry ka same Chup 55mm / maximum refurbish the wooden panels efficiency by offer-Center of Exhibition straight and curved walls, SEG national CES and 2.14” depth as all existingdent ) board. This wall of Inter ing ‘fool-proof’ after every show. andstrat high-quali- Research (CEIR fabric displays, light boxes, ess busin frames such as the Basic-55 Kellen rate and solutions. ty products does corpo Aluvision has always been a , I will speak at the June hanging signs, counters, desks s ronic Elect and the Omni-55 frames. leader in bringing innovative egy for Consumer rence, a forum for assoand many more. The Omni-55+ extrusion ). is the Senior Confe (CEA Stephan the “ExecuDe Mulder solutions to the tradeshow and on Association rs, leade n One of its most recent adciatio allows for 1/8” hard panels Account Director for Aluvision. For event industry. Besides the well- ditions is the ,” which Omni-55+. This tive Panel Discussion (sintra, dibond,…) that are the known preassembled frames winningvisit ng assodid information, What more extrusion is primarily meant to mounted to will explore how leadi the frames by ent www.Aluvision. evem with holes, Aluvision offers over build wall to or contact of Achicom frames, and therens are using networks means of velcro as well as Woman ciatio en’s info@aluvision. Wom rd at IAEE com. , advance their



EXHIBITORS’ GOT TALENT! Mark Holme Creative Director, Hill & Partners

Karen Chupka, Woman of Achievement Award Winner

P. 52

Global AV on Consolidati Trend P. 24 3 Perspectives on Show Management P. 32

Awa raise awareness m mean ue. Leadership Foru mission and grow reven to you? red hono and ed thrill strateI was What visions and an Wom 2015 to win the IAEE International CES d. I have gies for fruition? of Achievement Awar did you bring to in the Unde with one of the coolest jobs Each year, we meet staff org that key fact the the varand , world representatives from recStudy T IAEE like ns them for organizatio ious unions to thank love tM I Even that experience ognize me for work creating a positive al. (CEMA doing is just extra speci for our exhibitors. behind at look we year, Also every new areas CEA m What does the IAEE trends to determine ip Foas keyn Women’s Leadersh of growth for CES. en? gramm rum mean for wom the 2015 CES, we inFor which tion an ARIA, a at This year’s forum, Space C ced trodu I am than 150 ive creat for sold out with more home brand new r sucprofes- of the attendees, was a majo communicators, brand many red al CE . inspi tisers cess. The event ls and digital adver siona d excite in Sh Sands new ideas, and I was We also welcomed ded by 25-27 to see that it was atten Expo as a venue. ent stages Park ka Eure women at all differ Creating the that How the of their careers. I hope Marketplace at CES, ration adva inspi an n it can serve as ip startup destinatio trad looking to flagsh ded a unique for other industries provi CES, at M of women ty at a rtuni grow the presence oppo iting exhib by h space rate. in their fields. discounted exhibit en a comPark In 2014, 25 Eureka onnati dem 00 or How have you panies received $50,0 ip over ing. Others CEA strated leadersh more in crowdfund CEA the years? new partnerships with has been entered of w to ced advan Much of my career distributors or procycle all spent on creating new first full production their nal natio at C grams for both Inter iting at CES. exhib after currently CES and CEA. I’m

86 NOVEMBER 2015 Exhibit City News





The Guys Who Appoints S P. 14 SISO Power CE

New Executive Director

Shomer, n Jan. 1, 2016, Lew Shomex president and CEO, over the Productions, will hand Exposition CEO, in, reins to David Audra (ExpoDevInc. any Development Comp Society the of or Co), as executive direct Organizers (SISO), of Independent Show for the for-profthe premier organization it show organizer. s a manageThe organization retain as a personal ment company as well to act as executive contract with the CEO istration. director for its admin e McCurdy SISO Chairman Charli appointment by a announced Audrain’s the Board during the unanimous vote of ers’ luncheon at annual report to memb it, which took place SISO’s CEO Summ h Island, S.C. April 13-16 in Kiawa Board has cho“I am thrilled that the Executive Director the be to sen David said Lew Shomer, ” down, when I step SISO. “His or, direct tive current execu rial drive mixed with unique entrepreneu for organizing and his managerial style world will the over all producing shows the many relationhelp SISO maintain ped, which make ships we have develo the overall of part al SISO such an integr global industry.” e McCurdy SISO Chairman Charli ’s ization gratitude to expressed the organ completed seven Shomer, who will have service in 2015. years of leadership d to thank Shomex “[The Board] wante Shomer for their Productions and Lew SISO to the level it success in bringing premier organization has reached as the show organizer,” serving the for-profit . McCurdy commended


City News 86 MAY 2015 Exhibit

for his succesLeaving a rich legacy s buted much to SISO’ sor, Shomer contri ship. As the de growth under his leader ization, he worked facto head of the organ by it ding , expan to requalify membership alone. 10 percent in 2014 l membership Increasing internationa t, 3 to 35 percen and participation from ers from over 20 Shomer drew memb New Zealand, Austra countries including and throughout Asia, lia, Canada, Mexico e and Africa. Latin America, Europ

with a very “SISO is in great shape membership that diverse and robust a great organizaspans the globe—it’s e still to come,” tion with lots of upsid

said McCurdy. y membership base, Along with a health le financial reserve, Shomer built a sizeab group of sponsors to positioning SISO’s unity. reinvest in the comm confidence in his Shomer expressed to carry out the orgasuccessor’s abilities plan, created in Aunization’s strategic

City News 88 MAY 2015 Exhibit


• IAEE launches affiliate education program at EXHIBITORLIVE!

• Downing Displays joins Sho-Link Cooperative

• Duke Energy Convention Center amps its look with interior/exterior LED lighting • 253INC debuts patented truss system

• FIT Graduate Exhibition Design program celebrates 10 years of student education


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I&D and Event Labor Series 2015 Parts 3 & 4 P. 40-73

Covering the Industry for 25 Years NOVEMBER 2015 • VOL. 21 • ISSUE 6

CORPORATE PROFILE: Special Advertising Section

CONVENTION CENTER ARCHITECTS LMN Architects in front of their model of the Washington State Convention Center addition

P. 34-37


Building up Boston’s oldest independent Choosing an torApp contrac Event

Bob Dobinski, President of Corp-Events New England

253INC Introduces New Patented Modular Truss System at EXHIBITORLIVE

By Zeenath Haniff

P. 20 round the Boston area, the name Bob Dobinski is synonymous with I&D, or installation P. 32 . President of and dismantle Corp-Events New England, Dobinski has offered quality service for local and national companies exhibiting in the 78 30 years. P. than city for more


Woman t

national companies without a in Boston. Offering

presence Confronting services as a partner within the New England region, CorpLead Retrieval Events also works with exhibit houses or individual companies needing local talent.

Orange County in Numbers Strength CC Expansion The merger of two other

as director on the of Exhibition Industry ch (CEIR) board. This n will speak at the Kelle ence, a forum for assouleaders, on the “Exec nel Discussion,” which plore how leading assoto ns are using networks their wareness, advance on and grow revenue.

Boston-area unions creatopportunity for

ed a unique Birth of Corp-Events EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM ts. In 2012, the

Impact & Versatility of Fabr

Corp-Even Prior to the founding of International Brotherhood Corp-Events, Dobinski superof Teamsters Local 82 was vised general services contraccombined with Teamsters tor (GSC) labor for organizaLocal 25 following the contions located outside of Boston viction of four of its members as part of his services under for racketeering. Combining Corporate Communications, an union responsibilities included event management firm. While absorbing membership – this creating a separate I&D entity grew Local 25’s approximately was not planned, he would 400 workers into the thoulater discover that hiring labor sands, thereby increasing the and GSCs from ntly independe manpower and level of service allowed s restriction free from to exhibitors. control. for more quality In the wake of the insolvenoriginal “It was not my cy of Local 82, Corp-Events the given intent to do I&D, but entered into a general concontacts outcry of my industry agreement. Starting tracting I and being local to Boston, with a list of 24 permanent found it better to hire labor employees, the firm would be independently because we had talent beyond handpick to able the advantage of adding peothe four permanent employees ple to a project by name. This mandated by I&D agreements gave rise to us being able to that typically require any addiobtain direct union contracts,” tional workers be assigned by Dobinski explained. union from a referral pool. With that, and distinguished the “Due to the misgivings of from Corporate Communica[union] management, the tions, Corp-Events became a city gained an opportunity to regional resource, servicing

US $6 CAN $8

et visions and strat CES for International ent, ion? With my encouragem , CEA ou bring to fruit Under my leadership des financial assisay “CES CEA provi ch year, we meet with staff organized a full-d eight female employto varthe tance from s orate esentative nce their Study Tour” for Corp for ees to further enha iation unions to thank them itions and Event Marketing Assoc ience knowledge of exhib that went ting a positive exper their (CEMA) members meetings by obtaining how see to ur exhibitors. s behind the scene in Exhibition Manat fied look Certi we year, such ics, so every ) designation. CEA manages logist (CEM ent areas new agem prods to determine was as keynotes, conference In January 2010, I portarowth for CES. in the gramming, event trans inone of seven inductees or the 2015 CES, we in Consumtion and the show floor. ,a inaugural Women h launc the ng duced C Space at ARIA I am also leadi ronics (CE) Legacy ive Elect creat er for nhome nd new ural Internatio are profes- of the inaug Award class. Inductees mmunicators, brand which will be expetisers. al CES Asia, selected based on their , on May nals and digital adver leadin Shanghai, China s rience, teamwork and e also welcomed Sand 25-27. p, service and accom ershi e. venu a as po ration for Park plishments and inspi Creating the Eureka have you helped industry. How the in en the wom in the arketplace at CES, advance women n gship startup destinatio hope to tradeshow industry? e What else do you nced CES, provided a uniqu My dedication is evide in your career? ty at a rtuni oppo ved wom- achieve ting xhibi rd to growing by how heavily invol forwa rate. look I space it the inter scounted exhib nce en are in producing our international prese Park comdirecting n 2014, 25 Eureka g new indusnational CES and in 00 or nt of as well as findin anies received $50,0 to build s policies. Fifty perce tries and audiences ing. Others CEA’ up made is staff more in crowdfund r to one day ps with CEA’s senio programs for, and st half of ntered new partnershi that is the of women and almo ced to have a show in Asia r distributors or advan CES. presidents and highe nal vice all natio Inter cycle of size ction heir first full produ at CEA are women. after exhibiting at CES.

Degree, and particularly with Skyline Northeast, to his new role. Nationally and internationally Skyline-certified, all Corp-Events laborers have the familiarity and ability to assemble newer systems never before used in Boston. inner of the 2011 EXHIBITOR Additionally, the compaProduct Design Award for the ny invested approximately “TK6 modular truss system,” customa into $500,000 253INC launched a new division, TKtruss, ized metal system that dedicated to servicing its dealers, wholethe from largely deviates salers, exhibit houses and trade partners. German-based aluminum TKtruss will be introducing its newest OCTANORM system. The 4’ product line, TKExpress, with hopes it can x 8’ panel system could be set once again take home this award at the up in 25 percent of the labor newly rebranded EXHIBITORLIVE. time. With a cleaner look, less On the show floor, 253INC staff will pieces and easier shipment set up shop in a 20’ by 20’ TK8 truss than its counterpart, the syssystem display booth. They will also used to create meeting tem is NATIONAL introduce themselves to exhibit houses rooms and exhibit pavilions. ents Investm Key interested in providing TKExpress, TK6 Improving quality factored Over the past year, accorddefinitive decision and TK8 to end users. the into national ing to Dobinski, to expand outside of the “The new TK Express is a modular wall never through g shows traffickin according and booth system, made out of alumiarea, England New had the New England area to Dobinski, aside from its num, is compact and will fit into small increased business by up to sales office and warehouse in shipping cases,” stated Michael Calleja, 40 percent. Gaining recogfounder and president, 253INC. Santa Cruz, Calif. nition from national compaFor the past 32 years, Calleja has worked “A majority of businessnies has helped Corp-Events as an exhibit display and retail store fixture es look to Corp-Events as win subcontracts for general our given designer. He holds 19 U.S. patents, three a service partner service projects. ing Canadian patents and two Mexican patents integrity and long-stand Continuing to grow its relationships,” he stated. permanent employees list, t MARCH 2015 Exhibit City News 78 The final and key investmen Corp-Events has also added in building up Corp-Events – industry veteran Anthony to add to the quality of its perGreco to its roster as city and manent employees and service regional manager. Greco apdetails to its clients in Boston plied his more than 15 years’ and throughout the surroundexperience at GES, Freeman, ing New England area. Nth nal, Internatio Expo

better serve exhibitors from the increase in service level and number of workers,” Dobinski noted. Along with this change was a strategic decision to service organizations from outside of Boston. Expanding its reach throughout New England, Corp-Events became a signatory to service agreements in niche markets often overlooked by national companies. These areas include Providence, R.I., P. 18 & P. ntly 22 serviced by the predomina local laborers union, as well as Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and upstate New York where there are no strong union affiliations.


By Kristan Obeng

American-made trusses to debut in New Product Showcase


related to the exhibit and retail industries. He obtained his most recent U.S. patent in April 2014 covering “Modular truss system with six-way connector boxes,” which is used in both the TK6 and TK8 systems. “TK6 and TK8 modular trusses sections connect with each other in less than eight seconds,” Calleja explained “There is no other truss system that comes close to that assembly time. Everything has to do with speed, ease of assembly and strength. The TKtruss knob and pin connectors have a sheer strength tested up to 2,800 pounds.” In operation since 1983, 253INC is based in a 40,000 square-foot facility in San Francisco where Calleja leads the design and manufacture of what he proudly called “Made in the USA” truss systems that vary in size and materials. These truss systems are also powder coated in a multitude of color options for exhibit houses. “One thing that makes us a major player is our America-made truss products. Currently, most pop-ups and graphic-framed displays sold in the U.S. are made over-

seas. We proudly build all our products in-house here in California, with our staff having an average of 12 to 15 years’ experience in building trusses and store fixtures. We also build displays to our clients’ specifications. These can be made of aluminum and/or steel, laser cut, formed, TIG and/or MIG welded and finished in a multitude of powder-coated color options. Shelving, tabletops and printed graphics are also available,” added Calleja. At the newly launched TKtruss.com dealer and wholesale website, exhibit houses can view TKExpress, TK6 and TK8 modular truss systems. The website is member-based, requiring interested parties to apply to see all that it entails. “Our team prides themselves on delivering great customer service, technical support and on-time delivery. Also, large project fulfillment is our specialty,” he said.

015 I&D and


To learn more about 253INC and TKtruss, visit tktruss.com

78 SEPTEMBER 2015 Exhibit City News

P. 34-85


US $6 CAN $8

GSC Economics 101 P. 28

By Exhibit City News

New Facility Opens To Meet Client Demand

growth in equipment inventory to meet its customers growing demand for service. In just a few years, the trailer pool grew from 30 to 150. Finding places to park them was becoming very difficult. “The new facility makes it easy,” said Mike Montgomery, director of operations, Sunset Transportation. and power equipment. Located at 3741 Civic Center Dr., Sunset’s by necessary All this was made


unset Transportation has chosen North Las Vegas as the location of its latest expansion project. Situated on five acres of land, with an 11,000 square-foot, two-story building, this site will provide ample parking space for the company’s pool of 150 specialized trailers

Photo by Kristan Obeng

Insuring Your Show Inve stment P. 26

Sunset Transportation expands to North Las Vegas

North Las Vegas, the new site will be the headquarters for both the Operations and Maintenance departments. The Operations Center has floor-to-ceiling window views and plenty of natural light. “Our operations can get pretty stressful during show season, and having a space like this makes things much easier on the mind and body,” explained Dave Turner, safety manager, Sunset Transportation. Mechanics enjoy both indoor and covered outdoor maintenance areas. There is enough room to service multiple tractors and trailers, which ensures that Sunset’s fleet is always running in top condition. With a fully enclosed yard and security surveillance equipment monitoring the

Photo by Kristan Obeng


Digital Flooring Technology P. 16

76 JULY 2015 Exhibit City News

• Karen Chupka wins IAEE Woman of Achievement Award • David Audrain appointed executive director of SISO

• Sunset Transportation expands to a five-acre, 11,000-sq.ft. facility in North Las Vegas • CorpEvents Celebrates 30 years as New England’s oldest independent contractor • Aluvision announces opening of first U.S. manufacturing facility


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LOOKING BACK morial Golf Classic Pic

2016 Randy Smith Me


Ten Questions with Tectonics’ Ton y Helfman



22 • ISSUE 6

JULY 2016 • VOL. 22 • ISSUE 4

I&D Workers’ Health Risks Over Time


nth degree’s Melvin Alst

p. 41


FILE: CORPORATE PRO Section ing Special Advertis




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The Women of Orbus

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Enlightenment and

uss Tolerance odulinartheTrTrade New Patented M Show Industry 253INC Introduces RLIVE HIBITO Showcase System at EX in New Product trusses to debut ng By Kristan Obe US $6 CAN $8

The Tough Questions: Laura Fee and Mary Kilda

Susan Reuter – Having Her Cake and Eating it, too



ucts build all our prod seas. We proudly stries. ornia, with our it and retail indu use here in Calif ’ related to the exhib patent in in-ho of 12 to 15 years EXHIBITOR most recent U.S. having an average inner of the 2011 He obtained his es and store system staff truss truss the ing for ular rd build in “Mod Awa ring experience our cliProduct Design April 2014 cove h is build displays to truss system,” ector boxes,” whic fixtures. We also “TK6 modular be made of with six-way conn ms. can e syste uss, Thes TK8 TKtr TK6 and a new division, ents’ specifications. formed, used in both the sections 253INC launched wholeor steel, laser cut, modular trusses cing its dealers, aluminum and/ hed in a “TK6 and TK8 eight ers. dedicated to servi welded and finis other in less than ns. es and trade partn TIG and/or MIG connect with each ated color optio re is no salers, exhibit hous st ja explained “The itude of powder-co ducing its newe Calle mult hics intro ds,” be grap that ed secon will to TKtruss and print s it can m that comes close xpress, with hope Shelving, tabletops ja. other truss syste with product line, TKE able,” added Calle ything has to do award at the avail Ever . this also e time are hom om bly The assem ched TKtruss.c once again take bly and strength. At the newly laun EXHIBITORLIVE. speed, ease of assem ite, exhibit have a newly rebranded will wholesale webs pin connectors , 253INC staff and ds.” dealer and TKtruss knob and On the show floor TKExpress, TK6 truss d up to 2,800 poun ite houses can view a 20’ by 20’ TK8 sheer strength teste systems. The webs set up shop in 253INC is , also truss 1983 will ular since They mod TK8 booth. ested In operation facility in system display , requiring inter houses 00 square-foot is member-based BY AMBER selves to exhibit it entails. based in a 40,0 the deall thatJOHNSON leads TK6 introduce them see ja ss, to y Calle xpre e appl iding TKE parties to on delivSan Francisco wher of what he proudly interested in prov es themselves l “Our team prid manufacture users. systems service, technica wall sign and and TK8 to end the USA” truss great customer To draw Also ess is a modular , large to the imporcalled “Made in e truss ering delivery. attention “The new TK Expr alumion-time materials. Thes tance ofspec the exhibition industry in the m, made out of ,” vary in size and i- support and ialty that mult a in our d l and booth syste is t smal coate and will fit into project fulfillmenworld marketplace, leaders from around are also powder ms pact es. syste com is , hous num Calleja, ns for exhibit he said. stated Michael the globe are banding together to cretude of color optio major player shipping cases,” that makes us a t, 253INC. iden thing ate the first Global Exhibitions Day on pres and “One Curand founder worked about 253INC truss products. years, Calleja has To learn more June 8,m America-made ramed For the past 32 ss.co 2016. The initiative was formed fixture is our ups and graphic-f ay and retail store TKtruss, visit tktru through the partnership of The Global rently, most popas an exhibit displ are made overts, three U.S. paten the in U.S. 19 s sold Association of the Exhibition Industry displays designer. He hold ican patents ts and two Mex (UFI) and the International Association Canadian paten of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), two Exhibit City News associations that serve the international 78 MARCH 2015 exhibition community, though many more organizations have since come to the table to collaborate with them on the effort. Together, partners have devised a campaign that will spotlight the far-reaching impact of exhibitions on the economy


Global Exhibitions Day Set to Increase Bonds and Awareness

42 NOVEMBER 2016 Exhibit City News

and the importance of international trade on the business community, both in terms of innovation and competition. The campaign will also emphasize the value of exhibiting for individual companies, encouraging them to grow their programs and rally for support with policymakers in their circles. And the drive is intended to celebrate the array of professions involved in the exhibit industry and the

individuals who serve critical roles in sustaining and growing exhibiting programs. Dedicated social media accounts, a Web site, a logo, a hashtag and public relations outreach are broadcasting a cohesive voice calling on individuals and organizations to join the cause, emphasizing that the development of international trade hinges on the success of the tradeshow industry. Organizations around


Photos courtesy of UFI

Photography by Jennifer Wagoner


The Life and Times of

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

UFI (Global), AAXO and EXSA (South Africa), AEFI and CFI (Italy), AEO (UK), AFE (Spain), AUMA and FAMAB (Germany), CEFA and CENTREX (Central Europe), EEIA (EU), IAEE and SISO (USA), IECA (Indonesia), IEIA (India), LECA (Lebanon), PCEI (Poland), RUEF (Russia) and UNIMEV (France).

56 MAY 2016 Exhibit City News

the world are working indepe furthering the success of the t industry, but the real power i forces, organizers say. “There are many great natio regional initiatives addressin visitors, policymakers, and ot holders,” said IAEE chairpers Smith and UFI president Serg in a jointly released statemen these achievements under on umbrella will strengthen the m multiply the reach.” The campaign is modeled a American Exhibitions Day, w brates its third anniversary on 2016. The U.S event focuses o awareness through lobbying, @ExhibitCityNEws


• UFI and IAEE elevate industry connection with launch of Global Exhibition Day • IAEE’s names Julia Smith Board of Directors Chairwoman

• Canada’s economic slump creates opportunity for foreign exhibitors • Sho-Link establishes annual endowment to EDPA Foundation


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

Well Balanced Julia Smith, IAEE’s New Board of Directors Chairwoman BY JESSICA ABLAMSKY


Photo by Anthony Mair

n Dec. 3, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events elected Julia Smith CEM, CTA as chairwoman of its board of directors at Expo! Expo!, IAEE’s annual meeting and exhibition, which was held in Baltimore. Smith has served on many IAEE committees, including the Executive Committee, the Awards Committee, SHOWFLOOR the CEM Appeals Committee and the SWIAEE board. She also served on the board of Visit Anaheim and on the board of trustees for the health and pension trusts of Local 831, the tradeshow and sign crafts’ union in Southern California. Smith received IAEE’s inaugural Woman of Achievement Award in 2014, IAEE’s Distinguished Service Award in 2002, and was named one of the “25 Women to Know” by Tradeshow Week magazine. She also contributed chapters to IAEE’s Art of the

Howard Street between Moscone North and South was transformed into Dreampark

Continued on p. 28 @ExhibitCityNEws

ExhibitCityNews.com MARCH 2016 27

Ten Questions with Exhibit Source’s Bob Hopkins

016 SEPTEMBER 2016 • VOL. 22 • ISSUE 5

May the Dreamforce be with You

Task force sessio

n in Paris.


the world are working independently on furthering the success of the trade show industry, but the real power is in joining forces, organizers say. “There are many great national and regional initiatives addressing exhibitors, visitors, policymakers, and other stakeholders,” said IAEE chairperson Julie Smith and UFI president Sergey Alexeev in a jointly released statement. “Uniting these achievements under one common umbrella will strengthen the message and multiply the reach.” The campaign is modeled after an American Exhibitions Day, which celebrates its third anniversary on June 7-8, 2016. The U.S event focuses on raising awareness through lobbying, with the

The ‘M’ Word

industry’s most influential leaders from around the country converging in Washington, D.C., to meet with lawmakers and media people. The initiative has been effective in opening a dialogue with government officials about U.S. regulations that stymie the exhibition industry, particularly when it comes to international attendees and exhibitors. The effort has been enormously successful in raising the profile of the industry in the eyes of lawmakers and the general public, with an estimated 4 million impressions in 2015 alone. IAEE and UFI have garnered the support of industry associations representing

Move Over, Baby Boomers Meet The Millennial Movers

said Guillermo Nava, Sales Development at ZenProspect, a startup that offers lead generation software and marketing communications. “Usually when I’m at a trade show I’ve got a booth. It’s nice to not have that lingering duty.” Nava attended Dreamforce with a free Expo+ pass to network, pursue partnership opportunities, and find out what other companies are doing. He was excited about networking without the stress

48 NOVEMBER 2016 Exhibit City News

The Changing Face of the Tradeshow Industry

Connecting with Millennials at Trade Shows

Continued on p. 58

ExhibitCityNews.com MAY 2016 57


A staggering 170,000 people arts venues, and every inch attended Dreamforce Oct. 4-7 of Moscone’s three buildings: at the Moscone Center in San West, North, and South. Francisco. The annual con“It’s huge,” said Chris Kimvention, which has grown into inas, Vice President of Sales one of the biggest events in and Marketing at EWI, an tech, sold out this year for the engineering and technology first time ever. organization that specializPart conference, part party, es in materials joining. “I’m Dreamforce offered thousands connecting with people that I of sessions, hundreds of exhaven’t seen in years.” hibitors, and a free concert by legendary rock band U2. The Trailblazers take over event sprawled out over 16 loSan Francisco cations, including local hotels, “It’s cool not having a booth,”

of a booth, which he said allowed him to have deeper conversations with people. Salesforce provides customer relationship management software for sales, service, marketing, and IT. This year, Salesforce debuted their trailblazer theme. To help familiarize customers with Salesforce solutions, the exhibit hall at Moscone West was turned into a forest, complete with visitor center, trading post, and trailhead. Support beams were transformed into giant trees, with shrubs and small woodland creatures at the base. The hall was segmented into camps by interest – Admin Meadow, IoT Cabin, Developer Forest, and etc. – but attendees were encouraged to explore them all thanks to the Dreamforce 2016 Trailhead Quest, with a prize pack that included a Trailblazer hoodie, stuffed animal, and coloring book. Wall sized panels depicted stunning outdoor scenes, and no space was wasted. Though the exhibit hall was crowded, attendees who

Getting Schooled – Educated Exhibits

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• Jeff Provost launches PRO Management, LLC to take over management of EDPA

• Debbie Parrott Purchases Highmark TechSystems From Mick Parrott • Dreamforce inspires more than 170,000 attendees at first ever sold out event


• Czarnowski crowns 22nd annual Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic with presentation of check for $20,000+ • Family-run Stevens Exhibits Celebrates its 50th Year in Business

• IFES World Summit in Istanbul, Turkey connects professionals from 31 countries


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nce upon a time, there were five brothers Hamilton. Renzie Hamilton, an advertising professional by trade, had a vision for a new kind of marketing agency that would change the way companies used visual displays to tell their stories. He left his job in the advertising department at Citizens Gas of Indianapolis, took a two-story building in downtown Indianapolis and opened Hamilton Display Manufacturing Company in 1947. A year later, his brother Kenneth joined him, followed by brother Bill in 1954, while brothers Rich and Bobby chose other professional paths. By 1960, the growing company changed its name to Hamilton Displays, Inc. and was widely known as the “King of Floats” for building most of the floats for the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade. Among Hamilton’s most outstanding floats were the “Princess Float” that won top honors at the 1964 Indy 500 Festival Parade and the Indiana University Big Ten float for the 146 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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1968 Tournament of Roses Parade. The demand for Hamilton’s creative masterpieces prompted its move to a larger facility, the former Indianapolis National Guard Armory, in 1969. Hamilton built its first tradeshow displays for such notable companies as Citizens Gas, Stewart-Warner, Pittman-Moore, Indiana Bell Telephone, Diamond Chain and Wheelhorse, and as Hamilton’s fame grew, Renzie was asked to design the stage sets, showroom and table decor for the 1976 USO benefit at the Indiana Convention Center. Bob Hope was the guest of honor that year, and the event was made more special by the fact that he was also celebrating his birthday. While tradeshow exhibits have always been a central area of expertise for Hamilton, the company has operated many specialized divisions over the years, including airport advertising; retail fixtures and interiors; and graphic design and production. Fast-forward to 1990, when Dan Cantor

and Joel Coleman purchased Hamilton from Kenneth, merging Hamilton with its greatest local competitor, Dimensional Designs. A new era began with a 200,000-sq.ft. facility in Indianapolis’ East Side, and full interest in the company was finally purchased by Dan and Katy Cantor in 1993. Dan is a lifetime entrepreneur with an MBA in finance from Indiana University who continues to bring energy and inspiration to the Hamilton brand as its CEO and to the industry at large as a leading voice of the Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA). In 1997, the company changed its name to Hamilton Exhibits and has continued as an industry pioneer in every aspect of exhibit solutions, including concept, design, fabrication, logistics and project management. While it has always maintained its headquarters in Indianapolis, it has operated sales offices, warehouses and production facilities in cities across the nation. In 2015, Hamilton opened its Chicago sales and design studio,


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years and it is there that Jim Obermeyer, vice president, Hamilton Chicago, resides. Obermeyer is an example of the caliber of talent and longevity that Hamilton attracts. With nearly 40 years of experience in the tradeshow industry, he first joined Hamilton in 1993. Today he is responsible for not only the Chicago office, but for sales, marketing and business development companywide. When asked what key changes he has seen in Hamilton over the years, Obermeyer says, “Like our industry, a lot has changed in the last few decades, and a lot has stayed the same. While we spend a lot of time talking about ‘experiential’ now, and most of that has to do with new engagement and interactive technologies available, the reality is that tradeshows have always been about creating an experience for the audience. How we do it now may be new, but we have always done it! Only now, our company has event technology and engagement services teams in house, adding to the breadth of services we have always offered. With the addition of our Engagement Services team, we are now able to create not only the stunning architectural elements for the physical space, but also the deeply interactive experiences that will engage the audience in that space and provide the technology to make it all happen.” In his view, Hamilton’s greatest contributions to the industry originate with its people. “While members of our leadership team have long been involved in a wide variety of ways with industry associations and organizations, it is the solid reputation and strong culture that are reflected in all our teams, from our on-site labor and show floor supervisors to

our project managers and client team directors who create a positive experience for our clients and our supplier partners.” Hamilton remains a family company after more than 70 years, and Obermeyer believes that family is at the core of Hamilton’s success. “We have stayed a family company and have maintained the culture of quality and service that was built by our founder Ken Hamilton and carried forward by our current owner, Dan Cantor. Almost 75 years with just two families has created the strength to overcome obstacles and create success for our clients.” No company endures for the better part of a century without knowing how to adapt. According to COO Jason Weddle, Hamilton is poised to both innovate and enthusiastically embrace whatever comes next in the world of face-to-face marketing, and he is bullish on the future of the industry. “Over the course of time, there have been a wide variety of threats to our industry (the dot. com bust, the invention of the internet, the Great Recession) that were supposed to end tradeshows. But tradeshows and events have continued to be a viable marketing opportunity, because

being face-to-face with your clients and suppliers and partners is still one of the best ways to do business.” Today, you have but to walk the floor of any major tradeshow to see examples of Hamilton’s stunning handiwork that engage consumers through sight, sound, touch, curiosity and imagination. What would Cantor most like for people to know about his company? He answers, “Bottom line is this: we create immersive brand experiences. We are an event marketing company. We create brand spaces, with a focus on tradeshows and events. And we always start with strategy and help our clients decide what success looks like, and then we create and execute a plan to bring it all to life. We create memorable experiences that deliver measurable results.” ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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SHOP to SHOWFLOOR I&D and Event Labor



The FIT Caps


Heilmaier Messe Design’s 70th Anniversary

Aluvision wins People’s Choice and Best Fabric Exhibit Award at ExhibitorLive 2017 Aluvision, developer and supplier of the renowned modular exhibit frame system, was honored with two awards during the last ExhibitorLive trade show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre in Las Vegas. The internationally acclaimed company won both the “People’s Choice Award” and the award for “Best Fabric Exhibit”. Aluvision’s newest campaign, World of Wonder, was launched in the US at ExhibitorLive, the annual professional development conference for trade show and corporate event marketers. The new inspiring and ‘dreamy’ campaign intrigued visitors and attracted them onto the booth to discover the latest trends in the exhibition industry and Aluvision’s new and innovative products. “Both prizes are a great recognition for the innovative approach of


36 May/June 2017 Exhibit City News

Thorsten, what are your thoughts as you reach this incredible milestone of 70 years in business? 70 years is a really long time and it has definitely had its ups and downs, a good third of which I have personally been actively involved. A second third of the time, when I was just a kid, I was tangentially aware of the business and what was going on with it. The earliest third, however, I only learned about while preparing for our 70th anniversary party. What has become clear to me is that each era has had to face its own particular set of challenges and that will be no different moving forward.

Aluvision has always been setting itself apart from other systems by providing highly finished, light weight and tool free solutions for the trade show exhibit and event industry. Euroshop, the world’s largest retail and exhibition trade fair that took place in Germany last February, was also a great opportunity for Aluvision to display its leadership in this domain. The 45’x100’ Aluvision booth was filled with powerful visuals and playful details such as oversized playing cards, a giant chair on a chessboard and white bunnies popping up throughout the booth, all coming together in the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ inspired theme. Aluvision clearly impressed the many visitors as well as the show jury, since Aluvision won the “Best of Show-Large Stand” award. Once again a great recognition coming from industry professionals that underline Aluvision’s innovative and quality-driven strategy.


When the invitation came to speak at the FIT Capstone Event, I was beyond thrilled. To understand why, let me give you a bit of background, particularly for those of you who don’t know about this program. FIT’s Master of Arts in Exhibition Design is a full-time, 39-credit program completed in 16 months. Most coursework is studio-based and is combined with projects that are conducted directly with patron museums, design firms, and trade venues. Students learn to plan and build three-dimensional models, apply typographic solutions to brand identity issues, and incorporate graphic, lighting, interactive, and audiovisual elements into smalland large-scale designs. They can apply their skills to an actual exhibition project. Internships at design firms, museums, exhibit marketing firms, and exhibition design and production companies offer networking and career opportunities. The Master of Arts program culminates in an independent thesis project and capstone event where students demonstrate their design, research, writing, and critical-thinking skills in a final exhibition design and academic paper, presented to program faculty and an international panel of experts. More than 45 industry

Husband and wife working together in family businesses is nothing new in our industry, but what are some of the trials and tribulations of working together every day? What are some of the exhilarations? Honestly, it’s a tightrope walk. At home, we do discuss the most important things that come up, but we try to not only talk about the business. In fact, we do a pretty good job of not knowing every detail of what the other is doing day to day at the office. Employees are constantly being surprised that we don’t both know what the other has been up to.


our company”, said Stephan De Mulder, Senior Account Director at Aluvision Inc. One of Aluvision’s new products is the AluvisionLive Training Days Poly-55 bright, a single-sided light box Want to discover the magic of the Aluframe that is only 55mm (2.17”) deep vision system and know more about its and therefore perfectly compatible with wide range of products and capabilities? the well-known Aluvision wall frames • VOL. Registration for the2017 AluvisionLive Train-23 ‘with holes’. The Poly-55 bright is a September/October ing Days on June 7th and 8th is now open. backlit light box, with the LED lights mounted to the back panel. The special- This training event is taking place at Aluvision’s production facility in Atlanta, GA ly developed lights result in an amazand it is a mix of workshops, design cases ingly uniform spread of light without and product presentations. All of this in a hotspots or shadows. very amicable and casual atmosphere! Another new Aluvision product is the Forester: a 10ft high light post with 6 powerful LED lights and a base, offering Register now for the AluvisionLive Training Days a great solution for general booth lighting by sending an e-mail to info@aluvision.com or and eliminating the need for expensive, call (470)-252-3500. For more info please visit overhead lighting. www.aluvision.com.



What has been the brand’s secret of success over so many generations of customers? To change with the times, always looking for what is new, finding the balance between experience and innovation, never forgetting that this is a business made up of people and personalities - this is what our clients value in their relationship to Heilmaier.

With your main offices in Germany and an office in Shanghai, and knowing that you do a lot of business in North America, any future growth plans there? We plan to follow the same business model we used four years ago when opening our China office in Shanghai. We start with the idea of being able to better serve our customers’ projects that we are already handling in the states

and then slowly acquire some new projects and clients. We are not looking to begin with production or I&D teams. We have a very successful supplier/partner network that enables us to work locally in the various areas of the USA. Moving forward, we want to keep using this very successful model. The major benefit we are trying to give our clients,


and future clients, is to have a US-based contact that will allow them to communicate with us about their global exhibition programs, particularly focused in Europe and China, in their time zone.

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a d o s th n a w u

s to 1 P a n s n c

Spotlight on The Tradeshow Industry’s

Your new, recently built, state of the art production facility must be like a dream come true. How long was this in the planning

78 Jan/Feb 2017 Exhibit City News

50 Jan/Feb 2017 Exhibit City News

November/December 2017 • VOL. 23 • ISSUE 6



Veteran Photographer John Staley Captures the Convention Circuit’s Scene and Stories

Ke Sh


From Hot Dog Cart to Hustle Con

Orbus’ Boot Camp Training Leads to Business Building

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• Heilmaier Messe Design achieves 70-year milestone in an internationally recognized family business • EDPA’s Pat Friedlander is keynote speaker at FIT Capstone Event honoring all-women class • CONCEPTCOM celebrates its Silver Jubilee at EuroShop in Dusseldorf

• 48 new exhibitors attend EXHIBITORLIVE and celebrate the 25th anniversary of CTSM


p a d to s e jo m v w e


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years TECHNOLOGY


he FIT Capstone Event FRIEDLANDER

hen the invitation came to at the FIT Capstone Event, I was d thrilled. To understand why, let e you a bit of background, particfor those of you who don’t know this program. s Master of Arts in Exhibition n is a full-time, 39-credit program eted in 16 months. Most coursework io-based and is combined with ts that are conducted directly with museums, design firms, and trade s. Students learn to plan and build dimensional models, apply typoc solutions to brand identity issues, corporate graphic, lighting, interacnd audiovisual elements into smallrge-scale designs. They can apply kills to an actual exhibition project. ships at design firms, museums, t marketing firms, and exhibition and production companies offer rking and career opportunities. Master of Arts program culminates ndependent thesis project and capevent where students demonstrate esign, research, writing, and critinking skills in a final exhibition and academic paper, presented gram faculty and an international of experts. More than 45 industry

within EDPA, Dana Esposito and Justin Dworak were speakers at Capstone. What was truly special this year—and why I was so thrilled to be the keynote speaker—is that the entire 2016 class was women. Dana spoke about her experience professionals take part in a day-long as the only female designer in a group of adjudication of final student work. In“chain smoking old guys,” and since I am dustry leaders including creative direcolder than Dana, I can honestly say that tors, CEOs, exhibit developers, audience was an improvement over what I encounspecialists, writers, researchers, content tered when I was, to blatantly steal her experts, design educators, recruiters, phrase, “the last cookie in the jar.” journalists, events marketers and project When I spoke to the class, I wanted to managers comprise this group of indifocus on their new path, not give a histoviduals who travel from throughout the ry lesson. And what I consider very imworld to review theses and lend their portant was for designers to be brought expertise to the graduating class. in, not at the tactical level, as so I had previously participated often happens, but as part of—if as a judge; I so admire the stunot the lead on—the strategy dents’ work because it is truly team. Design isn’t about ooh outside the realm of my perand ahh—it’s about process, Pat sonal capabilities. Selfishly, or in the words of Milton GlaFriedlander the day is an amazing opportuser, “Design is the process of nity to network with designers going from an existing condiand faculty members, people who tion to a preferred one.” work in retail and fashion and museTheir job in the years•will be ISSUE VOL. 23 2017 • coming July/August ums, who aren’t part of my daily world. to translate the goals and brand messages Finally, as a member of EDPA, I of their clients into visual and experiential support the work our organization does messages, not to ask their clients what they to foster this young talent. Celebrating “want.” In taking the lead, they will em10 years, EDPA’s University Affiliation brace “creative bravery” as defined by the Program supports exhibit design studies 2013 Cannes Lions (Work that takes chancat FIT as well as Bemidji State in Mines in pursuit of excellence and changes nesota. EDPA provides mentors for the the status quo. The investment in creative students and often provides opportubrilliance and bravery is a safe business nities for students to intern at member decision). They will hone their leadership companies. Both chairs of this committee skills, and manage the risk averse on their

ENVER, DETROIT eshow Industry’s Big Three D’s

/Feb 2017 Exhibit City News



Investors are betting big on artificial intelligence, which is set to change the way we live, work, and communicate. AI is one of the top two sectors by capital raised, according to market researcher Quid. Innovative AI technologies will enable people to use their time more efficiently by taking over repetitive tasks that normally require humans, and offering employees some tools that can enhance decision making, according to a recent report by Accenture, a professional services company that works with more than 70 percent of the Fortune 500. Accenture predicts that AI will boost productivity and double annual economic growth rates in some developed countries by 2035. The U.S. could see the biggest economic benefit thanks to its advanced infrastructure and strong entrepreneurial climate, increasing annual growth from 2.6 percent to 4.6 percent. Businesses that rely on trade shows to market their services do not have to wait for the technology of tomorrow. Here are three AI-powered services that can boost your conversion rate:

caption info


Marquees along the Las Vegas Strip were dimmed Sunday, October 8, 2017, in tribute to the victims and first responders of the 1 October tragedy a week earlier.


What: AI-powered sales assistant Cost: Plans start at $2,999 per month Wish you could hire more sales assistants without the high cost? Conversica offers an AI-powered sales assistant that functions like a human sales assistant. It reaches out to every lead via email and engages them in natural, back and forth conversation. Approximately 35 percent of leads reply to the sales assistant, which gauges the level of interest and responds accordingly. When leads are ready to engage in

the sales process, the assistant alerts the sales team and finds the best number and time for a phone call. When Zend Technologies wanted to test Conversica’s technology, the company assigned their new sales assistant its dead

Industry Officials Speak Out on Las Vegas 1 October Tragedy

leads, said Gary Gerber, Senior Director, Head of product Marketing at Conversica. The results were an impressive 19 percent engagement rate and a $500,000 lead. Automated BY technology has distinct CYNTHYA PORTER Continued on p. 28

Exhibit City News Proves Its Resiliency Samanta Arjune, ECN’s office manager, was at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip when the shots rang out. Merely three days after our beloved editor-in-chief, Arthur Bloberger, passed away after a nine-week battle with cancer (see his memorial on page 70), Arjune was shot in the leg. The bone in her leg was shattered and since more than 500 people were injured (more than 25 were still in critical condition as of three weeks later), she had to wait nearly ten hours for surgery. After spending a week at University Medical Center, she was transferred to a physical rehab facility at Summerlin Hospital where just last week she had 12 stitches removed with another 14 stitches to go. She was featured on the front page of the Las Vegas Review-Journal on October 9, discussing how she was rolled to safety in a garbage can with assistance from her brother and complete strangers after being shot. See the complete story at: https:// www.reviewjournal.com/local/thestrip/wounded-las-vegas-woman-wasferried-to-safety-in-garbage-can/ Sam and the staff at ECN are very grateful for the prayers and beautiful flowers that have been sent to the office.


MORE WONDER THE WOMEN AT CONCEPTCOMS COBO CENTER Tina Howe’s 2017 marks a special la Story Cinderel milestone for CONCEPTCOMS, as she celebrates 25

years in business. ’Scelebrations HIGHMARK As part of the for the Silver Jubilee, CONGOES CEPTCOMS will once again SUCCESS participate in EuroShop, to be held in Dusseldorf from S OUTDOOR

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started before the Las Vegas massacre, the incident highlights the ongoing need for additional focus, said International Association of Exhibitions and Events’ president and CEO David DuBois. “Our prayers and thoughts go out to all those negatively affected by this deplorable act of violence,” DuBois said in a statement. “As an exhibitions and events and hospitality industry we must continue to enhance our safety and security protocols and procedures and do our best to mitigate these types of tragic incidents.” “Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of last night’s shooting, their families, and those still fighting for their lives,”

Celebrates 25th Anniversary at EuroShop March 5-9

Keith Kirsten and Claude Molinari Share Must-Sees in Detroit


The world is reeling from the news that a gunman in Las Vegas mowed down attendees at an open-air concert from a sniper’s perch on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, but officials in the exhibitions, events, and hospitality industries have been quick to express not only shock and grief but also reassurance for those with plans to attend future events. Participant safety and emergency response preparedness have dominated industry conversations in recent years as acts of violence worldwide have at times put business travelers and those attending conferences and shows at risk. Though the conversation on event safety

the 5th to 9th in March. CONCEPTCOMS started her business in 1992, as a design agency working on exhibitions, events and interiors in Singapore and into ASIA before transforming into a global project management company, assisting design agencies from all over the world to realize their projects in far flung and uncommon venues. Much of this has to do with the vision of her founding member, Mr. Michael Tay, listed in the mosttraveledpeowhose passion for globetrotple.com directory. ting and establishing business Tay’s vision for the compacontacts along the way, has ny is an inspiration derived seen CONCEPTCOMS workfrom his travels and is S.COM EXHIBITCITYNEW ing in at least 50 countries and encapsulated in the saying: more than 100 cities around “If You Want To Go Fast, Go the world, with a network of Alone, If You Want To Go her own offices and factories Far, Go Together.” in most of Asia, as well as This is the character and busibusiness associates in nearly ness ethos of CONCEPTCOMS 100 countries and counting. When you Go with CONCONCEPTCOMS is one CEPTCOMS, you will be able of the few companies in the to see and reap the mutual world that is able to work on benefits of working together, global tenders covering 50 providing you with the abilcountries or more at one go. ity to venture further than Tay himself has to date, you or your company have travelled close to 100 counpersonally been. tries and plans to cover the CONCEPTCOMS, her remaining countries in the founder and people, have UN listing, and all the ‘places’ literally pounded their way to

WONDER WOMEN The Real-life Super-heroines of CEP

2017 Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic


Photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau

26 May/June 2017 Exhibit City News

Strip photo by Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau



22 November/December 2017 Exhibit City News

many uncharted territories, networked and evaluated all partners well before anyone else, ensuring that the same expectations can be met wherever your client goes. If you wish to learn more and want to share your own network with CONCEPTCOMS, please pencil down the dates and make a visit to their booth in Hall 5 Stand Number E23. As always, due to the large numbers of friends and business associates congregating at the booth at most times of the event, we suggest that anyone wishing to have some quality time in the booth to email grace@conceptcoms.com and fix a time and date for a visit.

CONCEPTCOMS, welcomes all visitors and enquiries. As a tribute to friends, business partners and associates from her 25 years in business, she has dedicated her booth design in EuroShop this year to ‘immortalizing’ the industry people that has brought CONCEPTCOMS thus far today; and will continue to go further together. CONCEPTCOMS welcomes you to join them too!

58 Mar/Apr 2017 Exhibit City News

• AI business applications enter the tradeshow space

• Exhibitor community stands united in the face of October 1 shooting in Las Vegas

• After 50 years as a leading exhibit marketing strategist, MG Design rebrands to “mg”

• Hamilton Exhibits Celebrates the 70th Anniversary of its Founding

• Aluvision launches World of Wonder campaign at EXHIBITORLIVE and wins People’s Choice Award and Best Fabric Exhibit Award

• Highmark TechSystems Introduces Highmark Outdoor For Outdoor Events

• MPI launches new certificate program, Women in Leadership: Executive Leadership Skills


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UNLV’s New Hospitality Hall Welcomes New Students for a New Era

March/April 2018 • VOL. 24 • ISSUE 2

“BUILT TO LAST” STARTS ITS SIXTH SEASON ON TV IN CHICAGO Focusing on Skilled Labor Training & The Stories Behind Every Project

Year-in-Review: A Look Back at the Top Stories From 2017

Vegas he University of Nevada, Las has Harrah College of Hospitality opened its new state-of-the-art Hall. lity Hospita , academic building the of one being for With the reputation world, this best hospitality schools in the to the continbuilding is expected to add alumni. and ued success of its students Harrah As a proud alumna of UNLV personally College of Hospitality, I am events.” lity Hall. running events and catering concierge excited about the new Hospita floor is the college’s student the best Professor Gail Sammons, Ph.D., store. The I moved from Israel to attend the flat desk, coffee shop, and a golf every explains, “The best thing about ent floors school in the world and I loved subsequ on move ms/labs you can24 classroo is that • ISSUE • VOL. 2018 that this January/February classroom tables minute of it. I am only envious subject also double as ballrooms. when I them around to best suit the ,” building this of new building was not built purpose “The You can matter and classroom activity. Ph. ker, Shoema was attending UNLV. as U- or explains Stowe up for small groups, set up set Harrah F. In my opinion, this new buildD., Dean, William straight line square-shaped instead of a ing inspires success, team buildCollege, UNLV, was that “we the seating to of six rows. Changing the way ing, and motivates students t types wanted to create a space that bouof the classroom allows differen our excel. The atmosphere of a By Calanit Atia mimics the kind of space that s depending on the strategie lity teaching of Hospita when they tique hotel inspired students will be working in course.” and t member architec l faculty Hall. According to principa . Hospitality is all about creating many nooks and so graduate have “We Sellers er adds, She having lots Michael Del Gatto of Carpent sit in. The day great experiences. It is about 93,500-sq. crannies that students can interact with Del Gatto Architecture, the them was of places where people can “for the classes started, every one of and things ft. Hospitality Hall was designed together and each other with a lot of vibe filled with students working industry, by the industry,” to make sure that wanted We ves.” happen. themsel g already applying Hospitality Hall features sweepin really understand students ity the growth at hospital and serves I am continually thrilled not a job—it’s is views of the Las Vegas Strip industry ity College hospital that and gaming of my alma mater, the Harrah the buildas a bridge to the hospitality year. For a lifestyle. So if you come into m, labof Hospitality, now in its 50th all this is there industry. With combined classroo and classes ospitaliing, taking the design more info, visit www.unlv.edu/h you that, love you oratory, and meeting space; if excitement around, a sense of ty/hospitalityhall. ” passion. true encourages interaction and know you found your , faculty, of80 has community among students building of A to Z He adds, “The new A dramatic Calanit Atia is the founder and president conference and industry professionals. an award-winning fices, 16 classrooms and four through Events and Trade Show Talent; she’s he says, “We wooden staircase, seen passing rooms.” As for future plans, a Las Vegas ambassador, social media serves as the Catering Com- event planner, the amber-tinted entrance, are going to create a Hotel veteran and speaker. She Force Air to in columnist, visitors maven, draws students focal element that . pany that will be used by our and cacan be contacted at Info@AtoZevents.com ce in lounge in the lobby; the advising to gain a lot of practical experien on the first reer service centers. Situated


News 22 May/June 2018 Exhibit City S



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hen the Carpenters union in Chicago was trying to hammer out some ideas on how to spread the word about what it does, the Chicago Regional Council turned to television. The result is Built to Last, a product of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters’ Labor and Management Committee and a TV show that is currently in production for its sixth season set to air in the spring. “It isn’t a show about swinging hammers,” says Anthony Janowski, marketing director for the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters. “It’s about the importance of skilled labor. It illustrates the unique benefits provided by skilled labor and the contributions it can make to the community. We never really push ‘union’ on the show. We focus on the productivity


of skilled labor training. That’s what it’s all about—training, training, training.” The show currently has three hosts: Mark Nilsson, Rob North and Monica Pedersen. Episodes may focus on multiple projects and how they affect the community. For example, the seventh episode of season four showed how skilled labor converted a former jail into a center for the arts, but the first segment in the episode is probably of more interest to readers of Exhibit City News. It showed how carpenters transformed McCormick Place into what is essentially the world’s largest factory in just two weeks for The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). “Our council decided to tell stories about our carpenters and create awareness about the many crafts within the carpentry

trade, and when we first started it was just that,” says Janowski. “Now we find the story behind every project. Once we have that, then we bring the carpenters in. They might not come until the end of the story, but there’s always a reason why the carpenters are involved—it could mean assisting the community, driving public awareness, or inspiring advocacy.” The segment about McCormick Place and the IMTS opens with a brief history of the facility and how Chicago became important in the exhibition industry, particularly exhibitions involving manufacturers. From there it segues into anecdotes and testimonials by individuals involved in the industry and the community, intermixed with visuals of impressive displays including a car being manipulated by a

42 November/December 2018 Exhibit City News

11/14/18 1:19 PM

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who pushed to promote fabric as an effective exhibit material, to er Theadore Zeigl who developed and pt of believed in the conce its exhib up portable and pop industry, within the trade show who pushed to Dick Swanby and surveys to for measurement it expense, help justify the exhib created the to Lee Knight who ated to the first magazine dedic to Jack exhibitor experience, d for I&D McEnte who pushe DERSE EXHIBIT’S profeslabor to deliver a more BILL HANEY itor experience, to exhib l Serebin, CFO at Derse, siona Dan Hays award for believed HONORED IN accepted the Hazel Benedict Soh who Glasser, presBill Haney from Kelli l harmony ts, ationa Concep ABSENTIA intern Exhibit that CEO, ident and markett. and EDPA past presiden would create a larger HAWIK (and BY LARRY KULC to Rich Johnson and to his place, created dustry, his company, Ted Peterson) who d to without quesevent to ber, Haney pushe go y Golf mem famil rs Smith y own hono A the Rand Each year EDP d attending ers of exhibit design educa rt misse memb has suppo help He and tion. has made recognize ssional conventions, an individual who unity who tion as a path to profe few EDPA annual ibution to the exhibition comm nition for d to ata significant contr respect and recog but this year he misse ed a severe loss. the value n as a strong comfirst grand- suffer his nurture and grow desig of it the of birth exhib ers the unicaAll past winn overall mar- tend s, the standof face to face comm d have made ponent within the child. Nevertheles it design, Hazel Hays Awar y’s excellent in his honor, tion through exhib ng the keting mix. Hane ing ovation given ces, educaa difference in shifti manager y and the production, servi s to steer skills as a business acknowledged Hane it visitor direction of the wind play in the was into award came tion and the exhib this gly new direcstron spirit in which the industry in a the Hazel industry the when experience with ded. ‘90s ony within early absolutely inten $8 and grow harm $6 CANtion US a reof heat who , the g Hays Award. Hays l unity From Haze thought was feelin the exposition comm ul thinking pt of show Over the years many . Haney’s cession. The wishf pioneered the conce recognized through leadership board n in the leaders have been rship to of an aggressive EDPA contracting and wome dedication passion and leade and ered temp vision ng were their Kitzi for industry of directors workplace, to Fred of an ingrow the exposition a focus on pito shift the thinking tten. The by Haney to keep Elaine Cohen who direction will never be forgo ity to keep and pt of “endustry in a different our financial responsibil oneered the conce industry extends This entire were. nt. a they as solve tions” from where association applause for your gagement and attrac Bill Haney, the a strong exhib- hands in year’s winner was the years. Haney also played l component of the bits, contribution over EDPA Foun- critica Carey CEO of Derse Exhi role in helping the experience, to Mary it it exhib es of rk penni g a leading netwo dation go from savin consisHis influcompanies providing to saving dollars. gh diligent try supplier tent services throu ence within indus creative generous management and owners encouraged ibua war chest design. Haney’s contr donations to build grow to at the tions and dedication Foundation. “We the for n withi afford to education programs foundation can now and to l dollars the exhibit industry, contribute meaningfu ary reand tion, scholarships, strengthen the fiduci educa to y n the EDPA sponsibilities withi support for the Rand have resulted added says association itself, Event each year,” the direction Smith ns/ CEO Brumark. in a major shift in Wale Dave try today. dedication to his inof the exhibit indus y’s Hane board As a longtime EDPA

Marshaling Yards, Loading Docks & More


past, the exhibit hall lobby’s vibe. In the te, the exhibit hall’s and lobby were separa n behind drapery lively ambiance hidde t the drapes absen With . police and badge majt halls’ voice and exhibi the year, this beckoning all to enter. esty were exposed, around for 30 years “This show has been ent time we look to re-inv and from time to s . “We have alway ourselves,” says Pavek t hall is such an inknown that the exhibi we do we said, ‘what can credible place, so for ence experi hall t to enhance the exhibi We and the exhibitors?’ both the attendees experts on show deconsulted numerous creUS $12 CAN $18 up with the idea of sign and we came experience, taking ing shopp retail ating a the like Best Buy, where a cue from stores to INTERNATIONAL FOCUS and sees everything-customer walks in 001_Cover_noSpine_0318.indd up lines.” open 1 the sight tsecond most impor Pavek says that the the was redesigning ant change this year “It’s Zone.” “Connection entry venue into a ct Zone conne ion way people elephant in the Connect about changing the John Pavek with pink . the show,” said Pavek and engage during companies and spon“In the past, many gs and other gather sors held dealer meetin floor. With that in show the from ings away nient to provide a conve mind, we wanted show meet, close to the to them for place Zone does just that floor. The Connection rop.” as a beautiful backd with the show hall slogan, “Connect Pavek adds that the mars,” is more than a With Your Specie d management wante keting slogan. Show with ct e and conne attendees to engag ER sionals, including BY ALETA WALTH like-minded profes ct or produ to a for sible need a impos it was attendees who have more, more, yet need. who can fulfill that EXHIBITORLIVE ant in the room.” service and people ignore the “eleph The big news during to tors, of a three-year plan of the registration number of exhibi “2018 is year one Yes, in the middle Pavek. 2018 was not the pink, adultBITORLIVE,” says attendees, not even stood a fluorescent re-energize EXHI ees will nor the number of The area/lobby year is that attend a post of a friendly next class attendance. and for ing nt goal -break elepha “Our sized the record climb, event’s as they were this year.” attendees not “to s change was the be just as surprised mouse beseeching strikingly obviou The behemoth friend. d at the Mandalay write or sit” on his new branding. Hoste Zone,” exhibit r in Las Vegas, Feb. as the “Connection Attendance up, lobby, rebranded Bay Conference Cente and airier than the l learning conferholds steady space was also much larger seat26-March 1, the annua touted as an opof s overall attendance was g an inviting array EXHIBITORLIVE’ ence and trade show 2017 edis.” past while offerin s for meeting friends, 11 percent over the ect With Your Specie h ing and table option ng was up about portunity to “Conn ghting a nice growt rs, dealers, checki EXHIBITORLIVE Pavek highli with by Cynthya Porter tion clients, business partne Having covered the was I years, ees and “exhibit hall ping. last eight in conference attend emails or just catnap for show for six of the Pavek, exto officer roll-up ding the ting Accor under marke passed attendance. John Pavek, chief slack-jawed as I Gone about the same management only” was foyer. says sold ration ine, space regist magaz ith the world’s eye turne EXHIBITOR s hibitor floor door and into the past. exhibitors this year to shake up the show’ setting of shows despite five fewerSingapore as leaders fro decided it was time was the familiar g, more was to pump up the EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COMIn its place was a more invitin . More, brand. The first step the United States and Ko hing venue vibrant, more refres held an historic meeting in the islan


2018 66 Januar y/February

Exhibit City News

New Branding is at the Big Winner 2018 E V LI R O EXHIBIT

SHOP to SHOWFLOOR I&D and Event Labor


A New Teamsters Training Facility Trains the Next Generation of Industry Professionals

Challenging the Status Quo on Material Handling Rates


by F. Andrew Taylor


ow do you become a teamster? Practice, hard work and, if you’re lucky and live in Las Vegas, more than 2,000 hours of training at the new Southern Nevada Teamsters 631 Convention & Construction Training facility. The new facility at 4490 Nexus Way in North Las Vegas, is over 70,000 square feet, more than twice as large as the previous training facility, and it was designed not only to train new teamsters, but to sharpen the skills of current teamsters. The project is a collaboration between employers and the union that originated from collective bargaining discussions. It’s designed to bring the best people into the labor force. “It’s essential for us as employers because it’s creating our skilled workforce,” says Bill Muller, director of operations/ western region Renaissance Management Inc., and employer co-chair of Local 631 Training Trust. The facility opened in January after nearly a year of build out from a shell. Thanks to careful planning, the classes smoothly transitioned from the old location to the new facility and the training was never interrupted. The new structure includes classrooms and

by by Padgett & Co.

EDPA Hazel Hays Award





by F. Andrew Taylor

46 May/June 2018 Exhibit City News

Singapore’s A


Exhibit City News 34 May/June 2018

offices, but the majority of the building houses a mock warehouse and mini showroom for training. Apprentices and journeyman can take classes at the facility where they practice I&D on pipe and drape and more complex booths (including two story booths), decorating, forklift operation, floor layout and many other practical applications of skills related to the tradeshow and exhibition industry. “I invite all 631 signatory employers to contact Crystal Van Dyke, our director, and set up an appointment to visit our new facility and its expanded and improved capabilities,” says Muller. “Said input from signatory employers is critical to the success of our program.” At an open house on March 28, the facility demonstrated all of these things while installing booths, bringing stock to them and then dismantling the booths and bringing the components out to trailers outside ready to be shipped away.

“We could do some of this at the old facility, but the new location allows us to greatly expand what we can do and the number of people we can have doing it at one time,” says Muller. “The city and the needs have been growing for many years and we wanted to step out ahead and have the people ready to meet those new needs.” Crystal VanDyke, the apprenticeship coordinator/director for Teamsters Local 631 notes that about 180 to 240 apprentices take classes at the facility each year. A vigorous testing and scoring system prior to admission weeds out all but the best, so there is almost no dropout rate. “We do intake maybe once a year or so,” says Muller. “This year 1,000 people applied. Only 490 passed the reading, writing and arithmetic tests and the top 60 scorers were invited to become apprentices in the program. We were extremely selective.” Those 60 went through boot camp, a

physical aptitude test that includes walking several miles and performing physical tasks that emulate the sort of work they will do on the floor--including carrying 10-pound bags and placing them on an eight-foot crate, going up and down ladders and rolling weighted carts over carpeting. “We’ve always been working to get to the next level,” says Tim Koviak, a trustee with Teamsters 631. “We’ve been trying to figure out how to get better people on the show floor and how to create a better experience. I think this is one more step towards getting there.” Koviak believes a big part of what makes it all work is rather than using a separate training staff, the program

takes the best from the industry who teach what they do and can quickly adapt to changes in the industry, teaching how to install a new kind of display or operate a new kind of equipment. “The new facility allows us to employ more technology in the training process,” says Bernie Masset, senior director of events for MC2 and one of

the four employer trustees of in any city that serves the the facility. “Not just overhead tradeshow industry. projectors, but more technolo“We want to put out a workgy that is in sync with what we force and a product that isn’t do now. It also allows us the just good, but is excellent,” space to teach seven or eight explains Masset. “We want a classes at once.” workforce that represents not The trustees and staff of just the union or the employer the facility hope it will serve or even themselves but one as an example for other that represents an industry. cities and show the value of When you’re out there you’re an apprenticeship program a face of Las Vegas.” ExhibitCityNews.com May/June 2018 47

nation/city, officials could not have sen a more opportune time to anno that the MICE industry there has w yet another award in the departmen innovation. The newest honor follo a string of other recognitions in rec years for Suntec Singapore Convent and Exhibition Centre, which, than a $184 million modernization proje in 2013, is considered to be one of t most technologically advanced venu in the world. The facility recently rolled out Hy – a 3D visualization tool that provid a 360-degree rendering of a room, h or exhibition space fully arranged in configuration of the user’s choosing So cutting edge is the new technolo that UFI, the Global Association of Exhibition Industry, named Suntec winner of its 2018 Digital Innovatio Award, an honor bestowed annually entities around the world introduci technologies that have the power to 52 July/August 2018 Exhibit City News


• UNLV’s Harrah College of Hospitality opens state-of-the-art Hospitality Hall

• EDPA honors Bill Haney, CEO of Derse Exhibits, with Hazel Hays Award • EXHIBITORLIVE 2018 introduces new slogan, “Connect With Your Species” • Southern Nevada Teamsters 631 opens new Convention & Construction Training facility in Las Vegas


3/4/20 3:06 PM

EXHIBITORLIVE w Product Showcase

Covering the Industry for 25 Years INDUSTRY NEWS

Building the World’s Largest Convention Center

pril 2018 • VOL. 24 • ISSUE 2

Shenzhen World to have 5.4 Million Sq.Ft.



General Contr actors of Workplace — Champions Culture

by F. Andrew Taylor


exhibit hall ibe. In the past, the exhibit hall’s y were separate, the behind drapery mbiance hidden drapes absent ge police. With the voice and majr, the exhibit halls’ ning all to enter. re exposed, becko d for 30 years show has been aroun look to re-invent m time to time we have always es,” says Pavek. “We is such an inthat the exhibit hall can we do ‘what e place, so we said, experience for ance the exhibit hall the exhibitors?’ We he attendees and s on show deexpert rous lted nume the idea of crend we came up with experience, taking a retail shopping Buy, where the from stores like Best to INTERNATIONAL FOCUS sees everything-mer walks in and 1 the sight lines.” up most importvek says that the second gning the redesi hange this year was “It’s Zone.” ection y venue into a “Conn people connect ut changing the way . show,” said Pavek engage during the nies and sponthe past, many compa and other gathergs meetin s held dealer floor. With that in show the from s away provide a convenient nd, we wanted to close to the show ce for them to meet, Zone does just that or. The Connection rop.” a beautiful backd th the show hall as slogan, “Connect Pavek adds that the is more than a marith Your Species,” d management wante ting slogan. Show with ct and conne tendees to engage sionals, including ke-minded profes product or a for need a ttendees who have need. who can fulfill that ervice and people to a three-year plan 2018 is year one of . LIVE,” says Pavek e-energize EXHIBITOR ees will year is that attend next for goal “Our as they were this year.” be just as surprised

fficials for the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center in China presented at IMEX America on Oct. 16 have a three level conference and screened a video showing center with meeting rooms, a renderings of the project, sta70,000 sq.ft. ballroom and a tistics, transportation options VIP breakout area and lounge and a time lapse of previous in addition to 130 break out construction. rooms, 12 meeting rooms Phase 1 of the project is set to ranging from 60-650 capacity, deliver 4.3 million sq.ft. of extheater-style and 13 meeting hibition space and after Phase rooms ranging from 100-900 2 is completed, the venue will capacity, theater-style. realize its full potential at 5.4 There will also be complimillion square feet. Shenzhen mentary Wi-Fi, catering for World (SWECC) is projected banquets of more than 5,000; to be completed in late 2019, at more than 100 food outlets, which point it will become the on-site safe rigging services, largest convention and exhibivenue APP with visitor services, tion space in the world. wayfinding and the first plug-nThe completed facility is play electrical services in China. set to have 4.3 million sq.ft. Transportation to the area is of prime exhibition space, available by two airports within 16 column-free halls that EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM seven km (less than five miles) will each TRADESHOW/EVENTS be 210,000 sq.ft.,PODCAST and the Hong Kong Airport is a 485,000 sq.ft. mega hall just 75 km (about 46.6 miles) with only four columns and a 2/13/18 1:22 PM away. Shenzhen can also be 14,000 seat event center 6 reached by ferry, highway and 2018 • VOL. 24 • ISSUEwith November/Decemberretractab le seating. The coma bullet train that takes less pleted campus is also set to than an hour from Hong Kong.

EXHIBITORLIVE by Day; Live Musicians by Night

The surge of millennials in the work force, along with social mov ements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, have brought Often cited as being just freshpresiden a vice pers to conversations pec- t/convention and small fishing village priortive abou to orate t exhibitio n centers, corp noted that culture and dive being singled out to be the rsity. first Laborers “Today, we are have incre ased most proud of of the five special economi expe c ctationsthe aroufriendsh nd company ip we have formed values, wage zones in 1980, it has, in actuequality, com with our colleagu munity action, es from job flexibility ality, been a regional market professional deve Shenzhe n.” ,Officials for the lopment and town for some years. Currentl potential y for adva Shenzhe n World Exhibition & ncement. Industry cont it is nicknamed the “Silicon ractors are ion Center in China responding asConvent Valley of China” and a reported champions of named workplace cultu SMG re—honoring as the venue’s 90 percent of the world’s work elecers and enga newging manager in July of 2017. comtronics are made in the mun ities while deliv rapidly SMGering manages more than 230 bette r value to custo growing city. It is home to the mersincludin . venues, g exhibitio


as chairperson of this year’s International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Women’s Lead ership Forum, and she says that having the opportunity to parti cipate in this and other indu stry organizations is in line with long-esta blished company principles. “It’s not just IAEE, but all the othe r things I endeavor to participate in as a woman in leadership. From a budget standpoint, funds are there for me to atten d because our comp any sees the value. These are our and industry partn customers n Shenzhen Convention and ers. We feel it Smart City Netw is essential for us centers, orks arenas, stadiums, to participate Exhibition Center which Sma and be visible, wasrt City Netw theaters and to support orks is a, equestrian centers, the industry.” provider of telec completed in 2004 at aleadi costngof scienceomcenters, and more. mun ications servi She continue ces to major CNY3.2 billion and haseven s, “The 2018 held al- venuWithin prog ts and the ram was an over es around the SMG portfolio are whelmmost 300 exhibitions and counmore ing success; the try, including 1.5Walt million event was Disneysports and entersold with over ld, 30 major conv than 1,350 conferencesWor since 220 attendees ention tainmen t seats and 15 million , centers and three and the overall its opening. The develope NFL stadifeedback was ofrt Citysquare ums.rs posi feet of Sma exhibitio tive. n It was an expe has a set of Shenzhen World Exhibitio rience business and journey to n &principles space, includin g McCormick remember, and “Dai ly Basics” that team Convention Center project givin g our industry wom that Place members and Cobo Center in en review each day the opportun it will become the center Julia Slocombe to ity to recharge ensure that exDetroit. , custoof renew and reco SWECC mers 27 yearopens receive top-notchOncethan s’ experience nnect!” hibitions and conventiservi in onsce.for the hospitalit great things and Extending this Internallynext year, it will y industry, with bring the , Smart who come to spirit of City a work fired all of South China andfocus concentration servi es on promoting ce perhaps outs up in the telecomfirm’s Hear Donto and theseide locations! the industry achieveMike venue managem grow them. at munications ent Great people also bolst even a wider region. accountability and empowerth, ers even flourish in an the employee t indu en- experienc ment while stand portfolio- to more Smartthan viron 15been mil-herstry. ment that liber City has e. “Smart City ExhibitCityNews.Com — tinyurl.com/y7x9tujh ing for integriAt IMEX America ty, ates and prostands 2018, fessional amplifies their efficiency, problion square for something home since exhibitio n 1997. energy. We beyond simply lem solving, feet of LinkedIn — www.linkedin.com/groups/12096643 Gregg Caren, SMG’s equi seek increasing profi Sloc ty and char executiv the best from e acter space ts,” explains in allworldwide. ombe says that people all backFacebook — www.facebook.com/dandmshow/ relationships and are the main grou Slocombe. “We nds to mak ingre interactions. e Smart City provide serdient in Smart City’s extra a wellMeet Julia Sloc vices and serve Twitter — twitter.com/DonAndMikeShow1 roun ded ombe, vice place to work causes that ordinary , president of Wes culture. “We and give all emp clearly add valu have great tern Region iTunes — itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-d…how/id1411548894 e in the world, loyees a stake Operations. She people who wan in the company making it poss has more t to do well, ible for employ’s succ ess.” Google Play — play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#…5tgx36tsmz4tlitpa who are capa ees to derive a Sloco mbe lights up ble of doing sense of meanwhen 30 September/ she spea Stitcher — www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-don-and-mike-show ing from their October 2018 Exhibi ks abou work t her t City News , and to feel role good about wher Spreaker — www.spreaker.com/show/the-don-and-mike-show e they work.” 10/25/18 10:37 AM

Call For Entries: ECN’s First Annual I&D Ace Awards!


exhibit Attendance up, y space holds stead s overall attendance EXHIBITORLIVE’ t over the 2017 ediwas up about 11 percen h ghting a nice growt Pavek highli with by Cynthya Porter tion ees and “exhibit hall in conference attend ding to Pavek, exAccor only” attendance. about the same was sold space ith the world’s eye turned on hibitor floor exhibitors this year despite five fewerSingapore as leaders from

30 November/December 2018 Exhibit City News

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the United States and Korea held an historic meeting in the island nation/city, officials could not have chosen a more opportune time to announce that the MICE industry there has won yet another award in the department of innovation. The newest honor follows a string of other recognitions in recent years for Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, which, thanks to a $184 million modernization project in 2013, is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced venues in the world. The facility recently rolled out HybriD – a 3D visualization tool that provides a 360-degree rendering of a room, hall or exhibition space fully arranged in the configuration of the user’s choosing. So cutting edge is the new technology that UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, named Suntec the winner of its 2018 Digital Innovation Award, an honor bestowed annually on entities around the world introducing technologies that have the power to

TuneIn.com — tunein.com/podcasts/Business--…Mike-Show-p1142098/


Singapore’s Advanced Technology Wins Award



transform the exhibition industry. HybriD may do just that, officials say, because it reduces the number of site visits by 50 percent and minimizes the amount of guesswork that goes into any particular room design. Event managers have the ability to explore seating arrangements, booth configurations, classroom space and more, allowing an event committee to fine tune the look and feel of a space and streamline the planning of its design before any moving carts are wheeled in. Moreover, it allows planners to mock-arrange a room remotely, as the tool can be installed and used on any device. That feature is credited with the dramatic drop in the number of site visits as well as the duration of site visits, leading to significant cost savings for exhibition center clients. The Innovation Award is one of several given by UFI each year in their effort to recognize outstanding initiatives within the industry. As part of the awards program, which is almost ten years old, the association also presents a Human Resources Award, a Marketing Award,

an Operations and Services Award and a Sustainable Development Award. Winners are chosen by an international panel of judges Suntec officials will join other 2018 UFI winners to present their projects at the UFI Global Congress in Saint Petersburg, Russia, from Oct. 31-Nov. 3. “I was impressed by Suntec’s submission as it demonstrates how Augmented Reality can be used to clearly enhance the service provided to exhibition organizers while also lowering the cost–a clear win for the industry,” says Matthias Tesi Baur, chair of the UFI Digital Innovation Committee. Accepting the award for Suntec, Arun Madhok, CEO of Suntec Singapore said, “Suntec Singapore is honored to be selected as the winner of the UFI Digital Innovation Award 2018. Our HybriD solution augments the real world with virtual objects, providing a connection between what viewers see ‘live’ and what the venue space can be transformed into.” Suntec Singapore, which is in the heart of the metropolitan area, has nearly half a million square feet of exhibition and function space and hosts events of up to 10,000 people.

52 July/August 2018 Exhibit City News

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interact with their listeners— the many hard-working industry stakeholders—The Don and Mike Show has already done live event audio and/or videos at the ESCA Summer Educational Conferences in 2017 and 2018, EDPA Access 2017, Suntrust Park in Atlanta, Exhibitor Show 2018, EDPA Engage 2018 in Chicago, EDPA Las Vegas Charity Golf,



The Randy Smith Golf Classic 2017, Get Out of the Gutter Randy Atlanta 2017 and they will be will be recording shows live this fall from the Randy Smith in Atlanta, from EDPA ACCESS in Naples and from the ESCA booth in New Orleans at IAEE’s Expo Expo. Morrison commends the key industry role ESCA plays in its many initiatives, including guiding the industry through its work concerning convention center security and nationwide badging efforts. “It’s all about content,” he explains, “and delivering it in a format that’s entertaining while always respecting the listeners time,” adding that “over the course of our first year we have increased the number of platforms in which we reach our diversified groups of listeners.” From their home base on ExhibitCityNews.com they also reach listeners through iTunes, Google Play Podcasts,

Soundcloud.com, YouTube, as well as popular social media streams such as Facebook (@dandmshow), Twitter (@ DonandMikeShow1), LinkedIn.com (www.linkedin.com/ groups/12096643), Stitcher. com, Podcast Addict, Reddit Podcasts, Spreaker.com and TuneIn.com.

comments to (770) 298-0695. For a complete list of shows, visit https:// soundcloud.com/user-763433310.

The Don and Mike Show” is a weekly podcast “highlighting tradeshows, events and experiential marketing in today’s world,” co-hosted by Don Svehla, publisher of Exhibit City News magazine, and Mike Morrison, na-

THE DON & MIKE SHOW INTERACTIVE LUCKY LISTENER/PARTICIPANT CONTEST WIN $2,000 CASH! By participating and interacting with The Don & Mike Show podcast

Just like and share the show on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.), call in during a show on their toll-free number or leave comments on the tracks online between Aug. 1–Dec. 1 to receive entries for the drawing. The Lucky Listener/Participant will be announced on Dec. 13 during the live broadcast at Expo Expo in New Orleans. The more you participate—the more entries you earn!

ExhibitCityNews.com September/October 2018 39



tional sales director for WS Displays. Call-ins and texts are welcome; call

toll free (833) 366-2636 or text 8/22/18 9:25 at AM

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8/22/18 9:31 AM



• Third annual Global Exhibition Day unites members of 41 partner associations from around the globe

• Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center announces plans for world’s largest convention center

• The Don & Mike Show celebrates a year of weekly podcasts

• “Built to Last” begins filming sixth season in Chicago

• Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Center wins UFI’s Digital Innovation Award • Amador Convention Center announces December opening in Panama City


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3/4/20 3:06 PM

LOOKING BACK Call For Entries for ECN’s

January/February 2019 •


First Annual I&D ACE Award

VOL. 25 • ISSUE 1


McCormick Place Unions Photo Op


Tuesday, November 20 9:30 a.m. (NEW TIME) McCormick Place South Building Grand Concourse


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Exhibit City News, a national publication read by more than 37,500 industry and professionals, is coming to Chicago to take a group photo of the men women of Chicago’s labor movement who make McCormick Place the premiere convention center that it is for the cover of the January/February possible. as workers many as with photo edition. We are looking to fill the

Wear your union Logos! For questions or more information, contact Nora Cay Ryan with the Chicago Federation of Labor at ncryan@chicagolabor.org.



January 2019 Chicago Labor Force Cover Shoot

n another one of publisher Don Svehla’s inspired ideas, he wanted to start 2019 with a cover that honored as many members of the Chicago Labor Force as he could round up. First, it meant scheduling a shoot during one of the biggest shows at McCormick Place—the annual meeting of the RSNA, the Radiological Society of North America, in November. And then he started working the


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phones. First call was to Nora Cay Ryan, chief of staff for the Chicago Federation of Labor, who did much of the coordination by creating flyers and letting all the union workers know about the shoot. Next up were calls to Jim Wurm at EACA, Tom Cassell, the Carpenters Union’s Kevin McLaughlin, EDPA’s Jacqueline Hake and Pat Friedlander, and photographer Jamie Padgett. We sent an email to Jamie


that read: “Don’s envisioning an aerial shot of 100-200 union guys/Chicagoland workforce with each group wearing their company/union polo shirts–making it very colorful. We’d want McCormick Place/Lake Michigan to be recognizable, if possible.:” The time was changed three times but eventually ended up being at the beginning of the lunch hour and the entire shoot was done in 15 minutes. ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Cover photo by PADGETT & CO.

3/4/20 3:07 PM


Here’s to 25 years as the voice of the meeting, convention, and show Here’s to 25 years as trade the voice ofindustry! the meeting, convention, and trade show industry!

2019 2019 Renaissance Management, Inc. celebrated 30 years of superior service in the trade show industry. Since our incorporation on September 13, 1989, our employees throughout the country Renaissance Management, Inc. celebrated 30 years of superior service in the trade show have carried out the company's vision, maintaining professional relationships and supplying industry. Since our incorporation on September 13,services 1989, our superior labor management foremployees our clients.throughout the country have carried out the company's vision, maintaining professional relationships and supplying superior labor management services for our clients.

30 years after meeting in a hotel in New Jersey to establish a company that would prove to be a leader in the I&D Industry, our founders, Sonny Ciferni & Steve Johnson, continue to play a 30 yearsrole afterinmeeting in a of hotel in New Jersey to establish a company that would prove toand be a crucial the success Renaissance Management, Inc. Their passion for employees leader in the I&D Industry, our founders, Sonny Ciferni & Steve Johnson, continue to play a clients and their pride in quality and simplicity are unrivaled. A company rooted in tradition, crucial role in the success of Renaissance Management, Inc. Their passion for employees and Renaissance Management, Inc. remains a forerunner in the I&D industry. clients and their pride in quality and simplicity are unrivaled. A company rooted in tradition, Renaissance Management, Inc. remains a forerunner in the I&D industry.

2300 West Park Place Blvd. Stone Mountain, GA 30087 (770) 879-0485 2300 West Park Place Blvd. renmgmt.com Stone Mountain, GA 30087 info@renmgmt.com (770) 879-0485 renmgmt.com info@renmgmt.com

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3/4/20 3:07 PM

Exhibit City News Presents the 2019 I&D ACE Awards


Exhibit City News Presents the 2019 I&D ACE Awards

INTERNATIONAL FOCUS Australia Best Operations Team ACE: Renaissance Management Las Vegas


leading event and exhibition the complex cities. Currently, Nominated2.5 by million Darlene Cooper, NY, says “I can’t say enough good about estimated hosts an Renaissance Management Las Vegas, the the Renaissance Las Vegas Team. They per year at more than peopleRenaissance Ops Management Team in are fast, efficient, always ready to solve 600 events. Las Vegas is a reflection of the vision Son- problems and never complain about what and exhiFor conferences ny Ciferni and Steve Johnson had when needs to get done—they just do it! From offerMelbourne’s bitions, incorporating their own I&D company 30 the office staff to the floor managers to Melbourne the ings include years ago. As the hub for all West Coast the labor coordinators and the carpenters and Exhibition Convention operations, the Las Vegas management —we always get top notch service.” Derse which, with a footprint Centerteam plans and executes over half of their Account Manager Hayley Harmon says 750,000 square feet of nearly nationwide annual arebusiness. From the “I always love working with the Las Vegas a 430,000-squ including high standards ofspace, Director of Operations Renaissance team. I feel 100 percent meeting foot pillarless for the West Coast Region Bill Muller covered and taken care of every show set its largest venue of is the and Melbourne, Australia Las Vegas Operations Manager Ben up and dismantle. They keep us informed not Though Australia. kind in Buranek; officeMelmanagers Liza Romano at all times and continually have solutions adjacently, situated and Iliana Aguilar (who have a workload when we hit challenges. I know that no & Olympic Parks and bourne that rivals War & Peace); floor managers matter what obstacle, I’m in very good Convention the Melbourne Jim Martin, Bernie Boyd and Doug Stone; hands with my lead and team.” Chris Center team and Exhibition floor support capabilities staff Ashlynn Peralta, SharLittlefield from BlueHive Exhibits says leverage the up tonel Guy and Kim McKeen; Warehouse that in working with this team for 20 plus to complexes in order of both Manager Darrell Heckler to runners Brett years, “Many of the lead men have beconl internationa major land Leone and Toddmost Vanderwalker; Darlene come like family to me. The one thing that reby Cynthya Porter including, ferences, May/June 2019manage• VOL. stands 25 •out ISSUE 3 most is the attention describes them as “an operations to me the 2023 International the cently, and ment team thatwith is unrivaled in its workthat the management and floor managers Australian landscape an identity. With spaces for both Conference Rotary elbourne, Australia, load, customerattendees. service, positive union provide to all of the clients. Whether in the Melbourne city skygrand and intimate events, 20,000 estimated is jockeying for a re-foot 22,000-squa A relationships and overall success.” preshow calls to discuss labor or on the line. l fundamenta Complementing Melposition in the glob- the new center’s ballroom and an And their clients agree. Joe Talarico, show floor. If something is needed it is pillarless experienhance as to purpose is burgeoning status bourne’s al exhibition and event marServices Coord., Spoon Events, Rochester, always no problem. I have worked with 11,000-square-foot pre-funcences and leave guests talking a destination, at least 22 new ketplace with the unveiling of tion area will be rounded out about your event long after hotels have either recently design plans for a new event with a 250-seat auditorium, works, the it’s over,” says Lara Burnes, in are or promare opened and officials that center multiple breakout rooms, general manager of Premier adding more than 4,000 hotel ising will be one of the best in an outdoor terrace. lineup. Events & Experiences at Melthe city’s rooms 38 to May/June 2019 Exhibit City News the world. The venue, set to Melbourne & Olympic bourne & Olympic Park. In addition, the city saw an open in 2022, recently began Parks, perhaps best known for The project is the third and uptick in direct international accepting bookings in antichosting the Australian Tennis $1 billion rea of stage final flights in 2018, with a dozips, has a ipation of that completion development Open Championsh and routes furbishment expanded 029_ACE_AWARDS_Booklet_0519.indd 10 or new en date. It will be a flexible-use total capacity of more than plan that has been underway around the world from places space in the heart of the city’s 65,000 people and was first since 2010, with the first two such as San Francisco, Milan 100-acre Melbourne & Olymconstructed as Olympic Park S complex, which cur- phases making significant and Jakarta. AWARD Parks ON Olympics pic summer ATI the for ASSOCI improvements to the park’s rently contains several arenas, in 1956. Its state-of-the-art sports facilities, infrastrucCynthya Porter is a 70-time a stadium and other indoor arenas have retractable roofs ture and aesthetics. Officials award-winning journalist recogand outdoor event spaces on and flexible pre-function say the Phase 3 spaces being nized by national and international the edge of the city’s central areas that lend themselves created will be the pinnacle associations for her journalistic district. business well to concerts and other of the plan’s achievements expertise in tradeshow topics, travel out“With our precinct located events and gatherings and will position the district writing, photography, and news. She communion the edge of Melbourne’s vitennis the of side among the greatest facilities has covered the exhibition industry brant central business district, the addition time, Over ty. renderings worldwide. Artist for seven years and, though she we’ve designed our new center of conference and meeting have will venue the show makes her home in the Midwest, to capture the magnificent spaces to the district’s sports accentuated ceilings 28-foot travels the world in search of interof the city, while also beat arenas has helped Melbourne r ing windows floor-to-ceil nde by allow dla to esting stories and photographs. , having the flexibility industry become one of Australia’s by Pat Frie Helviews across the antle laborthat provide Hill, Amanda st own their dism Gwen to create tus and events ly ent Emeri or Jeff Provo is distinct emoe, L-R: EDPA Presidr EDPA Executive Direct we know it, as manda Helg forme e, gemo EDPA’s 2019 Exhibit City n.News rica Ame recipient of52 May/June com ly high icacies of Hays Entering this ains the intr 2018 Hazel e was . expl emo M she over e Helg CTS , a oong r, is pioneer twic 4/23/19 4:20 PM petitive field new type eshow labo eshows. Her award, is a to create a ency trad at EXHIBITORLive. side of trad ched a wom motivated wned for transpar course First, she laun are alia_0519.indd 1 y, a woman-o 052_IntFocus_Austr ing advocacy ponent of her ness, Nuvista, managers busi of compan s be a “Tradeshow en-owned ut the role a critical com promise. I&D marthat would is abo tive ness used peti busi d bran the often conf in the com new opportu company’s show floor ked ndly because ch pad for in wor seco laun ctly play has ns dire and she unio ket, y was session ortunities For years, ers to says. “Our her compan nities, opp industry lead e labor,” she mission of ice, the inefficien with other arch ght from thre excellent serv in resulting from . pendent rese , provides insi not simply rved collect inde pectives: EAC rates sparency with cies she obse l handling one different pers union rep. but also tran exhibiting on materia ent. Either a Tradeshow e vs. non-exest exhibitor and interest of the labor segm ents would pany’s high how exclusiv com and on a up the be evem in can in their ices show This is all of these achi manage st line item clusive serv rs a place in ice. bito her le-co invo bit l ed exhi sing fina exhi ing r’s ribuhave earn budget, and e the help the exhibito .” archy of cont marketing s to challeng e the their budgets EDPA’s hier both must prov She continue ugh speaking past year, industry, but t. marketers thro Within the tors to the the y dollar spen status quo t. helped form value of ever nk of at Industry Helgemoe set her apar er of ificant chu ad hoc engagements is the own Exhibitor Group, an “When a sign is eaten up by Helgemoe Advocacy s—HCEA, ent include s ting agem cost is g mee d nt Man se members bESS—an geting . exhibitin group who Nuvista Eve exhi EDPA ACC dling, bud as its CEO rs, han es the and l bito ng serv eria exhi e mat to improvi corporate Services and ors, ossible, sinc eshow committed event ed contract to the trad is almost imp published eshow and itor appoint She came ice 1996 as existing trad general serv rates aren’t industry in t bthe and el. ns exhi even of unio and Nth Deract to industry mod on the board The mission of sales at when the cont explains. is contractors. the director ’97she Helgemoe Group is to ’96-’97. From of it is signed,” s increase, serves as the Advocacy re of and the t gree from A futu iden rate ul EDP of vice pres EDPA successf “And if the le ts ensure the ’99 she was certainly not chair for the Eag even is ts at r ng ness even bito keti busi ing the ng the exhi face-to-face sales and mar ent and During ndation, runn EDPA more marketi spar up. ed Fou tran Gro ante guar ons, ion at the and promote Management practices, Degree and silent auct ed For those reas ce the ness Nth e. serv at busi e valu re She . reputabl her tenu up ht redu and new ACCESS Gala the now-debitors mig standards agement Gro t ine exhi Man decl of isten le or rd cons ced Eag th space on the boa els. ies experien er. re she was size of boo th business mod s a BA in both compan show altogeth N N t E2MA, whe Intrepid func NEWS NEWS financial grow ASSOCIATIO ASSOCIATIO to attend the bito E2MA Amanda hold rs reduce n tremendous exhi awarded the the tly exceeded from Michiga And when ndees her work on Marketing and consisten ation, atte Award for ns. r thought that the their particip the Exhibit ld State. “I neve sales projectio ded to build on to attend lopment of t reas deve profi degree wou less deci ng non have ncil, a y,” ything into When she my marketi Industry Cou gned y in 2000, re I am toda sending ever , pan desi whe on to com show lead me her own alemely ber associati brd spiral.” t I am extr ood that inst a downwa exhib- mem ne and advocate exhi she says. “Bu recognition she underst is an supporting to defi dismantle Tirelessly by the practices. ors and best ored ract sed hon lation and ent cont ed itor-focu Myth supplier segm . itor appoint EDPA.” tion, “The e remains enta from important emo stry pres Helg indu ch 001_Cover_noSpine_0519.indd 1 Her -to-face exhibitors, fight ting,” in whi can in the face front of the of Union Bus r countries on the fore labor Although othe ers for fairs ency on the cent for transpar boast large ion the installat and expos, 4:26 PM

ECN’s 2019 I&D ACE Awards Honoring Our Industry ACES!

Melbourne Poised for Growth with Expansion Project


gemoe Amanda Hel 2018 ’S PA ED s Win ward Hazel Hays A

you want as a new employee and we are fortunate to have him on our team.” His co-workers, including Leandra Spontak, SoCal’s city manager, and clients, including Derse account managers Alex Laama and Melissa Kenny, who both worked at the Long Beach Convention Center with him, all speak very highly of him. As Alex wrote in his testimonial, Will “is a great addition to an already impressive team.”

ECN’s 2019 I&D ACE Awards Part II Honoring ExhibitCityNews.com May/June 2019 31

4/23/19 4:13 PM

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July/August 2019 • VOL. 25 • ISSUE 4

20 T

osity of its members. of The Foundation is the charitable arm of the EDPA and has three primary ways giving. It supports the design programs at Bemidji State University in Minnesota Technology and The Fashion Institute of for in New York by donating money used scholarship programs. The Foundation also is a major supporter of the Randy Smith Memorial the Golf Classic, which helps families in exhibition industry who have suffered le severe tragedies or face insurmountab medical expenses. Finally, the Foundation has a scholarto ship program that it awards annually members of the tradeshow industry or by their children. The studies supported the scholarship do not have to be related to the tradeshow industry. The Foundation was reorganized and revitalized just a few years ago. In 2005, t when Exploring, Inc.’s CEO/Presiden Dave Walens first came on as the chairand man of the board, there was no board the Foundation needed a fresh start. “We set a goal to get one million dollars in an endowment which would be invested in the market,” says Walens. “The Foundation would then be funded by the annual profits from the endow-


ETT & Co.


ment which would sustain the Foundation’s good works forever. That’s the us legacy that would be given by those of

in the industry.” Walens credits the Foundation’s board with coming together in the early days and helping build credibility and establishing the Foundation as an organization that could do good works. It also developed the programs that raise all of the funds necessary to do those good works. “When we started, our funds were close to zero,” says Walens, “The chances we’re really high that we would not get there, but the industry rallied around us. We’ve been working on that for over 10 years and we’re really close to nailing it.” During Walen’s initial run as chairman from 2005-2013, he built the committees that make the operation run. He was followed by Bill Haney, who Walens says was helped transform the organization. It Haney who came up with the Foundation Grantors Program, which really kickstarted the March to One Million. “The grantors are companies who have contributed and made a commitment for three years,” says Walens. “Those year grantors that contributed in the first are our Founding Grantors, a title they retain forever.” Ray Montague kept the program running as chairman following Haney. In August of last year he stepped down and Walens returned to the role, just in time for the 65th anniversary of the founding of of the EDPA and the 25th anniversary

the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic. The hope is that everything will come together and, at the big gala in Tucson at ACCESS 2019, which takes place Dec. 4-6, the Foundation will be able to announce that it has reached it’s $1 million dollar mark. While the prognosis looks good, it is by no means guaranteed and the Foundation is still seeking contributions to help it continue its good works. “This is just the beginning,” Walens says, “If we have enough, we’ll have a lot to give away. Once we’re no longer funding the endowment, any money raised can go directly to funding our good works. We may be able to increase our if charitable budget by four times or so, everything works out the way we hope.” For more info or to make a contributhe tion to the Foundation to help achieve March to One Million, visit edpa.com/edpafoundation.

Gained 51 Foundation Grantors Raised more than $900,000 in the EDPA Foundation Endowment Awarded more than 80 scholarships to students of industry families since 2004 Provided more than 150 industry families with financial and emotional support during times of hardship


4/24/19 10:19 AM

Clockwise: EDPAF Chairman Dave Walens; Eagle Management’s Stacy Barnes; golfers getting goofy; Madison Kirkpatrick; MC2’s Bernie Massett, John Lopez, Madison Kirkpatrick and Pete Stevens

The Most Rewarding 18 Holes You Will Ever Play

Each Fall for the past twenty four years, exhibit professionals have laid down their swords for a day and come together into a mighty force, supported by dedicated volunteers, to do something something that wouldn’t be possible on their own. In the past quarter century over 5,000 golfers and volunteers have raised over $1.2 million dollars to provide both monetary and emotional support to over 150 exhibit industry families in their time of need. This anniversary twenty-fifth year’s Randy gives you the opportunity to spend a great day and experience the unbelievable feeling of giving back while witnessing something truly

Since 2001, the EDPA Foundation has:



Golfers line up at Feb. 28 Randy in Las Vegas

By F. Andrew Taylor

he March to a Million isn’t quite two years old, yet there’s a pretty good chance that it will achieve its goal of making the EDPA Foundation is financially independent before the year out, depending, of course, on the gener-



Save the Dates

Classic Randy Smith Golf 2019 October 4, Chateau Elan, Braselton GA

Chicago Randy

July 29, 2019 IL Seven Bridges Golf Course, Lisle

Get Out Of The Gutter August 2019 Bowlmor Lanes, Atlanta GA

Las Vegas Randy2020

Las Vegas, NV ExhibitorLive!


- Michael Boone.

64 May/June 2019 Exhibit City News


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Once You Go, Then You Know.

Photos by Rebecca Thompson Photos by Rebecca Thompson


Exhibit City News

EDPA Foundation’s March to a Million Nears Goal

Photo by Rebecca Thompson Photo by Rebecca Thompson



Nominated by Sho-Link’s regional & divisional director, Jim Genzano from Lake Forest, Ill., Will is described as “Ready, WILLing and Able,” and Jim adds that “from show one and every show since, Will showed up early with a great attitude and well-prepared, to this day I have yet to see him without his tool pouch carrying a pen, Sharpie, tape measure, knife and multi-tool. He checks every box in someone

Photo by PADG


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Rookie of the Year ACE: Will Goza, Sho-Link, Inc.



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several other labor partners and none provide the same level of service.” Sean Nolan, The Exhibit House, Indianapolis, Ind., adds that “several times over the last 25 years I have had to lean on Renaissance Vegas to perform miracles from rotating a finished exhibit to meeting a shipment at 2 a.m. Happy to say these requests—no matter how far out—have always been answered with a ‘no problem, we can do that.’ ”Julie Morgan, Administrative Assistant & Dispatcher Southern Nev. Teamsters 631 Convention Training says, “Year after year it remains a pleasure to work with Bill, Liza, Illiana, Ben and the Renaissance crew. There is always something exciting and new that Renaissance brings with an energetic team effort to the Las Vegas convention industry. Pictured are Bill Muller, Ben Buranek, Jim Martin, Bernie Boyd, Liza Romano, Iliana Aguilar, Doug Stone and Darrell Heckler—the Renaissance Management Las Vegas full-time staff, who are this year’s recipients of the Best Operations Management Team ACE Award.


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• ECN presents first annual I&D ACE Awards at Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas • Derse Announces CEO Transition as Brett Haney Steps Up

• Melbourne announces world-class event center to open in 2022 • Hibino Corporation acquires TLS Productions • EDPA Foundation approaches its $1 million fundraising goal


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Spotlight TCF CENTER Spotlight onon TCF CENTER

Covering the Industry for 25 Years

Spotlight TCF CENTER Spotlight onon TCF CENTER

TCF Center: Then and Now BY H. K. WILSON


Since its creation in 2009, the DRCFA has worked diligently to meet its obligation to the legislative act and fulfill its responsibility to the taxpayers of the State of Michigan in making the current convention center a financially self-sustaining facility by 2024. In 2018, the convention center had 244 events and saw a 564 percent increase in revenue since 2009. Through the DRCFA’s effective management of financial resources, the DRCFA is ahead of schedule and has saved the state’s taxpayers an estimated $74.7 million since its inception in 2009. The City of Detroit and individual municipalities across the state are also benefitting from this financial structure, saving them millions of dollars. “The Authority takes the legislative mandate seriously and has implemented strategies, procedures and quality standards to ensure growth and prosperity of the Center,” says Larry Alexander, chairman of the board, DRCFA. “Our goal is to ensure we have a convention center that meets the demands of our customers, provides a sense of pride for our residents and ensures a return

on the investment made by the taxpayers of the state and our bondholders.” Over the past two years, the state of Michigan’s Convention Facility Development Fund (CFDF) has generated excess funds that are dedicated to the early retirement of debt according to the terms of the DRCFA’s enabling legislation. The DRCFA used $32.45 million in excess CFDF proceeds to retire $30,375,000 in outstanding bond principal, saving state’s taxpayers $22.66 million. Combined with the estimated $30 million saved by the financing structure employed for the capital program and the $22.1 million saved from the defeasance of the 2003 bonds that were inherited from the City of Detroit, the DRCFA has saved state’s taxpayers an estimated $74.7 million just from financial management. This financial structure is saving state taxpayers $22.66 million and individual municipalities across the state are also benefitting, receiving their liquor tax back with an additional one percent interest premium. “We are pleased by the progress that is being made toward paying down the

bonds and the tremendous value it is bringing to taxpayers,” says Patrick Bero, CEO/CFO, DRCFA. “It is important for the DRCFA to continue to adequately respond to market demand. Our focus continues to be on saving taxpayers money and providing a world-class convention center for all of our visitors.” The DRCFA completed a $279 million renovation and upgrade to TCF Center on time and within budget in August 2015. As a result of the renovation, TCF Center has become more accessible, spacious and efficient in its use of space. The world-class convention center now offers spectacular views of the Detroit River and Canada, multiple new entrances, increased parking, public art and improved traffic flow to enhance visitor experience. The DRCFA estimates they’ll spend an additional $30 million in capital projects towards maintenance and facility improvements at TCF Center. These costs will be paid for through operating funds. A Michigan state statute established the DRCFA in 2008, which assumed control of TCF Center from the City of Detroit in September 2009, the beginning of a sustained effort by the state, the City of Detroit, and surrounding counties to renovate and expand the facility. The DRCFA has continued to log notable successes since then, completing the planned expansion and renovation of TCF Center and attracting more shows over time.

26 November/December 2019 Exhibit City News

Photos courtesy of Detroit Free Press

TCF Sees 10 Years of Financial Improvements

Known originally as Cobo Hall, then Cobo Center, this glittering gem in the heart of Detroit was renamed TCF Center in 2019, after the DRCFA awarded venue naming rights to TCF Bank. With the venue’s change of identity came the largest convention center naming rights deal in history. The 22-year, $1.5 million annual contract will enable the Center to meet state mandates and operate without state subsidies by 2024. Former Detroit Mayor Albert E. Cobo (1950-1957) conceived a mega-convention center for the city, and his vision finally came to fruition in 1960, when both Cobo Hall and the 12,000-seat Cobo Arena opened. The center and attached arena initially cost $56 million and took four years to complete. From its vantage point on the Detroit River, which flows for 24 nautical miles from Lake St.Clair to Lake Erie and forms a natural border between Canada and the U.S., TCF Center offers visitors stunning views of the wa-

terway and city skylines of both Detroit square feet. In October 2010, ASM Globand Windsor, Canada. The site is where al was awarded the contract for operaFrench colonist Antoine de la Mothe tions management of the facility, and in Cadillac first landed on the banks of the 2015, the DRCFA completed the Center’s river in July 1701 and claimed the area for most recent expansion totaling $279 France in the name of King Louis XIV. million in upgrades. Notably, the first event ever staged Now, TCF Center offers 723,000 square at Cobo Hall was the 43rd Auto Indusfeet of prime exhibit space in five exhibtry Dinner on Oct. 17, 1960. President it halls ranging in size from 100,000 to Eisenhower was the keynote speaker, 200,000 square feet. The venue’s flexible and the ceremony aired live on WXYZdesign allows the adjoining four exhibit TV. Since that time, virtually every halls on the main floor to form 623,000 U.S. President has square feet of contiguous exhibit space. As addressed a conventhe 17th largest convention center in the tion or attended an U.S., it’s the meeting point for 1.5 million event at the facility. global visitors each year. In 1963, Dr. Martin The Center’s legacy of hosting the Luther King, Jr. gave world’s auto industry elite continues, as his original “I Have a it remains the site of the annual North Dream” speech in the American International Auto Show Cobo Arena. (NAIAS), a tradition begun in 1965. This Already one of the prestigious event is the TCF Center’s largnation’s largest conest function, drawing 800,000 attendees vention centers, Cobo and hundreds of international press for Hall became even its spectacular Charity Preview the 25 November/December 2019party • VOL. larger in 1989, with evening before the public opening. Since a $225 million ex1976, the Charity Preview has raised an pansion that doubled average of $2.6 million yearly for southits size to 2.4 million eastern Michigan children’s charities.

ECN’S 2020 I&D ACE Awards! Submissions Deadline is Jan. 30


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Rob Morrison

Nevada Regional Manager, On Location Inc. Morrison began his career with On Location in April 2018 as regional manager, Nevada. A seasoned tradeshow professional, he brought more than 14 years’ experience to the team. He grew up in the exhibit industry, working the tradeshow floor beside his father throughout high school in SoCal before moving to Las Vegas. Over the years, he has held various field and managerial positions with both I&D companies and full-service exhibit houses. Today, he oversees all Las Vegas-based projects and lends support to teams along the West Coast and throughout the region, including Arizona and Utah. His days are filled with resource planning, job reconciliations and communication with the field, account executives and clients. He also spends considerable time on the show floor making sure all clients’ needs are met. Known for his organizational skills and infectious positivity, Morrison is an integral part of the On Location team and shares the company’s commitment to delivering success.


consistency, calm and competence that grace his approach to every project. Whether a 10x20 exhibit or a complex double-deck structure, his ability to walk into a venue, meet a new crew and rally them into a responsive and productive labor force are hallmarks of his leadership. “I first started working with Pedro at SXSW in 2017, and he frankly bailed me out of a very tough situation,” says Ralph Engel, senior account executive, Rogers. “Pedro took over as lead and we got it done. I have used him at SXSW ever since. Just recently, he was the lead for both exhibits for me at SPI in Salt Lake City, where again he did an awesome job for us and delivered excellent customer service. Not only do I really like him, but my clients want to use him in the future as well. Pedro is a keeper.”

account coordinator. She began learning how the company functioned and, while managLead Man, Eagle Management Group, Inc. ing client requests, identified Since joining the EMG team in and evolved business process- 2016, Ortiz has demonstrated es that she automated with technology. Impressed with her personal drive and ability to engage with clients, Eagle promoted her to the position of account executive and relocated her to Orange County, Calif., in July of this year. Nuzzolo now serves the region, splitting her time among convention centers from L.A. to San Diego. In September she was appointed vice president of the EDPA Southern California chapter. “We are so excited to have Antonia serve as our vice president,” says Vince Battaglia, EDPA Southern California president emeritus. “We recruited her to our board our hand all levels of our tradebecause we identified her Tim as a Sullivan show experience and we knew Co-founder, ExhibitMatch if we were working with him on young professional who is Sullivan en- is regarded by cola project, that we would always thusiastic, hard-work-leagues as a game changer have what we needed, when we and a leader—having melded ing and welcoming needed it, with no surprises and his background in finance, within budget. It is a joy to to others. She is business development work with him.” and global experibringing fresh ideas marketing and excitement ential Roxanne to into a Yelp-style our programs and company that Tomko helps companies New Business Development, events for 2020.”

Pedro Ortiz





Antonia Nuzzolo

Account Executive, Eagle Management Group, Inc. Nuzzolo was recruited by Eagle Management Group, Inc. two years ago as an


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locate quality suppliers around the world. ExhibitMatch, Sullivan says, grew out of his sense that there was a need for supplier accountability and transparency in the events industry, and providing a platform that pairs clients with well-reviewed suppliers is poised to revolutionize the way companies locate providers. “Our company has worked with Tim for many years, and we cannot speak highly enough about his level of service, dedication, and knowledge when it came to our tradeshow needs,” says Steven Naugle at Megatrax. “Tim held


Vegas while doing sales, marketing and tradeshows for several companies including MetroPCS, a graphics/printing firm and a security firm. She’s built, worked and modeled for tradeshow booths and loves the industry. She’s looking forward to helping Exhibit City News, Project 25 and the upcoming ACE awards continue to grow. 001_Cover_noSpine_1119.indd 1

Allison Trost

Int’l. Business Manager at CEP Int’l., a div. of CEP Exhibit Productions, Inc. Trost possesses a keen understanding of industry trends, both domestically and abroad, as well as cultural, political and operational challenges of foreign markets, ensuring that CEP commitment to personal and International is meeting all needs company development. I have and expectations of the global exwitnessed her poise and dedicathibition industry. “Today’s exhibit ed attitude, no matter how deindustry calls on leaders capable manding or pressing a situation of working in concert with others, may become.” able to collaborate on creative endeavors, a customer-centric mentality and the innate ability to think outside of the box to solve any challenge,” says Michael Ebert, CEP president. “Allison continues to bring these skills to Exhibit City News magazine each project that she Tomko, who joined ExhibitCityNews.com 2019 37 undertakes. CEP’s inExhibit City News just overNovember/December a ternational sales have month ago, has been proving grown threefold under just how invaluable it can be her direction, by her to have a young professionsteadfast commitment al in the office. She hit the and impactful relation- 10/27/19 7:22 PM ground running, fearlessly ships in the internaset up the new computer tional community. equipment, writing macros Allison exemplifor frequent tasks, servicfies a dedicated ing existing advertisers and leader, possessbrainstorming ways to find more. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, ing integrity and business raised in the San Francisco savvy, Bay Area, Panama and New with her York City, she’s also lived in ongoing Miami Beach, Cyprus and Las

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Exhibits, has customers from 42 countries and is operational in 24 countries, and nominator Chris Griffin calls her the best of the best. “Lucy has more drive and commitment to her clients’ success than 99 percent of the exhibit and event professionals out there. She’s definitely a top 1 percenter,” Griffin says. “She is a global operator—she goes where her clients need her most, wherever their events are. Whatever the country, whatever the variables, Lucy just plain DELIVERS for her clients. Every. Time.”

Ryan Chen

Sales Manager, MatrixSystems USA Chen, a semipro baseball player and active coach who is on an extended rehab leave, joined MatrixSystems as manager of its sales and distribution center in early 2019. He has eight years of prior experience at The Design Factory, where he became proficient in supervising installs of Matrix Frame modular system projects. “Ryan, who just turned 25, is an amazing young man who takes ownership of his responsibilities with a commitment and drive that cannot be taught,” says Don Lyon, president, MatrixSystems USA. “Starting part-time in the industry at an early age—his mother was co-owner of The Design Factory—Ryan completely understands the demands on our services and insists on producing a high-quality product and excels at providing customer satisfaction.”

TripAdvisor’s Top 3 tours in Las Vegas and ranked the number

SPOTLIGHTone tour on Yelp. He was named a 2018 Meetings Trendsetter by ON DETROIT Meetings Today, and his compa-

Andrew Childers

Market Manager, Steelhead Exhibits Garnering lots of frequent flyer miles, Childers spent a large portion of his career working for an exhibit house based in Germany, bridging cultural and logistical gaps between U.S. exhibitors and European production teams. Now, he is working in business development for Steelhead Productions. With more than 10,000 connections on LinkedIn, he is a self-described “people lover.” You’ll frequently find him connecting with exhibitors on tradeshow floors and via LinkedIn videos with insightful tips for veteran and novice exhibitors. “Andrew is such a huge asset to our organization,” says Rhiannon Andersen, Steelhead’s co-owner and CMO. “He brings a level of experience and ambition that’s unmatched—and even better is his personality! He brings joy and laughter into the office every single day. We are a better organization with Andrew on our team.”

ny has been recognized by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, The World Food Travel Association, INVEGAS magazine and Thrillist. “Lip Smacking works closely EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM with us at IMEX—providing great experiences to our attendees each year—giving 10/27/19 6:51 PMin a them a chance to network totally different environment, at the same time as doing what everyone loves—trying fabulous food,” says Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group. “It’s been a pleasure to watch their business grow and thrive, and I can’t recommend them enough for groups, couples and individuals.”

Exhibitor Education, Booth Staff Training, & Strategic Consultant As a tradeshow strategy specialist and owner of consulting firm When I Need Help, Davis has a lot of people singing her praises. Calling her visionary, professional, innovative and an irreplaceable asset, her fan base includes past clients, colleagues and people who have attended sessions she presents to help tradeshow managers improve their craft. “Robyn is a powerhouse of creative ideas

Donald Contursi

President, Lip Smacking Foodie Tours A Chicago native, Contursi moved to Las Vegas to earn a business management degree from UNLV. He began working in the city’s finest restaurants on the Strip, acquiring the contacts that would help build Lip Smacking Foodie Tours into one of


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Robyn Davis

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• Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic celebrates 25 years of giving

• Derse Hits 500 Employees & Has Highest Revenue Ever in 2019

• NAB Show Cares initiatives test cost controls benefiting exhibitors

• Detroit’s Cobo Center becomes TCF Center via biggest naming rights deal in history

• Dubai prepares to host World’s Fair in 2020

• AIPC uses UN Sustainable Development Goals to document industry benefits

• EDPA’s Hazel Hays Award goes to Nuvista President Amanda Helgemoe

• ECN honors the industry’s young leaders with first annual 40 Under 40

• Display Supply & Lighting Celebrates its 40th Year in Business

• Renaissance Management Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

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MCCORMICK PLACE IN FLAMES on jan. 16, 1967, just hours before the National Housewares Manufacturers Association (NHMA) Show was to open. McCormick Place was rebuilt and reopened in january 1971.


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Congratulations to Exhibit City News on 25 years of community education and leadership. Las Vegas is in the midst of one of the largest and most exciting growth trajectories in our destination’s history, including record-breaking business visitation, and it’s fantastic to see our partners experiencing continued success in their endeavors. We look forward to building on our relationship with Exhibit City News to share all of the great developments taking shape in southern Nevada.”

Congratulations to Don Svehla and the staff of Exhibit City News on its 25th anniversary. The publication has always been a valuable resource, and, more importantly, has played a significant role in honoring the people and history of this incredible industry. RES is proud to have supported ECN since its inception, and we look forward to the next 25 years.”

Congratulations to Exhibit City News on 25 years of supporting the tradeshow industry from top to bottom. Bringing a real humanity to what goes on, from transporting and building exhibits to the venues that host the shows, ECN is a gem of a partner, and connects us all to each other. Never afraid to take a stand, the in-depth analysis of this important publication includes women in the industry and what they face each day, union rules and how they compare across the country, technology advances, what each company can do to support the people and places holding events, and many other issues relevant today. Keep up the good work! And many thanks.”

Dave Houston President/General Manager, Rosemont Exposition Services Steve Hill Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority CEO and President Claude Molinari General Manager TCF Center/ASM Global (formerly the Cobo Center)


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

I met Don over 26 years ago in Chicago when he was with Guiltspur and had an idea for a news publication representing the worker in the tradeshow industry. Two years later he asked me about creating an association that would represent the I&D workers an leadmen in the industry. I suggested an association that represented the employers of the I & D workers and with his support and assistance EACA is now 22 years old. Don and Exhibit City News has been a voice for the little guy and the industry stakeholders for 25 years is truly a testament to his vision and dedication. Congratulations on your 25th Anniversary!”

Congratulations to ECN on 25 years of being a voice of the trade show industry. As the industry has evolved, so too has ECN, expanding its coverage to keep the industry up-todate on the issues important to our business.”

Congratulations to Exhibit City News for 25 years of excellent coverage in the exhibition/tradeshow and hospitality Industry. Your hard work and determination to make our industry the BEST it can be has been delivered to the readers. Many THANKS for going after the stories that are current in our changing world and keeping all of us informed. As a 35-plus year hospitality industry veteran, ECN helped me identify ways to enhance my understanding and knowledge of our business and helped me make informed decisions. I am sure the next 25 years will be even MORE important to our readers and our industry!”

Jay Altizer

GES Global President

Tom Cassell Tom Cassell & Associates LLC & McCormick Place

Mark Zimmerman Zimmerman Consulting LLC (former gen. mgr. of Georgia World Congress Center)


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ot only is McCormick Place the largest convention center in the U.S. in terms of size and number of visitors, but with 2.6 million sq.ft. of meeting and exhibit space, it is also the largest tradeshow floor in the entire Western Hemisphere. Opened as a modest 320,000 sq.ft. center in 1960, today McCormick Place boasts 173 meeting rooms (a total of 600,000 sq.ft. alone), four ballrooms, assembly seating for 18,000 people, the 10,000 seat Wintrust Arena, a 4,192-seat theater, and three smaller theaters with 300 seats in each. Not impressed? McCormick Place is also the largest green-certified convention center in North America, offsetting 100 percent of its electricity usage with wind energy, while the LEED Certified West Building features the Midwest’s largest farm-to-table rooftop garden. And it’s popular. McCormick hosts hundreds of tradeshows, meetings and conventions throughout the year, many of which are monsters. The largest are the Chicago Auto Show, drawing between 900,000 and one million people and more than 1,000 vehicles; the International Home and Housewares Show, with more than 52,000 attendees from 130 countries making the trip in 2019; and the National Restaurant Association Annual Show, sprawling across 695,000 sq.ft. and attracting more than 66,000 registrants each year.


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ne of the nation’s most colorful event and meeting spaces, the award-winning Orange County Convention Center is just a smidgen smaller than McCormick Place, coming in at a sizeable 2 million sq.ft. More than 1.4 million attendees cross its threshold each year, utilizing 74 meeting rooms, 232 breakout spaces, a 2,642seat theater, eight food courts, and 2,000 sq.ft. of aeroponic gardens spread across two buildings in downtown Orlando. Not bad for a convention center that began life with just 325,000 square-feet. All this makes it a draw for some of the country’s mightiest tradeshows. Each January, Surf Expo sees more than 2,500 exhibitors and 28,000 attendees make the trip to central Florida, while the PGA Merchandise Show (the golf industry’s leading convention) sees 1,000 exhibitors and 40,000 attendees annually. And then there is HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society). Typically rotating between Orlando, Las Vegas and Chicago, the planet’s premier health information and technology conference usually draws more than 1,300 exhibitors and 45,000 attendees each year. @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

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Las Vegas



rguably the heartbeat of the nation’s tradeshow and convention industry, LVCC ranks among the most popular event facilities in the world. Beginning life in 1959 as a 90,000 sq.ft. meeting hub, today the LVCC offers a whopping 1,940,631 sq.ft. of convention space. However, with a total footprint of more than 3.2 million square feet, it easily claims the nation’s number three spot. And in 2019, work began on a 500,000 sq.ft. expansion project, including a twin-tunnel rail loop system, that will see the LVCC become part of the Strip. It all makes sense, too. With more than 6 million attendees making the pilgrimage each year, LVCC is one of the busiest convention centers on the face of the 164 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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earth, and that number is only set to grow. Who can you expect to see at LVCC? From the Beatles in 1954 to global conventions, LVCC has supported it all and hosts many of the largest tradeshows in North America. Its biggest shows include the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which takes place the second week of January, with upwards of 180,000 attendees; the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), which attracts 160,000 people in the automotive, truck and SUV, powersports and RV markets in early November; ConExpo/ ConAGG, North America’s largest construction trade show, attracts 130,000 in March; and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in early to mid-April with 100,000-

plus attendees from the media, entertainment, and technology industries. “Smaller” shows include ASD (originally “Associated Surplus Dealers” in 1961; today, it stands for “Affordable Shopping Destination”) Market Week Winter, attracting than 46,000 attendees every year, the Nightclub and Bar Show with 39,000 visitors attending from across the world, and InfoComm, the largest event in the pro-AV industry, with more than 1,000 exhibitors and 44,000 attendees from across the planet. For more shows and their dates, check the Las Vegas Convention Calendar, compiled and posted by the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority at vegasmeansbusiness.com/planning-tools/ convention-calendar/.


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years



tlanta is one of the world’s busiest international crossroads, and its tradeshow and convention industry reflects that global clout. Situated in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia World Congress Center is world’s largest LEED certified convention center, and it’s easy to see why. In terms of physical footprint, GWCC is the country’s largest space, enclosing 3.9 million sq.ft., of which 1.5 million sq.ft. is set aside for tradeshows and conventions. More than 2 million visitors come through the center’s doors each year, combining to make GWCC the fourth largest facility in the country. Shows include the International Poultry Expo & International Feed Expo, attracting more than 20,650 attendees; the International Woodworking Fair with 13,000 visitors and 860 exhibitors; and FABTECH, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event, seeing a robust 20,100 attendees and 1,650 exhibitors come through the doors.


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Las Vegas



ringing the focus back to Sin City, the Sands Expo & Convention Center is another huge player in the international tradeshow community, and it brings its own unique flavor to the industry. With 1.2 million sq.ft. of space, the Sands supports its tradeshow offerings with an 1,890-seat theater, banqueting to feed more than 1,260 people, and direct connection to 166 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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the Venetian and Palazzo hotels. When it opened in 1990, the Sands Expo weighedin at 936,600 sq.ft., and it has progressively grown over the years. Big conventions include the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade) show, attracting more than 23,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors in a typical year, while HIMMS (Healthcare

Information and Management Systems Society) 2018 saw 1,360 exhibitors and 18,900 visitors. Each year, AAPEX (Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo) brings more than 71,350 attendees to Sands (while SEMA is at the LVCC), with ISC West (International Security Conference & Exposition) attracting more than 1,000 exhibitors every year.


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ne of the busiest centers in the country, construction on the MCCNO began in 1984 as part of the Louisiana World Exposition and the center has only continued to grow and innovate over the years. Today, MCCNO boasts 1.1 million sq.ft. of exhibit space covering almost 11 city blocks, as part of a larger footprint that sprawls 3 million sq.ft. MCCNO is also dedicated to civic responsibility, whether spending $9 million on waterfront enhancements to improve access to the Mississippi River, or investing more than $52 million in police, crime monitoring and homeless services in the French Quarter. It’s unsurprising that a significant number of shows come to MCCNO. These include, but are by no means limited to, AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) the world’s largest marketplace for orthopedic medicine), the four-day ARA (American Rental Association) show, and the 10,000-attendee strong International Roofing Expo. @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

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amous for always reinventing itself to keep its offerings fresh and innovative, the former Dallas Memorial Auditorium and Dallas Convention Center currently sprawls over 2 million square feet, of which exactly half is dedicated to tradeshow floors. But the most impressive data comes in the shape of the center’s add-ons. Alongside a 9,816-seat arena, the KBHCC also boasts two colossal ballrooms, a 1,740-seat theater and 105 meeting rooms. The world’s largest heliport and vertiport is located on the center’s roof, while in 2011, a 1,000-room hotel was added, making the KBHCC one of the most well-equipped convention centers on the planet. With all those attractive features, KBHCC is a very popular spot for large tradeshows and conventions. Over the years, the center has hosted the NRA (National Rifle Association) annual meeting and its 87,150 attendees; the 54,000-strong Great American Trucking Show; and the Ace Hardware Spring Convention complete with more than 1,300 exhibitors.


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Las Vegas

Covering the Industry for 25 Years



oming-in just behind the KBHCC, the resplendent Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas boasts a 2.1 million sq.ft. facility, complete with a 181,000 sq.ft. tradeshow floor. Attractions include a 1,675 sq.ft. meeting space immediately adjacent to, and with views of, the Shark Reef Aquarium, a 175-sq.ft. outdoor patio and lounge, an extensive food court, and an entire floor of meeting and learning spaces. And with more than 3,200 guest rooms in the adjoining Mandalay Bay Hotel, MBCC is one of the country’s most self-contained convention spaces. One of MBCC’s most famous annual shows is EXHIBITORLIVE, but that is not the only significant convention to hit the floor each year. PPAI Expo (the Promotional Products Association International) sees more than 12,400 attendees turn up to browse the latest in the promotional product industry, while Cosmoprof North America attracts 40,000 professionals from the B2B beauty industry. EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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aking a significant bite out of the Big Apple’s limited real estate, the Javits Center in Manhattan is the pick of the crop in the northeast corner of the country. Coming in at an impressive total area of 1,800,000 sq.ft., Javits offers 760,000 sq.ft. of exhibit and convention space spread over four separate show floors, with each able to host up to 5,000 visitors. The facility’s seven-acre green roof is particularly impressive, and is home to 29 bird spe-


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cies, five species of bat and thousands of honeybees: all right in the heart of one of the world’s busiest cities. The Javits Center boasts an impressive show list as well. Highlights include the North American International Toy Fair, attracting more than 13,000 attendees each year; the Summer Fancy Food show with an average of 2,600 exhibitors; and the world’s largest retail show, NRF (National Retail Federation), boasting more than 18,000 attendees per outing.


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years




ormerly the Commonwealth Convention Center, KICC of Louisville is the leading meetings and events facility in the upper southeast. With 300,000 sq.ft. available to exhibitors and conference planners, plus 52 private meeting rooms, KICC is perfectly equipped for all manner of tradeshow and convention. Recent expansion increased the tradeshow floor from 146,000 sq.ft. to more than 200,000 sq.ft., with a 40,000-sq.ft., column-free ballroom with color-changing

LED walls also included in the upgrade. The additions are expected to generate an estimated $246 million, with 84 bookings confirmed since the project was announced. The KICC has hosted some sizeable shows in the recent years, including the Mid-America Trucking Show and its 71,000 attendees, as well as GIE+EXPO (The Green Industry and Equipment Expo), the industry’s largest showcase for outdoor power equipment, attracting more than 16,500 visitors and 860 exhibitors each year. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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circleâ„¢ is the leading guest experience agency comprised of thought leaders in B2B, Interactive Technologies, Content Development, Live Entertainment, and Hospitality. Our team has delivered dynamic projects in key markets across the globe. www.circletpr.com ATLANTA | BOSTON | CHICAGO | LAS VEGAS | LOS ANGELES | MINNEAPOLIS | NEW YORK | ORLANDO

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554,000 sqm (496,000 indoor and 58,000 outdoor)

Hanover, Germany

2. The National Exhibition and Convention Center Shanghai

500,000 sqm exhibition space including 100,000 sqm outdoor

Shanghai, China

3. Messe Frankfurt

10 exhibition halls for a total surface area of 592,127 sqm as well as an 100,000 sqm outdoor space

Frankfurt, Germany

4. Crocus Expo

366,100 sqm indoor and 219,000 outdoor

Moscow, Russia

5. Fiera Milano

345,000 m2 shared between eight exhibit halls

Milan, Italy

6. Canton Fair Complex

338,000 sqm indoor exhibition space and 43,000 sqm outdoor

Guangzhou, China

(China Import and Export Fair)

7. Kunming Dianchi Convention & Exhibition Center

310,000 sqm indoor space and over 100,000 outdoor.

Yunnan, China

8. Koelnmesse

284,000 m2 over 11 exhibition halls

Cologne, Germany

9. Dusseldorf Messe

262,000 sqm indoor and 43,000 outdoor over 19 exhibition halls

Dusseldorf, Germany

10. Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center

242,000 sqm of exhibition space over nine halls & 110,000 sqm of outdoor spaces

Paris, France

11. McCormick Place Convention Center

241,548 sqm indoor space

Chicago, Ill., U.S.

12. Gran Via Barcelona Venue

eight halls connected by gateways for a total surface of 240,000 sqm.

Barcelona, Spain

13. Feria Valencia

230,000 sqm

Valencia, Spain

14. Paris Expo Porte de Versailles

216,000 sqm over eight main halls

Paris, France

15. Messe München

200,000 sqm of indoor exhibition space and 414,000 sqm outdoor

Munich, Germany

16. Chongqing Expo

200 000 sqm split into 16 halls

Chongqing, China

17. BolognaFiere

375,000 sqm including 200,000 sqm indoor split into 18 halls

Bologna, Italy

18. Shanghai New International Expo Center

200,000 sqm

Shanghai, China

19. Orange County Convention Center

190,000 sqm

Orlando, Fla., U.S.

20. NEC Birmingham

186,000 sqm over 20 halls

Birmingham, UK


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BESTMANN MESSEBAU INTERNATIONAL, located near Cologne/Germany, for 50 years successful in the international exhibition industry!

WWW.BESTMANN.COM info@bestmann.de

Design, Planning and Construction for Trade fairs, Events and Exhibitions in Germany, Europe and anywhere in the world.


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Exhibit City News provides vital information to the convention and tradeshow community nationwide. This valuable information helps keep all tradeshow markets and destinations up to date on what’s happening in this growing industry. The dedication of Don Svehla and his staff has helped keep Las Vegas the number one tradeshow destination in America. Thank you all for your hard work.”

Tommy Blitsch Director Conventions, Trade Shows & Casino Division, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Secretary Treasurer/ CEO, Teamsters Local 631 and Vice President At-Large Nevada AFLCIO, Las Vegas, NV


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It’s not easy to find a resource that skillfully balances news, expertise, and trends in a multi-faceted industry like ours. Exhibit City News has evolved as our industry evolves, and the need for relevant and real-time information is imperative now more than ever. Congratulations on 25 years of leadership and readership, Exhibit City News! Thank you for keeping us informed and inspired.”

Congrats to the ECN Team and Don! I remember early in my career seeing my first copy of ECN and thinking how great it was that we had a publication that captured the voice of ALL segments of the industry. As our business has grown over the past 25 years -from a Portable Modular provider to Full Service Exhibit Builder -- ECN has ALWAYS been there to support us through articles, employee profiles, and advertising opportunities. For the industry as a whole, ECN has been a beacon of truth on many important issues on and off the tradeshow floor. Cheers to another 20 years for the ECN staff ”

Brett Haney CEO, Derse Kevin Carty Executive Vice President & Mel White, VP of Marketing / Business Development, CLASSIC EXHIBITS


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

My sincere congratulations to Don and his exceptional staff for their hard work and dedicated service over the past 25 years. Exhibit City News is and will continue to be the number one source for innovative information for professionals in the exhibition industry. Your in-depth coverage of news, events and issues keep everyone from CEOs to the men and women working on the floor informed. Wishing you continued success.”

Happy 25th anniversary Exhibit City News! As a “Women on the Move” in the industry, your work over the years has influenced and inspired us all at Prism Lighting Group”

Congratulations to Donny and the entire ECN Staff on the 25th Anniversary! I believe he was about 20 years old when he first worked for Stevens Exhibits. Our father, Tom McKernin, and all of us immediately took to him. His integrity for hard work then and now, and his drive to provide the best possible news and resources for this industry are evident in the ECN publication. We are proud to be a partner and a friend! Cheers to many more years!”

Shelley Simpson CEO, Prism Lighting Group

Kevin McLaughlin Trade Show Representative, United Brotherhood of Carpenters

Chuck McKernin President/CEO of Stevens Exhibits/Displays, Inc.


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Catching up with 2001’s top 10 most influential people in the design industry

by Rachel Christiansen & Jeanne Brei


n the December 2001 edition of Exhibit City News, a series of profiles were completed on the industry’s top 10 most influential people in the design & build industry of the year. Selected by a panel of judges from ECN and the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA), the winners were proven leaders and humanitarians who demonstrated forward-thinking strategies in servicing their clients. Special to ECN’s 20th anniversary edition, we caught up with these industry heads to see what they were up to in 2014—13 years later. And special to this 25th anniversary edition, we checked back with them again.

DAN CANTOR 2001: President, Hamilton Exhibits, Indianapolis, Ind. 2014 & 2020: Owner/ CEO, Hamilton Exhibits, Indianapolis, Ind. Cantor is in his 30th year as CEO at Hamilton, and still enjoys all facets of the industry immensely. Hamilton has grown 10-fold during his tenure, but he believes that the company will be far more successful in the years to come under the next generation of leadership. Hamilton will remain a family business. Cantor still believes that face-to-face marketing is here to stay, but his biggest concern is that exhibiting in North America is no longer competitive on a 180 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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global scale. (Exhibiting in N.A. is more than double the cost of Europe, and over four times the cost of Asia.) If the N.A. pricing model does not change, exhibitors will continue to shrink their spaces, dumbdown their appearances and ultimately leave the convention center floor for other options. Cantor asks for support of EDPA and their collaborative advocacy efforts with all industry sectors.

JAY BARNWELL 2001: President/CEO, Design and Production Inc. (D&P), Lorton, Va. 2014 & 2020: President/CEO, Design and Production Inc. (D&P), Lorton, Va. Barnwell has been president and CEO of D&P since 1991 and in all those years, some of his favorite projects have included the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, Ga. D&P engineers, fabricates and installs custom exhibitry and multimedia systems for museums and visitor centers throughout the U.S. and abroad. Specializing in medium to large-scale projects, D&P routinely executes more than $30 million in exhibit projects a year for private, government, and non-profit clients.

ALAN CORDIAL 2001: Executive VP, sales and marketing, Exhibitgroup/Giltspur, Roselle, Ill. 2014: Founder & partner, Calan Communications, Chicago, Ill. 2020: Sr. VP Account Devlopment, MC2 Events Exhibits Environments, Carol Stream, Ill. Ater two years of development, Cordial Launched calan communications in July 2005. Responsible for business interface side of software development and company sales. In addition to software services provided he delivered a successful consultancy/training resource to industry companies. In 2012, he joined MC2 Events Exhibits Environments as a senior VP account development responsible for experience creation, customer engagement and supporting customer advancement in both Go to Market Strategy and rogram operations.


2001: Owner, president and CEO, Derse, Milwaukee, Wis. 2014 & 2019: Chairman, Derse, Milwaukee, Wis. Haney stepped down on Jan. 1, 2019 so that his son Brett could become CEO after three years as president. Bill maintains his position as chairman and has worked at Derse for more than 40 years within all levels of the company including accounting, human resources, operations and sales. Last year was a banner year for the company as Derse hit 500 employees and recorded its highest annual revenue ever. For more than 70 years Derse has created award-winning exhibits, events, and environments for client programs in more than 50 countries, and is consistently recognized as one of Deloitte’s Wisconsin 75 largest and most successful privately held companies in the state. In 2017, Bill, who was a charter member of the EDPA in 1954, received the Hazel Hays award at EDPA’s ACCESS recognizing his contributions and service to the exhibit industry.

Larry Kulchawik 2001: General manager, Derse Exhibits, Chicago Division 2014: Senior VP, 3D Exhibit, Chicago


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2020: Consultant/Author/Retired to Colorado Trends for tradeshow marketing in the future • The world class companies and tradeshow suppliers of the future will all have worldwide marketing strategies in play. • World class companies are not averse to traveling in person to gain market share and are not afraid to set up an office/ facilities abroad to do so. • Tradeshow suppliers must be fully qualified to assist world class companies globally. • Tradeshow exhibit managers need to work with suppliers that recognize the different components to marketing so that one marketing strategy is not positioned to be more important than the other. • The world of tradeshow marketing will consolidate and the model for management will be more similar in structure than different as in the past. • World class companies should not go it alone abroad. Partner with experienced suppliers with local knowledge to prevent stepping on a land mine. • Technology will play a dominating role in how we manage and work a trade show, nationally and internationally. • Face-to-face human contact will drive results faster than social media alone. Using both effectively will be required. • The internet and social media should be fully exploited to deliver greater results at a tradeshow event, where the element of “emotion” can make a difference in a decision to buy. • Attendees will want more from their tradeshow experience. Different world regions may require a different approach and may have subtle differences with exhibit design and attendee engagement tactics. Know the differences to be most effective with multi-country programs. • Work with a trusted partner, but take the time to investigate and arrive at some of your own conclusions. • When investigating differences, don’t assume that the first thing you read, or hear, is always true. As international marketers, we must have an open mind to accept the fact that we just don’t know what we don’t know. Acquiring awareness is a never ending venture. • The world is now a single marketplace with different buyers per region. • Think global, act local!

Paul Willet 2001: Corporate director, Czarnowski Exhibit Services, Las Vegas, Nev. 2014: Director industry relations, Czarnowski, Las Vegas, Nev. 2019: Retired in Las Vegas, Nev. In 2014, Paul said, “I remember the period of time around 2001 was very good for business in general. Most everyone was doing well – a lot of expansion and growth for our industry. And then by 2007, the entire economy tanked. Many companies that didn’t have the resources to sustain the downturn in the economy went out of business. The ones that made it through managed to reinvent their business and become diverse and lean. As for today’s outlook, we can only go by the reports that CEIR publishes. That looks like a continual rise in everyone’s business. Some sectors are doing much better, but all seem to be very positive reports.”

have been volatile with many peaks and valleys. However, the industry has survived and has recovered. In order to survive, there have been many changes made in materials used, size of exhibits, rental exhibits, work rules, etc. Some of these changes are for the better, some not so. “As to the future, I think the industry will remain at about the same level – no great growth. I think the exhibitors will grow tired of aluminum and fabric and revert to more custom construction.”

Ron Malliet 2001 & 2014: President, KMK Industries, Milwaukee, Wis. 2019: Sold KMK to Exhibit Systems in Dec. 2018; passed away on May 13, 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer. In 2014, Ron said, “The past 13 years EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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Linda Winther

Gene Winther 2001: CEO, Expon Exhibits, Sacramento, Calif. 2014 & 2019: Retired I was president of EDPA at the time; we all were picked, and I was working on producing education materials and getting new members. From that work, I believe it bore fruit in that many companies were educated. Setting the ground work for producing great clients, a wonderful working

relationship with them through knowledge and education. And they learned that sticking with their clients produced long-term relationships to this day. And now I am retired! Having a great time, spending my time with our only grandchild, Morgan! Exhibit City News was instrumental in shaping knowledge and quick read material that equipped everyone on how to handle clients, and give them the knowledge to work together.

2001 & 2014: President, Expon Exhibits, Sacramento, Calif. 2019: Almost retired In 2014, Linda said, “In the last 13 years, we have seen where clients are changing to different types of materials for their exhibits. They are concerned about their overall budget to get to the show floor. To get there, they are using smaller exhibits, lighter weight, using more dynamitic graphics or fabrics, and are upgrading old exhibits to meet their current needs. Companies go through management changes, due to the economy, and then are hiring people with less experience. They are outsourcing to exhibit houses and their ad agency making continuity, effective messaging delivery near impossible. The biggest single change in our industry has been the internet. Where clients ask for a quote of a certain item then find it on the internet for less, but without the experience of knowing what they are purchasing, are surprised as to what was delivered. Professional exhibit houses are the best way to get corporate America to the show floor, with less stress and deliver what was and is expected. In 2020, Linda says, “Since Gene retired before me, I was OK with it for awhile, we had always worked together. Our son Cris has been working with us for over 20 years. Cris was instrumental in helping me decide to finally retire. When I would say that it’s not the same here at work, since your Dad retired. We have moved our clients to another exhibit house; Cris will be working with them at their new location while he goes back to college to get his degree. We’re in the process of looking for a buyer for our Expon product line. She adds, “Exhibit City News is a publication that we love to read, as Don has travel the world to bring all of us what is going on the our industry! Congratulation to Don and his great team for the 25 years of great knowledge to help us all grow!” ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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FRED KITZING: THE “FATHER OF TRADESHOW MARKETING� 1983 EDPA Hazel Hays award, 1992 IEA Distinguished Leader award & more by Doug Stevenson


or more than five decades, Fred Kitzing was a seminal thought leader in the exhibition industry. KITZING, Inc. (a.k.a., The Trade Show Marketing Agency) was one of the most innovative exhibit design and building firms in Chicago and its owner/founder was a rogue, entrepreneur, fine artist, philosopher, designer, marketing thinker, salesman, innovator and rule-breaker. From 1950-1993, KITZING Inc., was among the companies that defined an industry. Kitzing, along with other Chicago industry pioneers including Michael Grivas, Robert Firks, Leo McDonald, and Otto Stegemann, built the foundation of the industry instrumental in establishing the EDPA in 1952 and the Trade Show Bureau (now CEIR). Kitzing was a unique character. Always properly buttoned-up and dapper and always busting his buttons to try something new. He designed all of the furniture, including the clocks for which he had a passion, in his office and home. He wore custom-tailored three piece suits with a glided pocket watch, chain and fob. Round, rimless spectacles adorned his often pursed brow as he ruminated on yet another client strategy. In his proper, traditional dress, he always looked freshly returned from lunch with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. But the truth is, he often ate at his desk, eating straight from a can of tuna, in spartan fashion. He worked six days a week. It was his way, because his work was also his passion. Among his few indulgences was his passion for horses, which he once stabled out in Oak Brook at his home next door to Michael Butler of polo, Butler National Golf Course, and Hair fame. Despite his conservative appearance, Kitzing had disarming flair and humor; but he could also 184 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

Kitzing believed that selling was his primary mission. He was a natural salesman and enjoyed selling and training others to sell. He delighted in both.” be impatient and exacting. He marched to the beat of his own drummer. In between one of his several marriages, Kitzing took up residence in the KITZING office building. Early-arriving shop personnel reported sightings of Kitzing working out punching a speed-bag or running the stairs in his birthday suit — as one did in a bygone era. Kitzing was a fine arts graduate at the Art Institute of Chicago. Upon graduation, he took a job as an elevator operator at Chicago’s old Lutheran (General) Hospital that he was delighted to boast was “his favorite job of all time.” While there, he received a call from the American Meat Board to paint some signs for an upcoming trade show. Kitzing took the assignment, the Meat Board became his first and forever client, and his trade show career was

Kitzing with wife, Llona, who continued his mission for ten years after his death. She coined the term “integrated tradeshow marketing” and led with her own flair, influenced by Fred’s philosophy.

born. In the early days, his partner was Tak Matsui. They built exhibits in a small studio and painted them in the alley behind the

building. The year was 1938. It was a bootstrapping industry and for many years KITZING’s neighborhood was transitory, so Kitzing would keep a gun in his desk to ward off unwanted visitors to his front door. A turning point came for Kitzing at a trade show at which he saw a juxtaposition of exhibits that sparked an “aha moment.” As he was gazing upon a substantial, elegantly embellished exhibit, that gaze EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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Among KITZING’s most notable clients: Anheuser-Busch, Miller, General Electric, Molex, Magnetrol, Johnson Controls, Schwinn, Kraft, Pizza Hut, Motorola, Discover Card, MASCO, McDonnell Douglas/Unigraphics, Nortel, Mitsubishi, Spalding ... Peak revenue between $8.5-$10 million. In 1992, Kitzing receiving TSEA’s Distinguished Service Award at TS² from John Jack.

was arrested by what he saw across the aisle in a small 10 x10 exhibit. A solitary guy there was drawing a huge, frenzied crowd, which dwarfed that of his behemoth neighbor. The fella in the tiny exhibit was demonstrating a slice-it-dice-it-gizmo that was mesmerizing the crowd. And, he was writing orders as fast as his busy hands would allow. That’s when Kitzing had the epiphany that a trade show exhibit was (his words) “a machine for selling in.” From that day forward, he defined the key trade show challenge—to attract attention and close customers. From this, his turnkey system of trade show selling evolved: pre-show and at-show promotion to attract the target audience; the proper training of show staff around objectives—methods—and strategy; approaching and engaging the customer; qualifying through pocket lead cards; processing; delivering the message/ selling and closing. The pre-show training and systematic collecting and processing of leads to close was what got it done. Developing dramatic attractions (inspired by the gizmo guy) became a KITZING hallmark. Kitzing started with magicians—among them the fabled Marshall Brodien of “TV Magic Cards” fame. The magicians dazzled as they integrated product messaging into their memorable magic tricks. Ever improving upon that model, Kitzing began to design attractions to dramatize key product features. His first was for Acme Steel in the early 1950s. Two of the most memorable were an ice skater who skated on a client’s new frictionless plastic to demonstrate this benefit, and the trampoline artist who did flips to dramatize the special hold-in-place property of 186 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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a client’s new spring-loaded safety glasses, guaranteed not to slip at any angle. Out of this ground-breaking work, Kitzing mentored and developed later known industry experts including sales trainer Allen Konopacki, and Elaine Cohen of Live! Marketing. To make his clients successful, Kitzing gave much of this programming away to create the value-added and the “KITZING difference.” The philosophy— sales create happy customers and happy customers stick around. KITZING was known for forward thinking, client service, and most important to its owner, selling. Like his counterpart in advertising, David Ogilvy, Kitzing believed that selling was his primary mission. He was a natural salesman and enjoyed selling and training others to sell. He delighted in both. And would laugh as he regaled those he mentored with classic selling stories. KITZING closed its doors in April of 1993. But before that, Kitzing had been honored with the EDPA Hazel Hays Award in 1983, an International Exhibitor’s Association’s (IEA) Distinguished Leader Award winner in 1992, and was a recipient of much industry recognition, including that for his authorship of many key seminal industry think pieces. Over his robust career Kitzing truly earned the title “The Father of Trade Show Marketing.” In his time, he was the trade show industry’s version of Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson all in one. He fought his entire career to make trade shows a legitimate part of the marketing mix—one which deserved much more careful attention and investment. Fred Kitzing left an indelible mark on the industry. He was one of a kind.


(list not comprehensive, chronological or complete)

Doug Stevenson: Exhibitgroup/ Giltspur, MC2, Group Delphi James Hanlon: Exhibitgroup/ Giltspur/GES Jane Ryan/Tabisz: Exhibitgroup/ Giltspur/GES Maria Pinto: Exhibitgroup/Giltspur, JP Johnson, MATREX Mike Altobelli: CEP Mike Pieredelucca: ADEX Chris Kappes: Exhibitgroup, JP Johnson, Contempo, 1220, Sparks, MATREX, RES Jon Flodstrom: Exhibitgroup/ Giltspur, Sho-Link Llona Kitzing: Exhibitgroup/Giltspur, Design Agency, Live! Marketing Melinda Stewart: OnSite Exhibitor Service Keith Salerno: Giltspur, Exhibitgroup/Giltspur Kate Miller: Heritage, Freeman Ruth Eckert: Giltspur, MC2, Heritage, SourceOne Pete Petros: CEP Vince Graal: Exhibitgroup/Giltspur, Exhibit Source, MC2, Fabric Images John Frank: EDE, Exhibit Source, GES Linda Kay Quigley: Exhibitgroup/ Giltspur, MG



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TRAIL MAGIC by Larry Kulchawik


everal years ago I wrote an article called “Trail Magic.” The term was introduced to me by my son when he completed a seven-month hike on the 2,700-mile Appalachian Trail. A tradition called “trail magic” was started by those who have completed the long hike. Previous hikers who made the full journey would go back to a single point on the trail that was most difficult for them. They would then quietly leave a pizza and a six-pack of beer for an upcoming hiker group to find when they arrive at this very point—then “Eureka!” Imagine being exhausted and losing energy only to find a welcome surprise at the top of a hill during an arduous stretch of trail. At this point, no reward is better appreciated than a boost in energy and an unexpected surprise they called “trail magic.” Those on the trail fortunate enough to have experienced this “eureka moment” know exactly where it came from, but will never meet those who left it behind. Most of us on our journeys through the exposition industry have experienced a “eureka moment” or two along the way, and in some cases know good and well who the givers of our “trail magic” were. In the past two years, five veterans I

Five indusry veterans left “trail magic” for me ... I want to recognize them for what they did and how they influenced me in the exhibit business... 188 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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worked with in our business passed away. Each had left “trail magic” for me, whether they knew it or not. I want to recognize them for what they did and how they influenced me in the exhibit business.

Al Bonk - AE for Miller Brewing for 26 years

I served as a project manager for Al and his major account—Miller Brewing Company. Al came to Exhibitgroup from Kitzing Exhibits, where the philosophy was that the “booth activity” came first, then the exhibit. Al often ventured to provide services to Miller that were well beyond the boundaries of normal services provided by the average exhibit company at that time. In 1975, he brought outdoor events, private sales meetings and POP displays for EG to produce. These services were not normal offerings at the time and have now become a standard offering in the industry. This opened my eyes to believing that “we could do this” in the tradeshow industry.

Leo McDonald - Founder of Exhibitgroup; Hazel Hays winner

Leo hired me at Exhibitgroup as a designer with little experience. He then encouraged me on to be a project manager, an AE and then president of EG-Chicago after he retired. Leo was the first exhibit company owner to create a network of locations in the U.S. and the first to provide exhibit rentals nationally as well. He connected with the Greyhound Corporation to be the first exhibit company owned by a company outside of the industry with stockholders and funding beyond normal. He was also instrumental in creating GES; he was president of OF Exhibitgroup and GES at the same time. Leo believed that good people were your greatest asset and rewarded them generously. He was very active with EDPA in the early days and supported the association for what it represented—exhibit service companies. Leo was also not afraid to do work internationally and influenced me big time here.

Peter Bestmann - Owner of a German exhibit house Peter Bestmann owned an exhibit company in Ramagen, Germany, called

Bestmann Messebau International. In the ‘80s, Peter would travel to Exhibitgroup twice a year to help create a connection with Europe and the U.S. Peter served on the board of OSPI (Octanorm Service Partners Int’l) and influenced me to join and serve on the board with him. This encouragement was just what I needed to see the benefits of international marketing services. His vision of world connections through tradeshow marketing was well before its time.

Clay Wilkening First exhibit house sales manager; Hazel Hays winner Clay was my mentor at Exhibitgroup. He was the first sales manager in an exhibit company. Most exhibit company AEs are self-taught entrepreneurs who do not like anyone asking them what they are doing. Clay had a style that did not bend your nose. You wanted to please him because you liked him. He turned me on to being a member of EDPA, where I went on to be president. Clay saw our industry as a large community of friendly competitors.

Lee Kleidon AE at Giltspur, then EGG

Lee was a stellar AE at Giltspur Exhibits in Chicago. In 1995, Exhibitgroup purchased Giltspur. I was a part of management at Exhibitgroup and the acquisition of Giltspur was not a welcome move by many. Lee stepped in and acted as a peacemaker to allow the Hatfields and McCoys to join together as one. He taught me the art of compromise to gain greater strength. At this stage in my career I needed a friend like Lee to help pull us all together. Lee was a role model to many and well-liked by employees and trusted by his customers. Over the years I am sure that we each have a story or two about a person who helped us along on our journeys in the world of tradeshow marketing. What “trail magic” will you leave behind? ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years ORIGINALLY PRINTED OCTOBER 2013


Fred Kitzing with wife, Llona

by Larry Kulchawik


n spite of the growing size of the convention industry, few people have gone to school to learn how to do it. Most all in the industry became experts by experience. Much was learned from the pioneers before us who contributed to influence us to develop our current approach and tactics to tradeshow marketing. In recent years, electronic media has played a strong role in communication and tactics,

but our basic influences came from people - people with a vision and guts that were different from the norm. One of these visionary pioneers was Fred Kitzing, often called the Father of Tradeshow Marketing. Fred recognized the potential for tradeshows as a sales generating medium, and not simply as a static architectural display. At Kitzing Inc., he produced the first professional live product

demonstration, and was the first to develop staff training programs for exhibit representatives. He was a prolific writer and advocate of tradeshow marketing tactics. Another pioneer, influenced by a visionary, was Llona (LaNay) Kitzing. She is often recognized as the innovator of the concept of Integrated Tradeshow Marketing, whereby a tradeshow becomes an integrated part of the marketing mix and no longer

The more things change... Over 54 years of innovative ideas and technologies...but our customer service and attention to detail remains the same...and we are PROUD OF IT!

...the more they stay the same.





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L-R: Don and Buck Freeman

just an isolated event. Using tradeshows as a catalyst, Llona developed programs that strategically integrated a company’s sales and marketing communication plan to connect them with their target audience. Llona authored articles and conducted workshops and seminars to teach the concepts of integrated tradeshow marketing. This dynamic duo helped to change the path of tradeshow marketing as we know it today.

Buck and Donald Freeman Donald S. “Buck” Freeman, visionary founder of his namesake company, Freeman, began his career while a college student at the University of Iowa. As a pledge for a national fraternity, he discovered that he enjoyed decorating fraternity parties across campus. The success of decorating fraternity and sorority parties led Buck to form the New Idea Service Company in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1923. The “idea” grew and the company expanded to serve larger universities and state schools. In 1927, Buck opened the first Freeman Decorating Company (FDC) office in Des Moines, Iowa, where they began to perform work for fairs and small regional events. As Buck grew to be an entrepreneurial leader in the event industry, he built his successes upon the marketplace’s needs and responded accordingly, Buck continued with his decorating business in the state of Iowa. In 1950, Freeman was asked to build an exhibit at the State Fair of Texas. It was in Dallas that Buck opened an office and warehouse, which eventually became the company’s headquarters in 1974. 190 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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Buck laid the path that led to an expansion of FDC with the acquisitions of additional decorating, freight, exhibit and audio visual companies. As the client roster grew, so did Freeman’s service offerings, which included corporate events support, creative event design, content, logistics, construction, installation, décor, graphics, staging, a full range of audio visual services, electrical as well as freight shipping and handling services. In 1985, the Convention Industry Council named Buck Freeman one of the original 11 Industry Hall of Leaders inductees for his major contributions to the growth and professionalism of the meeting and tradeshow industry. Buck Freeman passed away on Feb. 5, 1977, after serving more than 50 years in the convention and tradeshow industry. Buck Freeman’s son, Donald S. Freeman, joined the company in 1964 after his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1960. Buck’s daughter, Sandra Dowie, also worked for the company for many years in the Des Moines office before her retirement. Don was named president of the company in 1972 and became chairman and CEO in 1977 upon the passing of his father. In July 2008, he became Chairman of Freeman. At the same time, son-in-law Joseph V. ( Joe) Popolo became CEO and daughter Carrie Freeman Parsons became Vice Chair, ensuring that the third generation would carry through with Buck’s legacy. Don has continued to carry on his father’s imagination, tenacity and enthusiasm to build on the strong foundation that Buck created, adding new services and capabilities to Freeman along the way. In doing so, Don has guided the company in growing into a more strategic and creative environment,

while also maintaining Freeman’s core values of ethics, integrity, quality and customer/employee focus. Don formalized Buck’s core company culture into a comprehensive customer service vision with standards to ensure that the quality of service is maintained. The continued growth and success of Don’s leadership is largely credited to the time he has spent listening to customers and applying that feedback to his operation. Since he took over the company, Don has been recognized by every major industry-related professional organization for his dedication and commitment to promoting the professional development and growth of the events and exposition industry. Today, the company that Buck founded more than 86 years ago has consolidated all divisions and is simply known as “Freeman.” Today, Freeman provides a complete range of services including event design and production, communications content development, execution and measurement; logistics planning and on-site coordination; exhibits, furnishings, flooring and décor; event staging; audio, video, lighting, projection, digital services including presentation management; simultaneous interpretation; entertainment; theatrical and heavy equipment rigging; exhibit construction and program management; installation and dismantle services; electrical and utilities; global freight transportation and material handling services through 40 North American locations and nine offices in the UK. Through the years, Freeman has set the bar for all companies who provide show contracting services offered in North America, and now globally. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


3/4/20 3:31 PM

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3/4/20 3:31 PM 3/4/20 2:48 AM


Big Al Lichtman with his mentor, John Starks

Q & A SPOTLIGHT WITH “BIG AL” LICHTMAN Six Questions for a “People Person” by Jeanne Brei


ig Al” Lichtman stands 6’6” and looms large in the tradeshow world in Miami. Although he grew up in “da Bronx,” he moved to Florida in 1972 as a teenager and he’s been a member of the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades AFL-CIO (IUPAT), Sign & Display for 35 years. He spent 20 years working on the tradeshow floors at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Broward County, Orlando, Atlanta, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., and another 17 years working in the office as the business rep for the union. He’s planning his retirement for later this year and says, “I have been blessed with two of the most beautiful granddaughters–I’m going to spend more time with them. I’m probably going to open up a consulting firm–I’m young enough to still help our industry grow, and play more golf.” ECN: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into tradeshows? AL: I was working at Ryder Truck lines years ago and all these crates were coming in for the car and other shows from the convention center. One of the guy’s brothers said he was working to set up the shows and they always needed help. So, I worked a couple of years as a B worker and then decided to make it a career. Back then there really wasn’t too much training–this was in 1981–you just worked until you got put into the union. It was all on-the-job training. ECN: What do you like best about your job? AL: I just love the people–you’re always meeting new and interesting people. You see the newest cars and boats as they’re com-


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ing in, you see the latest products like new medical and computer systems. it wasn’t like a 9-5 job sitting in a cubicle watching time pass. I’m a people person and I just loved being out there helping people. We were the first labor union to join ESCA about 25 years ago. I was the first union official to be asked to be on the board of ESCA back in 2008. I’m currently serving my second two-year term. ECN: How about a mentor? AL: My mentor was John Starks–he was our main steward, who took me under his wing. He had a gift in the way he approached and talked to exhibitors, members and contractors. His no-nonsense, stern, yet fair way of dealing with people is what drew me to him. He helped me become president of the union (which is actually a working position) for 11 years before I was elected to business rep. ECN: Do you have something you wish you could tell exhibit managers to make your job easier? AL: “Read your kits!” It’s a tough thing because of all the different unions and rules in the many cities. The best advice that I can give a show mananger is to do your homework. Try and meet with the facility, contractor and union before your event, so you can ask the tough questions to make sure your event goes smooth without any hitches. ECN: Do you have a favorite tradeshow, tradeshow city and tradeshow memory? AL: Well my favorite tradeshows are the car shows and the boat shows–seeing the new cars and the new boats–and the friendships that you make because you see

the same people year after year. I used to travel to do shows too–like the boat show in New York–I’m from there so I could spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square and visit my family and see all the new boats. At the tile/flooring show in New Orleans, I worked 119 hours the first week and 112 hours the following week– it’s a huge show, it’s a tough show–lots of containers to empty and lots of tiles to install…that’s what they call blood money– you make a lot but you work a lot. As for a favorite memory–we were the first union to exhibit on tradeshows which was the TS 2 show. My partner, Cliff Germano, (our director of training back then), and I won the first Showfloor Olympics put on by EACA in Chicago [in 1999]. We won $200 each and a medal. We had to set up, take down and move a pop up display, do a tape toss and answer industry questions. ECN: Any advice for those entering the industry? AL: It’s not a job you’re going to get rich at–it’s a job that you can feed your family with and meet plenty of people and make lifelong friends. There’s so many new products and new shows happening all the time–it’s always changing–it’s always exciting and I always enjoyed the people and the work. Things are constantly changing in the tradeshow industry, and the key is adapting to the changes. I’ve never been on a show that didn’t open on time–even if it meant working all night to open it at 8 a.m. I’ve been blessed with the many friends and associates I’ve met through the 37 years working in this industry. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


3/4/20 3:34 PM

Covering the Industry for 25 Years

Q & A SPOTLIGHT WITH MICHAEL MARTINEZ Six Questions for a Man with a Passion for Teaching & Training by Jeanne Brei


CN is planning a series of Q & As with the men and women who work on the show floor and behind the scenes. For our first one, we headed to the new training center for Teamsters 631 and spoke with Michael Martinez, who has spent 14 years working in I&D, beginning as a direct hire for such exhibit houses as Alex Displays, Steelhead, Czarnowski, Willwork, MC2 and TSS before going through the apprentice program himself in 2011 and joining the union in 2013. In January this year, Teamsters 631 asked him to join the faculty at their new training facility and he has discovered a new passion for teaching the “tricks of the trade.” ECN: Can you tell us a little about yourself ? Martinez: I’m originally from San Diego but in my junior year of high school we moved up to Salt Lake City. I started boxing at age 11 and in 2004 I went to the Olympic trials. I would have never gotten into the exhibit building industry except that people I knew in the boxing industry recommended it. I have three kids: 13-yearold Reko who skateboards and plays guitar; 11-year-old Drako, a football linebacker; and my 7-year-old artist, Adalina. ECN: What do you like best about your job? Martinez: In January I started fulltime training and creating classes for

I&D, Advanced I&D and Exhibit Building. I really like training the guys from the center to be the start of a better apprentice and have better knowledge after leaving here--to teach the best tricks of the trade and elevate the level of the guys coming up—a more educated teamster. I like helping to create well-rounded journeymen, not some guy who says, “I only kick carpet or load a truck.” We do 12 hours in a classroom and the rest is 40 hours of hands-on. It takes 2,000 hours (about two years) to become a journeyman – and about 144 hours class time as an apprentice. Las Vegas has about 3,500 journeymen now and there’s lots more work coming, so we’re always training. ECN: Did you have a mentor? Martinez: I have worked with a ton of really great guys – especially carpenters, like Jim Harvey at Czarnowski, Russell Raven at Alex Displays, Don Cercone at TSS, and Scotty—Scott Hamilton from Czarnowski.

ECN: Do you have something you wish you could tell exhibit managers to make your job easier? Martinez: Sure, more details! The more info you give to the lead man the better the job. Your guys are only as good as the info you give them. We need a crate count, electric layout, internet layout, booth plan/booth layout, carpet and pad info, etc., etc. ECN: Do you have a favorite tradeshow? Or a favorite tradeshow city? Martinez: Hmmm, that’s hard. I love the New Orleans’ shows for the food. Las Vegas has the best—no one can beat our labor service—close second is Chicago. I like Gaylord, D.C…. ECN: What advice do you have for someone just entering the industry? Martinez: My best advice is to ask questions—don’t just assume what you’re doing—always ask. Don’t dummy down but listen to the guy in charge and be aware of your surroundings. Learn to watch, listen and learn. Don’t be so gung ho that you mess up. Also, remember that everything is always fixable. The definition of a good carpenter is that he can always find a way to fix it. ANNIVERSARY EDITION

The Southern Nevada Teamsters 631 Training Center, 4490 Nexus Way Bldg 2 Ste #102, N.Las Vegas, NV 89115. Telephone: (702) 651-0344. For more info, visit www.631train.com. @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

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3/4/20 3:34 PM


Q&A WITH KEVIN MCLAUGHLIN He’s Proud of the Carpenters Union’s Industry ACES by Jeanne Brei


had the good fortune to hobnob with industry movers and shakers at ECN’s I&D ACE Awards presentation at the Four Seasons and I spent some time chatting with Kevin McLaughlin, Carpenters Union Local 10’s international representative from Chicago. He was impressed that nearly half of the inaugural class of ACE award winners were in the Carpenters Union, including Gino from Philly and Frank, Ken, Chris, and Dan from Chicago to name just a few. ECN: Can you tell us a little about yourself ? KM: I was born and raised in Chicago, the youngest of nine children from a good Southside Irish family. I still live in the Chicagoland area today with my wife and children. When I started working in the trade as an apprentice over 34 years ago, I was building homes. As I gained experience, I began working more and more on commercial construction projects, until eventually those were all I worked on. I was introduced to the tradeshow industry through my local union, Carpenters Local 10, which oversees the work at McCormick Place, and I’ve been in the industry for about 30 years now. ECN: What do you like best about your job? KM: It’s the people and the relationships you make in this industry. Anyone who spends a few years working in this industry loves it and has a passion for it. When you’re fortunate enough to work with people who enjoy what they do, it no longer feels like work. ECN: Do you have a mentor? If so, could you tell us a little about him/her and how they assisted you?


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KM: There have been many people that have helped me and mentored me throughout the years. The ones that had the most influence on me were Frank Libby and Ken Viscovich. Frank was a business representative for Local 10 when I was starting out. He moved up, eventually becoming the president/executive secretary-treasurer of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters. He had a unique forward-thinking ability that always amazed me. He taught me to think before acting and to always keep in mind what consequences your actions could lead to five or ten years down the road. Ken Viscovich was my predecessor, and the Carpenters international representative for the tradeshow industry for more than 30 years. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Ken before his retirement. The knowledge and relationships he built over the years made the transition so much easier for me. ECN: Do you have something you could tell exhibit managers to make your job easier? KM: Communication is key, it’s what this whole industry is based on. Every city and venue is different when it comes to the regulations and the trades involved. The more information the contractors and the trades know about your event ahead of time, the smoother everything runs. ECN: Do you have a favorite tradeshow? Or a favorite city? Or a favorite memory to share? KM: It would have to be my first ever tradeshow, the National Restaurant Association in Chicago many years ago. It was where I caught the bug for the industry. As far as a favorite city goes, I would have to

say Chicago, only because that is where I got my start and where I have the strongest relationships with people in the industry. It’s not the city or the venue, it’s the people you work with in those places that leave an impression on you. ECN: Do you have any advice or someone just starting out in the industry? KM: My advice for someone starting in the industry would be to learn everything you can. If you are just starting out as a carpenter, take as many classes as you can at one of our many training centers. We have centers all over the United States and Canada. The curriculum and certifications available cover every aspect of the carpentry trade. There are multiple courses available for the tradeshow industry. The more knowledgeable you are, the more employable and valuable you will be to both the contractors and the exhibitors. ECN: Do you have an opinion on how the NAB ShowCares program went? It gives exhibitors unlimited drayage for just $3.85 per square foot. Hopefully the increase in exhibitors will make up the difference. KM: I have heard a lot of people over the years complaining about the business model of the tradeshow industry. The only way we can make things better is to try new things, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Our industry has a lot of moving parts, move one and you move them all. I think it’s very important run through new ideas or methods a few times to see how they affect everything else involved. If this program brings in more exhibitors, then I’m sure the industry will adapt and make the necessary changes. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


3/4/20 3:34 PM


Q&A SPOTLIGHT WITH JOHN GOREY Five Questions for an I.A.T.S.E. International Representative, Tradeshow Dept. by Jeanne Brei


ohn Gorey grew up in New York City and became the fourth generation of his family to join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union. He began working as a stagehand at The Metropolitan Opera House in 1989 and his thoughts of the tradeshow industry at that time were, “that stuff is just banjo drapes and a clip-on light.” It wasn’t until he moved to Las Vegas in 2002 that he was sent to work a tradeshow. He vividly remembers working his first tradeshow—CES in Las Vegas—because he was part of the rigging team that built not only the Sony booth but also a stage within the booth that was more elaborate than many of the live shows he had worked on. One of his favorite memories as a stagehand was working the NFL Super Bowl and several NCAA Final Fours—especially when he got to see Prince perform “Purple Rain” in the rain during Super Bowl XLI in 2007 in Miami. He spent six years in the Business Representatives office for I.A.T.S.E. Local 720 in Las Vegas 2011-2017 and was then hired as an international representative in the

tradeshow department of the I.A.T.S.E.; from ‘89 to today, it’s 28 years with them so far. He’s the proud father of a 14-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son, happily married to his wife for nearly 20 years. ECN: What do you like best about your job? JG: The people. As an international rep for the tradeshow department of I.A.T.S.E. , I get to assist Locals around the country, build relationships, attend tradeshows, bring education classes, like our AV Essentials Program and our Customer Service class, to Locals in need. It is great to meet the people who are actually doing the work, a time to listen first hand on what the latest trends and emerging technologies that are happening out on the show floor at the moment. ECN: Did you have a mentor? If so, could you tell us a little about him/her and how they assisted you? Are you a mentor yourself now? JG: I have had so many mentors it’s hard to pick just one—from family members, to my Local One and Local 720 Brothers and

L-R: Anthony DePaulo, retired, international VP, I.A.T.S.E., with John T. Gorey at the I.A.T.S.E Quadrennial convention.

Sisters, to Anthony DePaulo, who’s a retired International Vice President, I.A.T.S.E., to Bill Gearns, who’s also a retired International Vice President, I.A.T.S.E., and former director of the tradeshow department. I had the pleasure to work with Bill over the years and always admired the way he handled himself both professionally and personally, he’s one of those guys that you say “they don’t make them like that anymore.” He was the one who brought me into the tradeshow department before his retirement, hopefully I’ll get to catch up with him for a round of golf someday—and that’s just naming a few of my mentors. ECN: Do you have something you wish you could tell exhibit managers to make your job easier? JG: Communication is key. ECN: Do you have a favorite tradeshow? Or a favorite tradeshow city? Or a favorite tradeshow memory to share? JG: I’d have to say my very first tradeshow in Las Vegas—CES—one of the larger tradeshows in Las Vegas. I worked the Sony booth and they put more thought and money into doing a tradeshow than I’ve seen on some TV productions. I was amazed at the elaborate sets, lights—we built a theater inside of the booth with these large automated entry doors along with some large rigging structures surrounded with a video wall. It wasn’t what I thought would be getting set up at a tradeshow that’s for sure—it reminded me of setting up some stages for the MTV Video Awards shows at Radio City Music Hall earlier in my career… Needless to say, I was impressed. ECN: Do you have any advice for someone just entering the industry? JG: Run fast and go back to school! Seriously, just show up on time, do your job, bring your tools and be professional. It’s a crazy business—I didn’t see a Christmas, Thanksgiving and most other holidays as a stagehand (I was always working crazy hours and days) until I moved to Vegas. Fortunately, nobody plans a tradeshow on the holidays! ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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3/4/20 3:34 PM


Q&A SPOTLIGHT WITH MIKE ROBERTSON Five Questions for a Veteran Teamster Who Loves What He Does by Jeanne Brei


ike Robertson grew up in Houston with a Hollywood connection. His parents met in Hollywood, his uncle was Dale Robertson, the actor in the late-50s TV show Tales of Wells Fargo, and another uncle, Port Robertson, was the athletic director and head coach of the University of Oklahoma wrestling team, which won at the 1960 Olymics in Rome leading to his uncle being inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame. His parents divorced when he was five and his mom moved the family to Las Vegas in 1967, where she managed Louis Prima’s Fairway to the Stars golf course and ran Howard Hughes’ mining operations. He’d spend summers at the family farm in Oklahoma learning how to ride, shoot, fish, hunt and wrestle with his cousins. At five, he started lessons in Taekwondo and Kenpo and various mixed marital arts, and was undefeated in Golden Gloves boxing as a teenager. With all those survival skills, he took his GED at 16 and went to join his friends in special ops/private contractor work in Vietnam, later joining the Air Force. As he explains, “Due to my knowledge of the arts and weapons I was asked to join covert operations in Vietnam through private contractors. I received an honorable discharge in 1975 with Strategic Air Command U.S.A.F. I received a bachelors degree from the University of Texas after my return. I moved back to Las Vegas and worked in law enforcement and had friends in the conventions/631 Teamsters—and began the greatest show on earth—the convention industry!” Over the years, he’s worked as a traveling foreman for GES, Las Vegas city manager for Eyecatchers, a project manager (but he just couldn’t fire people), and a chief steward for Teamsters 631 (solving problems, grievances and contract issues). Currently he spends a lot of time


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Mike and Janet Sue Robertson

training the newbies—teaching them that “what you put into it, is what you get out of it.” On the show floor, he’s known for his big heart and he’s been with his honey, Janet Sue, for nearly 20 years. He has two grown children, three grown stepkids and eight grandchildren. ECN: What do you like best about your job? MR: I love the versatility of the convention industry, where it’s never boring, never ending and being around all the wonderful people in the industry, who’ve become my family. With the hours we work, I’ve spent more time with all the people in our industry than I’ve spent at home.

ECN: Did you have a mentor? If so, could you tell us a little about him/her and how they assisted you? Are you a mentor yourself now? MR: There are many that have helped mentor me through my 37 years. Billy Geller, whom I consider a legend. He is a brother in the industry and a Vietnam Veteran. Billy was general foreman at GES and he taught me all the ropes on how to run a tradeshow for the general contractor. Billy was a person who stood up for everybody and taught everybody how important it is to be nice and enjoy what you do. He’d say, “we’re here to work but let’s enjoy it— it’s all about being nice.” ECN: Do you have something you wish you could tell exhibit managers to make your job easier? MR: All of those exhibit managers are friends of mine. I am very grateful to the 631 Teamsters for this opportunity. The management and Teamsters that I work with are making Las Vegas the very best! ECN: Do you have a favorite tradeshow? Or a favorite tradeshow city? Or a favorite tradeshow memory to share? MR: I’d have to say SEMA because for years I drove a top-fuel chopper (a stretched-out, custom-built motorcycle) and I used to build hotrods. Billy Geller retired in 2000 and he races cars at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway—392 Challenger street car racing. ECN: Do you have any advice for someone just entering the industry? MR: The advice I have for new hires in the industry is to keep a good work ethic, attendance record and be the best you can be each day. This industry has provided my family new homes, vacations and a lifestyle that is not affordable to most. I thank God every day for this and for all the wonderful people I have met and work with on a daily basis. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


3/4/20 3:34 PM

Covering the Industry for 25 Years

Jim Wurm and his wife, CJ

Q&A SPOTLIGHT WITH JIM WURM Five Questions for the Executive Director of EACA by Jeanne Brei


im Wurm was born in Cleveland and moved to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Long Island growing up and then went to Philadelphia on a baseball scholarship. Planning to go to medical school, he studied biology at the University of Pennsylvania but decided he didn’t like hospitals and ended up doing cancer research for three years. Says Wurm, “I didn’t see this as a long-term career opportunity so I applied and got into graduate school for business and moved to Atlanta for graduate school.” As he explains, “I met Jack McEntee at the Atlanta Sporting Club playing pick-up basketball. We became friends for more than a year. At the time I was the Atlanta branch manager for a national personnel agency. The personnel agency was sold to an international firm who decided to close my division and the Atlanta office. I called Jack the same day I got the news and he asked if I wanted to come to work for him. I said, ‘I’ve known you for more than a year but I really don’t understand what you do.’ He said, ‘Meet me at the GWCC on Saturday morning and I’ll show you around the American Bankers show.’ When I walked onto the show floor I got an immediate positive vibe. I told him I loved it. He asked why. I said because I was involved in a lot of theater productions in college and this reminds me of that….only this is business theater.” He’s launched and organized tradeshows throughout the U.S. and in Europe, and worked for I&D, Inc. (now Nth Degree) as director of marketing and national sales manager. With

30 years of tradeshow marketing and management experience, he’s created and managed his own tradeshows (CleanRooms and CleanRooms Europa), and has served as group director of high tech shows for Miller Freeman, Inc. (at the time, the third largest show organizer in the world). Currently, he resides in Bend, Oregon and he’s the executive director of the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association (EACA), a tradeshow industry association dedicated to “raising the level of service excellence on the show floor.” He’s the proud father of five young adults, happily married to his wife of 13 years, CJ. ECN: What do you like best about your job? JW: I love working with some of the best people I’ve ever known in my life. There is nothing that can diminish the can-do spirit of EACs and the tradeshow workforce. They are truly amazing. ECN: Did you have a mentor? If so, could you tell us a little about him/her and how they assisted you? Are you a mentor yourself now? JW: My first job in the industry was working in sales at I&D, Inc. (now known as Nth Degree). I was hired by Jack McEntee. Jack was an inspirational leader, motivator and teacher. His vision and efforts greatly revolutionized the way exhibitors are serviced at tradeshows and I was very fortunate to have him as my mentor. ECN: Do you have something you wish you could tell exhibit managers to make your job easier?

JW: My job is to help make exhibit managers jobs easier, not the other way around. As executive director of EACA, the primary mission of our organization, and my job, is to create an environment in tradeshows where exhibit managers can be more successful. The only thing I would wish from exhibit managers is to let me know what’s working, what’s not and what’s missing that they’d like to see. ECN: Do you have a favorite tradeshow? Or a favorite tradeshow city? Or a favorite tradeshow memory to share? JW: It’s hard to pick one favorite show or one favorite city. They all have their advantages and unique qualities. I was first attracted to the tradeshow industry because it reminded me of my experiences in college working in the performing arts. I see tradeshows as business theater. The show floor has the same energy before the show opens as the theater does before the curtain goes up. It’s both exciting and nerve racking at the same time. ECN: Do you have any advice for someone just entering the industry? JW: My bias would be to recommend they learn the industry the way that I did, from the ground up. I was in sales but when a big show was moving in the I&D philosophy was all hands-on deck. Everyone understood that we were there to help any way needed whether that was working in a set-up job, sweeping the floor or running errands. Customer service is a team effort and we were well aware that we all needed to learn how to succeed in any capacity that was assigned to us. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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3/4/20 3:34 PM


Exhibit City News Presents

The 2019 I&D ACE Awards Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas | February 24, 2019 Presenters: Don Svehla, ECN publisher, and Jeanne Brei, ECN editor-in-chief

Guest Presenters: Jake Merzigian, president/CEO, Zig Zibit; and William F. Nixon, Jr., owner/CEO, Willwork Global Event Services

A longtime dream of ECN’s publisher Don Svehla, the inaugural ECN I&D ACE Awards were an opportunity to honor the unsung heroes of the tradeshow floor—the I&D men and women who build the exhibits despite all the things that can go wrong and sometimes do: from logistics to missing crates and more. The Traveling Lead of the Year ACES, one of our most popular categories, ended up as a four-way tie; seasoned show veterans was a three-way tie and there were two winners each in Best Firefighter ACES and the William F. Nixon, Sr. Lifetime Achievement awards. And you’ll see why it was so hard to choose between the nominees when you hear how their colleagues and clients describe working with each of them. Photography by Exposures, Ltd.


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3/4/20 3:40 PM

Covering the Industry for 25 Years

EXHIBIT CITY NEWS’ 2019 I&D ACE AWARDS Rookie of the Year ACE Award Will Goza, Sho-Link, Inc. Regional I&D ACE of the Year Award Dan Pienta, Nth Degree Traveling Leads of the Year ACE Awards Mike Macauley, Nth Degree Chris Pohanka, Nuvista Robert Lassiter, The Trade Group Brad Kearns, Laborinc.ca Best City/Regional Manager of the Year ACE Award Joey Brassell, Sho-Link, Inc. Best Operations Team ACE Award Renaissance Management Las Vegas (Bill Muller, Ben Buranek, Jim Martin, Bernie Boyd, Liza Romano, Iliana Aguilar, Doug Stone, and Darrell Heckler) Best “Firefighters” of the Year ACE Awards Willie Matamoros, Nth Degree Brian Kaminski, Momentum Management Seasoned Show Floor Veterans of the Year ACE Awards Gino Apadula, Nth Degree Mike Haren, Sho-Link, Inc. Frank Mennell, Momentum Management The William F. Nixon, Sr. Lifetime Achievement ACE Awards Gary Wannemacher, Nth Degree Brian Kearns, Laborinc.ca The ECN I&D Hall of Fame (Posthumous) Ken Broadbent, Sho-Link, Inc.


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Rookie of the Year ACE: Will Goza, Sho-Link, Inc.

Nominated by Sho-Link’s regional & divisional director, Jim Genzano from Lake Forest, Ill., Will is described as “Ready, WILLing and Able,” and Jim adds that “from show one and every show since, Will showed up early with a great attitude and well-prepared, to this day I have yet to see him without his tool pouch carrying a pen, Sharpie, tape measure, knife and multitool. He checks every box in someone you want as a new employee and we are fortunate to have him on our team.” ​His co-workers, including Leandra Spontak, SoCal’s city manager, and clients, including Derse account managers Alex Laama and Melissa Kenny, who both worked at the Long Beach Convention Center with him, all speak very highly of him. As Alex wrote in his testimonial, Will “is a great addition to an already impressive team.”

Regional I&D ACE of the Year: Dan Pienta, Nth Degree, Midwest Region Nominated by Issa Tadros from United Steel Workers Local 17 in Chicago Ridge, Ill.: Issa wrote that in the three years that he’s known Dan and worked on projects with him, Dan’s “far and away the best ACE and lead. Everyone just loves him from the client to the crew—he is a valued asset for Nth Degree.” 200 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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And the clients agree, including Trade Show Manager Millipore Sigma, who Facebooked a testimonial on Feedback Friday earlier this month, saying: “Dan is consistently incredibly (better than especially) HELPFUL. He knows his customers and what is important to us and always ensures that we are satisfied with everything. He’s a superstar.” Unfortunately, Dan was setting up for the Housewares show so he couldn’t be there. Steve Daugherty, Nth Degree’s VP of Global Operations, accepted the award on Dan’s behalf.

Best City/Regional Manager of the Year ACE: Joey Brassell, Sho-Link, Inc. Nominated by Joe O’Reilly, Sho-Link’s director of field operations based in Loganville, Georgia: Joe explains that “It has always been more than a job for Joey…it has also been a lifestyle providing an unmatched level of service where everyone is important,” adding that Joey “has a limitless energy with a strong work ethic, a passion for the industry, a commitment to the core values of the company and an ownership of the job that it really isn’t Nashville…it’s Joeyville.” His co-worker for the past 10 years, traveling lead Aaron Lincoln, agrees and says, “Joey’s active approach to finding solutions rather than dwelling on the problem, and the ability to adapt to various situations”

along with “his commitment to Sho-Link’s core values, and the relationships he has built on trust and respect of his peers make him well deserving of this award.” And the clients! Trinity Industries’ Jaimie Green says that Derse “lined up a labor crew in Nashville for the NPGA show that exceeded all of my show experiences over the years. They presented themselves in such a professional manner and were capable, courteous, friendly...always staying on task... just a great team!” followed by Milwaukee-based Derse account director Katy Paquette, who wrote about a Harley-Davidson RRE event saying, “David Brassell was great as always, Aaron was an absolute pleasure and Joey…well, we all know I love me some Joey. Again, I love coming to Nashville because ya’ll make us feel right at home!” And then there’s Downing Displays’ account exec Daniel Imhoff, who wrote, “it is just record setting on how Joey & David Brassell keep things organized and the quality of workers they supervise in Nashville. I have never had a bad experience or problem of any kind in Nashville with a show. These guys have to be the best in the country. I would like to nominate from Nashville: Joey Brassell, David Brassell, Joe Brassell III (son), and Aaron. I appreciate all those guys & their hard work they do for myself and Downing Displays throughout the year’s time.” Sho-Link’s Senior Relationship Manager Jean Keefe accepted on Joey Brassell’s behalf.


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

Traveling Leads of the Year ACE: Brad Kearns, Laborinc.ca Nominated by Don Brown, Laborinc’s VP of operations: it’s Brad’s “attention to detail while consistently meeting the ever-tightening project budgets and time targets” that Don mentions as “a superb example to the crews he supervises on how to meet challenges.” Don has worked with Brad for more than 12 years and says, “he’s an excellent team leader, dedicated colleague, resourceful and calm under fire.” Among Brad’s clients, AWF’s president said during a project debriefing for a large scale installation, “I wish I had 10 more leads like Brad.” Extreme Exhibits also commend Brad, explaining, “During a multi-city tour across Canada we were met with all types of weather challenges, ridiculous time lines and changing layouts on the fly. Brad and his local crew delivered top drawer services with confidence, ingenuity and constant reassurances, which was nice to receive. We would contract for Brad as our exclusive lead on all our future marketing efforts in Canada.”

Traveling Leads of the Year ACE: Mike Macauley, Nth Degree Nominated by D’Anna Hurley, the marketing project manager for Nth Degree, who, by the way, wrote the best submission entries an I&D ACE could ever ask for, Mike Macauley has been wowing his co-workers and clients at Nth Degree for more than 18 years, spending an average of more than 100 days on the road traveling for projects (mostly at the request of clients) with crews of more than 25 people that, she wrote, “he can lead on site without breaking a sweat.” D’Anna asked his colleagues to describe him in a few words and here’s the words they chose: “hard working, grit, honest, team player, can-do attitude, professional, willing to go the extra mile, knowledgeable, talented fabricator and carpenter, great communicator, easy to work with and client ambassador.” One of his colleagues, senior account director Cindy Haun-Nevens, describes an automotive client who, after the first time working with Mike, “were insistent that Mike travel to every major show,” which he did for the entire length of the contract. She adds that “on many occasions we were told that they couldn’t do the job without him.” Nth Degree’s Las Vegas Market City Manager Melvin Alston accepted the award on Mike Macauley’s behalf.

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Traveling Leads of the Year ACE: Chris Pohanka, Nuvista Nominated by Maddie Ogren, CTSM, director, client services for Access TCA in Whitinsville, Mass.: Maddie showers Chris with praise, saying, “He can truly do it all. He works hard, is a problem solver, and is respected by all the crews he works with. Whether it be in his home town of Chicago, or on any other show floor in the country, he’s the first man there and the last man home. He leads by example, keeping a calm head in tough situations and providing an unmatched level of service to clients. He’s respectful of people’s time, budgets and last-minute requests, and will always go out of his way to make things better for others.” Maddie adds that “Chris is an integral part of the success of my shows” and praises his positive attitude, his amazing work ethic, and his commitment to the team.

and dedication. As Claire writes, “he has saved the day too many times to count. As an I&D Supervisor, Robert always goes above and beyond. I know that when he is present, the installation process runs smoothly, clients are happy and the show is a success. His attention to detail, innovative ideas, ability to quickly respond and MacGyver exhibits are incredible. He is kind, hardworking, the first to show up and the last to leave. Robert is a problem solver, ‘big picture’ thinker and a true gem. He brings excellence to the show floor and The Trade Group as a whole.” His 282 traveling days last year included working for clients such as Natalie Swan at CACI and Jennifer Uhlemann, Trade Show and Events Manager for Karndean Designflooring. As Natalie explains, “working with Robert isn’t just working with someone random to get the job done, it’s working with a friend that you know you can trust and who cares about your project just as much as you do.” And Jennifer wrote, “Robert handles even the most difficult scenario with a calm demeanor and a focus on problem solving. When Robert is managing our booth setup, I can relax and focus on other details because I know the booth is going to be completed on time and looking its best.”

Traveling Leads of the Year ACE: Robert Lassiter, The Trade Group Nominated by The Trade Group’s Becca Dewosky in Carrollton, Texas: Robert‘s colleagues, including senior sales consultants Robin Dean (who’s worked with him for 16 years) and Claire Amberson Phillips (who’s worked with him for nine years) both laud his customer service

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Best Operations Team ACE: Renaissance Management Las Vegas Nominated by Darlene Cooper, Renaissance Management Las Vegas, the Renaissance Ops Management Team in Las Vegas is a reflection of the vision Sonny Ciferni and Steve Johnson had when incorporating their own I&D company 30 years ago. As the hub for all West Coast operations, the Las Vegas management team plans and executes over half of their nationwide annual business. From the high standards of Director of Operations for the West Coast Region Bill Muller and Las Vegas Operations Manager Ben Buranek; office managers Liza Romano and Iliana Aguilar (who have a workload that rivals War & Peace); floor managers Jim Martin, Bernie Boyd and Doug Stone; floor support staff Ashlynn Peralta, Sharnel Guy and Kim McKeen; Warehouse Manager Darrell Heckler to runners Brett Leone and Todd Vanderwalker; Darlene describes them as “an operations management team that is unrivaled in its workload, customer service, positive union relationships and overall success.” And their clients agree. Joe Talarico, Services Coord., Spoon Events, Rochester, NY, says “I can’t say enough good about the Renaissance Las Vegas Team. They are fast, efficient, always ready to solve problems and never complain about what needs to get done—they just do it! From the office staff to the floor managers to the labor coordinators and the carpenters —we always get top notch service.” Derse Account Manager Hayley Harmon says “I always love working with the Las Vegas Renaissance team. I feel 100 percent covered and taken care of every show set up and dismantle. They keep us informed at all times and continually have solutions when we hit challenges. I know that no matter what obstacle, I’m in very good hands with my lead and team.” Chris Littlefield from BlueHive 202 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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Exhibits says that in working with this team for 20 plus years, “Many of the lead men have become like family to me. The one thing that stands out to me the most is the attention that the management and floor managers provide to all of the clients. Whether in preshow calls to discuss labor or on the show floor. If something is needed it is always no problem. I have worked with several other labor partners and none provide the same level of service.” Sean Nolan, The Exhibit House, Indianapolis, Ind., adds that “several times over the last 25 years I have had to lean on Renaissance Vegas to perform miracles from rotating a finished exhibit to meeting a shipment at 2 a.m. Happy to say these requests—no matter how far out—have always been answered with a ‘no problem, we can do that.’ ”Julie Morgan, Administrative Assistant & Dispatcher Southern Nev. Teamsters 631 Convention Training says, “Year after year it remains a pleasure to work with Bill, Liza, Illiana, Ben and the Renaissance crew. There is always something exciting and new that Renaissance brings with an energetic team effort to the Las Vegas convention industry. Pictured are Bill Muller, Ben Buranek, Jim Martin, Bernie Boyd, Liza Romano, Iliana Aguilar, Doug Stone and Darrell Heckler—the Renaissance Management Las Vegas full-time staff, who are this year’s recipients of the Best Operations Management Team ACE Award.

Best “Firefighter” of the Year ACE Award: Brian “B.K.” Kaminski from Momentum Management B.K. was nominated by Las Vegas City Manager Rich Carlson of Momentum Management who praises B.K.’s impressive commitment

to excellence, his leadership qualities and project management skills. He explains that B.K.’s the person who’s called when problems and difficult situations arise. According to Rich, B.K. is great at thinking outside of the box and coming up with solutions. He is a “ ‘work smarter, not harder’ kind of guy who never lets anyone down,” adding that “he has exceptional knowledge involving the oversight of projects, working alongside exhibit houses and their customers. He has a great understanding of all technical and operational aspects necessary to produce successful end results.” Rich ends by saying, “I am thrilled to witness the many talents he possesses on the show floor and we are confident in his ability to deliver only the highest level of service to our clients.”

Best “Firefighter” of the Year ACE Award: Willie Matamoros, Nth Degree Wille was nominated by D’Anna Hurley, Nth Degree’s marketing project manager, who says that Willie “never breaks a sweat, no matter how hot the fire is, and you will never see him panic when there is an unexpected change or mishap…once a project’s freight was stuck in international customs for several days. This type of delay can be very difficult to overcome, but instead of giving up and waiting around for the freight, Willie acted and developed a solution on the fly to keep the project moving forward. He devised a plan to get the entire overhead truss system installed while we continued to build the exhibit, thus making a nightmare better and truly putting out what could have turned into a raging fire.” His co-workers, including account exec Patrick Shepherd,


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Frank Mennell

applaud his leadership style and say, “Willie loves all people and makes them feel not only appreciated but lifted to a higher level. Willie’s leadership is by his example of how he works and expresses the client’s needs to the entire team not just a select few. In doing this, he has total buy-in from the entire crew, which is rare. Willie’s crew members work harder because of Willie. This is a rare gift, not just a talent.” Steve Daugherty, Nth Degree’s VP of Global Operations, wrote that “Willie is one of the nicest guys you will meet” and mentioned that Willie “loves to show people around N’awlins, his home town.” And the clients, including Seattle-based The Production Network’s (aka TPN Events) production manager, Phil Halverson, and event manager Alison Lacro, both agree that Willie’s “positive attitude is contagious and his ability to motivate every person on his team is unmatched. He leads by example and always shows great patience with young or new teammates.” Phil adds to Alison’s comment and says, “Willie is in a rarified atmosphere of top tier performers—as a production manager, I value the way Willie has of motivating and empowering crews. I want I&D crews to know they are valued. My desire is that they want to work for me. To do that I need key leads who will manage them with respect. Willie does that. I&D crews want to work for him. He’s the sort of man that you would want your son or granddaughter to work for, to be mentored by. I would commend him to anyone as an example of what to look for in a labor lead within the exhibit industry.” Willie was in D.C. working the Dermatology show, so LV Market City Manager Melvin Alston accepted on his behalf.

Seasoned Show Floor Veteran ACE: Frank Mennell, Momentum Management Frank was nominated by Dave Kennedy, Chicago city manager for Momentum Management, who says that “after 23 years in the tradeshow industry, Frank has learned what it takes to be the ‘Ultimate Lead’ man. His calm, methodical leadership style instills an elevated level of confidence to all who work with him. His greatest attribute is his ability to strategically plan, execute and anticipate the scope of work within an exhibit installation. Through his previous experience as a foreman, he is excellent at evaluating talent and utilizing his crew in the most effective and efficient manner.” Dave continues by saying that “Frank is able to communicate with workers and clients equally, so that they

Gino Apadula

Mike Haren

both feel as if their interests are at the forefront. His greatest compliment is that everybody wants to work with Frank. From carpenters to clients, everybody wants to be a part of his team. He successfully balances his friendly demeanor and his drive for excellence in his career on the show floor. Frank is what every city manager is looking for in a veteran lead man. If I had one wish as a city manager it would be, ‘Please find me another Frank Mennell! I promise I won’t ask again.’ As Frank has quietly become one of the best lead men throughout the entire tradeshow industry, and I am so grateful to have him on my team.”

Seasoned Show Floor Veteran ACE: Mike Haren from Sho-Link, Inc. Mike was nominated by Rob West, senior director of field operations for Sho-Link in Lake Forest, Ill., who says, “Mike has always proven to be a standout professional both on the show floor and when working with clients,” adding, “Mike has taken on multiple roles within Sho-Link throughout the years, such as show floor lead, city manager of Sho-Link Atlanta to regional manager for Sho-Link. He has always been someone I could go to for advice and problem solving and has never disappointed me with his wisdom.” His co-worker, Las Vegas City Manager Robert Tortolla says, “Mike is dependable, efficient and unfailingly punctual. In fact, I have never worked with a person who gives as much attention to detail as he does. Also, his willingness to take on difficult projects and oversee them to successful completion has repeatedly impressed me over the years. His skills do not end with his carpentry work. He also projects a superb professional attitude to our clients both internal and external. I have seen him

resolve conflicts and handle other difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact.” And clients including Nashville-based Amy Diffee, Milwaukee-based Derse field supervisor Jon Dalton, and Derse’s Las Vegas-based Melissa Alter, all agree that Mike is simply the best. Says Melissa, “Mike Haren never lets us down, he’s the best. Thank you for a great show, as always Mike Haren leads a great team, he gets the job done and the client loves him. His attention to detail, timely installation running a staff and his ability to work with the client in any situation is always outstanding.” Jon adds, “Mike (Haren), Joey and the rest of the Nashville team came through in a very compressed and technical install. Their willingness to work the long hours required and can-do attitude allowed us to wow our clients and deliver a win.” And Amy says, “Over the years we have worked a lot of hours with Mike and he never disappoints. I believe his greatest asset is that he gives of himself freely and shares his knowledge willingly with those around and under his supervision. I look forward to many more years of having Mike by our side.” Jean Keefe, Sho-Link’s senior relationship manager, accepted on Mike Haren’s behalf.

Seasoned Show Floor Veteran ACE: Gino Apadula, Nth Degree Gino was nominated by D’Anna Hurley, Nth Degree’s marketing project manager, who writes that “to designate Gino as a seasoned show floor veteran is an understatement as he has helped shape how Nth Degree operates on the show @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

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floor. He has spent his entire career with Nth Degree dating back to 1984, but his impact has been even more defining than his tenure. Gino has been instrumental in helping manage one client’s account, which includes more than 100 events annually with exhibits over 20,000-square-feet in size. He expertly leads huge labor calls in cities across the country and helps lead a team that manages every tiny detail to maintain efficiency at every show. His in-depth knowledge not only of the account, but all the vendors and players are key components of the program seeing continuous improvements and flawless execution year-over-year. The over 30year relationship with this customer is the true testament to this achievement. His devotion to the customer, his team and the company is evident in the self-sacrifices he makes every year including working over the Thanksgiving holiday for the span of his entire career.” His co-worker, account exec Doug Higgins says, “Gino takes care of his guys in the job ... he’s a team player that puts the success of the job and the company first.” And clients such as Wisconsin-based Catalyst Exhibits write that “we love working with Gino Apadula for so many reasons—he is dedicated, he is professional, he is there to do the best job he can for you. Gino’s knowledge of the industry is second to none, his understanding of how the show floor works in all cities makes him an asset to any project he leads. Gino’s wealth of experience is beneficial to all parts of the job from estimating, to prints to execution. He has an outstanding attitude on the show floor towards vendors, workers, and customers and that makes for a great working environment. For this and so many other reasons, Catalyst and our clients look forward to having Gino on all of our projects large and small.” Nth Degree’s VP of Global Operations Steve Daughtery accepted the award on Gino’s behalf.

Gary Wannemacher, Lynn Dickerson and Al Stuart

Dismantle, Inc. D’Anna writes that “Gary has given his entire career and his life to Nth Degree—nearly 38 years. He helped build the foundation, he helped forge the culture and he led the way to unprecedented service standards not only in Chicago where he is the Midwest regional manager, but across every Nth Degree touchpoint and every city worldwide where we operate. Gary was strategically placed in some of the most contentious union cities with the belief he could mitigate the situation and make it a viable place for Nth Degree to service their clients. Some of these cities were Boston, Miami, Las Vegas, and Chicago. His presence and ability to effectively work with the unions secured the presence that Nth Degree currently has in each of these cities today. As a testament to Gary’s leadership and his sense of responsibility to the team he leads and the company he works for, he has built a crew of 40+ leadpeople with an average tenure of more than 20 years. Nth Degree Chicago has the deepest labor resources of all our base cities and this is a product of the 30+ years that Gary has spent at the helm of Nth

The William F. Nixon, Sr. Lifetime Achievement ACE: Gary Wannemacher, Nth Degree Gary was nominated by D’Anna Hurley, Nth Degree’s marketing project manager who says that Gary is a true industry legend and one of the original Nth Degree team members, back when the company was known as I&D, Installation & 204 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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Degree’s Chicago operations. He will sacrifice and work longer and harder if it means that one of his employees is able to be with their family or can attend to a personal commitment. He works tirelessly to provide each person with enough hours every quarter to retain their health coverage. Gary is simply a great man. His career is a reflection of his character—he is unwaveringly honest, he is steady and reliable, and he is truly selfless. He works hard for his family and for his team and puts everyone else first. Nth Degree would not be the company it is today if this great man hadn’t dedicated his career to our company.” He received more testimonials from colleagues and clients than we have space for—please go to our website and read all the wonderful things said about him by project manager Dan Pienta (who says Gary not only built a company, he built a family), Chicago assistant city manager Rick Rogala (who says that Gary bleeds the color purple and that he is non-stop—always working day and night, never stopping) and senior account director Maureen Burke (who says “If you walk the show floor with him, he engages with security at the doors, the union stewards, general contractors, our competitors and the Nth Degree leadpeople and project managers with the same respect and courtesy. His presence on the tradeshow floor ignites an energy that is apparent.”) And Blue Hive’s executive vice president, Jack Hally, says that “Gary is a fantastic labor partner…always welcoming and exceptional in everything he does. His quick wit, attention to detail, and loyalty to his staff have endeared him to the tradeshow industry. He is a true champion for labor with a tireless commitment to providing an outstanding Chicago experience.”


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

THE MAN WHO INSPIRED THE WILLIAM F. NIXON, SR. LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS William F. “Coach” Nixon founded and continues to serve as president of Eastonbased Willwork, Inc. in his retirement from secondary teaching and sports coaching. Willwork employs more than 100 individuals in the Easton area. Started as Nixonas, a Boston-area I&D company back in 1988, Willwork has matured into a full service tradeshow, event, exposition and exhibit services organization. Today, Willwork provides companies with complete, start-to-finish installation and dismantling services. Nixon was born in 1928 and grew up in the Depression as an only child in Brockton, Mass. He was a talented athlete who played halfback on a football team that went undefeated (10-0) and played guard on a basketball team that lost in the semifinals of the Eastern Mass. Class A post-season tournament. After high school, he signed up for an 18-month enlistment in Army, did his basic training at Fort Lee in Virginia, and then was stationed in Germany in ’46-47. He holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Stonehill College and a master’s degree in education from Bridgewater State College. He dedicated 40 years of his professional career to the Easton School system as a quadruple-sport Oliver Ames coach, history teacher and as a negotiator for the teachers’ union. Nixon and his late wife, Helen, who passed away in 2007 after 52 years of marriage, raised eight children, Deborah, Linda, Susan, Mary, Paula, Tara, Bill (pictured left) and Jim (pictured right), and Nixon is now the proud and doting grandfather of nine grandchildren. Teams coached by Bill Nixon were known for their up-tempo offense, and for scoring. Over a 41-year period, Mr. Nixon’s basketball teams went 554-224, a 71.2 winning percentage. “In games, there are some things we can’t always control,” says Nixon. “For example, we may get out-talented, and sometimes even out-coached—you can’t always control those areas. But an area we could always control is that we should never allow ourselves to be out-worked.” Bill Nixon’s competitiveness, winning, and how he improved the lives of countless young people is remembered, honored and rewarded. Awards and recognitions in his distinguished career include: Oliver Ames High School Hall of Fame (2004); Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame (2001); Easton Lions Club Special Appreciation (1995); Stonehill College Hall of Fame (1991); and Easton Educators Association Award for Outstanding Service (1991). As an exemplary member of the I&D community and one of publisher Don Svehla’s good friends, ECN is honored to have William F. Nixon, Sr. as the namesake for our ECN I&D ACES Lifetime Achievement awards.

The William F. Nixon, Sr. Lifetime Achievement ACE: Brian Kearns, Laborinc.ca Brian was nominated by Don Brown, Laborinc’s VP of Operations, because, he says, he has witnessed first-hand Brian’s commitment to the well-being of the exhibit industry and the people who are involved within the industry. Don says that Brian first became involved in the exhibit industry in 1983 with Alphaform Exhibits + Design, a start-up that was designing, manufacturing and installing exhibits throughout Canada. Brian was always requested by the clients and the installers were always keen to work with him because of the positive atmosphere that radiated throughout the exhibit space that Brian created by keeping the guys busy, while never assigning a task to someone who did not have the capabilities to carry out the task successfully. He always had encouraging words and a thank you to share with all. In 1988, Brian was instrumental in starting International Installations, one of Canada’s first installation companies, and went on to become president of TAG and International Installations until 2012. Both companies would exhibit at the Exhibitor and TS2 shows on a regular basis dating back to 1990. Today, Brian is president of Canada’s only “Trade to Trade” I&D company, Laborinc.ca, and whether it is supporting industry associations, attending industry shows and conferences, advertising within industry publications and making donations to industry charities, he has had a positive impact on the industry and the people he has come to know. One client, Jaguar/Land Rover exhibit manager J. Robertson, says, “Over the 20 years we have worked together on the Cruelling auto show circuit we have thrown everything including the kitchen sink at Brian. We have always been amazed at the level of professionalism and calm that Brian and his team portray as they go about delivering on our request. This could not be achieved if it weren’t for the patience and leadership Brian brings to the table.” Don Svhela accepted the award on Brian’s behalf. EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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The ECN Hall of Fame (Posthumous) ACE: Ken Broadbent, Sho-Link, Inc. Ken was nominated by Sho-Link President Scott Rudel who says, “The easy part is telling you why Ken is so deserving of this recognition, the difficult part is keeping it short. Whether he was mentoring a co-worker, lending a helping hand or listening to someone who needed to confide in somebody, there wasn’t anyone better than Ken at making you feel confident about yourself. Ken had an uncanny ability to convince people they could accomplish what they felt they never could.” Scott adds, “I travel around the country and visit many convention centers, and even though eight years have slipped by without Ken, there is never a shortage of ‘Let me take you back’ (a quote that we all came to endear from Ken) stories about a truly remarkable person. Ken loved to share, whether it 206 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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was fish he caught, or knowledge to be passed on. You see, he enjoyed sharing his life experiences and looked forward to teaching others what he had learned, and he always smiled when he was sharing. I believe that when Ken’s name is announced as a nominee that there will be an overwhelming nod of approval by an overwhelming number of people who knew him and understand why he should be recognized. I couldn’t be prouder to submit this short note and only regret that I didn’t have the luxury of writing a long, long list of reasons, and the fact that this is being presented posthumously.” Testimonials are many and we again invite you to go to our website to read them in their entirety from ShoLink corporate VP Colleen Johnson, Derse’s Tony Andrews, John Fricke and Margaret Boettcher, The Expo Group’s Al Herbold, Larry Kulchawik and Jeff Novotny. As Jeff wrote, “He shared his vast life experiences with me, as I listened in amazement to all he had seen and accom-

plished, from being a Marine in Vietnam, hiking through Canada and working in a fish cannery, to subterranean marine salvage. He had done it all. He was a master carpenter and a man among men.” And as Colleen wrote, “Not a month goes by without someone within ShoLink mentioning Ken Broadbent to me and sharing the impact he had on their life. He made time to answer questions, to give thoughtful guidance, to let the people around them know he would look after their best interests, and to willingly share his expertise. His eye for spotting talent led to some amazing additions to our organization, many of whom still remain employees. He had an eye for detail, a passion for craftsmanship, and intense loyalty. Our friend Ken was an honorable man who we could always count on, and it was our privilege to have him name Sho-Link his home for so many years.” Jean Keefe, Sho-Link’s senior relationship manager, accepted the award on Ken’s behalf.


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years



xhibit City News would like to extend our gratitude to those who nominated these winners: D’Anna Hurley, Nth Degree; Maddie Ogren, Access TCA; Becca Dewosky, The Trade Group; Rich Carlson and Dave Kennedy, Momentum Management; Jean Keefe, Scott Rudel, Rob West, Joe O’Reilly and Jim Genzano, Sho-Link; Issa Tadros, USW Local 17; Don Brown, Laborinc.ca; and Darlene Cooper, Renaissance Management. Exhibit City News would also like to thank all those who worked tirelessly to make these awards happen: Lisa Abrams (production), Clemente Guillen/Clementine Creative Services (event design and videos), Melissa Skipworth/Total Show Tech (sound and lights), Lori Schlichting/Color Reflections (graphics/pop-up booth), James Zacharias/Brumark (carpet), Patrick Hudgin/ Elevation3D (beMatrix panels), Lilly Stetler/Evergreen Silks (flowers), Alison Wainwright/Las Vegas Store Supply (mannequins), Sasha Wootton/ Horizon Print Solutions (trophies, plaques and programs), Gary Prochorchik/Exposures Ltd. (photographer/timelapse video), Jami Duprey (appearing as Marilyn), Billy Nixon/Willwork, Inc., and the ECN staff (Don, Jeanne, Christy, Andy and Amadeus) and the Four Seasons staff. ANNIVERSARY EDITION

SUBMISSIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED FOR THE 2ND ANNUAL ECN I&D ACE AWARDS 2020. VISIT WWW.EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM/ACE-AWARDS/SUBMISSIONS/ OR GO TO WWW. ECNACEAWARDS.COM TO NOMINATE YOURSELF, A COLLEAGUE OR A SUPPLIER. In 2020, we’ve added four new categories: Flooring Installer ACE award, Graphics Technician ACE award, Extruded Aluminum System Installer ACE award, and Double Deck Installer ACE award. Be sure to nominate only the most deserving ACES!


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Exhibit City News Presents the Annual I&D ACE Awards 2020

Exhibit City News magazine is proud to honor the men and women on your crew with the ONLY national awards honoring I&D, contractors, laborers and contractor services who make the tradeshows and events HAPPEN! The ACE Awards honor the “BEST” of ACES for those who bring excellence to the show floors and exhibit houses. I&D ACES will be recognized for their dedication to company, customer, facility and co-working--for going above and beyond with their hard work, loyalty and dedication. FOUR new categories in 2020 include: Flooring Installer ACE, Graphics Technician ACE award, Extruded Aluminum System Installer ACE award, Double Deck Installer ACE award and MORE!

Visit ECNACEAwards.com for a complete list of categories and to see the videos and bios of 2019’s winners! Accepting Submissions now for the 2020 ECN ACE Awards!

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PEOPLE Bob & Rachel Dobinski, Corporate Communications & Corporate Events

FATHER KNOWS BEST… Especially When Passing the Torch in the Tradeshow Industry By Jeanne Brei


he tradeshow industry is filled with entrepreneurs who get their entire family involved in the family business. According to Cam Stevens of Stevens E3, designers and builders of innovative exhibits, environments and events, based near Toronto, Canada, “This was my father’s company, and before that, it was his father’s company. My grandfather founded the business in 1927. I sort of fell into the business by working summers and generating an interest in the organization at an early age. It was in the blood…” He adds, “Since our family has been in the business for close to 100 years, there is likely a lot of pressure, as a fourth generation potential successor, to step up and accept their fated role as being a leader of the company. There have been discussions as to what role they might play in the future, but both of them require some additional education and lots more on-the-job training before they can properly determine if running or owning a business is right for them. When I was

their age, I certainly did not have aspirations about owning the business, and when I ask myself when I did, I really struggle to answer. For me, it was a gradual evolution that naturally transitioned into an ownership. I did have apprehensions about running a business--still do. It’s not to be taken lightly. The pressure to consistently grow sales, maintain profitability and stay ahead in the industry can be exhausting and stressful. There are many rewards from running your own business as well though. As much as it would be great to see them in leadership positions, it has to be right for them.” “Right for them” has been a recurring theme with several fathers and their offspring. Highmark Techsystems/ICON Exhibits’ Mick Parrott explains, “Of my three daughters, I always felt Debbie had the aptitude, education, experience and disposition suited for this demanding business. With her excellent marketing background, competitive spirit and excep-

tional interpersonal skills, I knew she could be successful and hoped she would learn to love the industry as much as I did. Debbie exceeded my expectations on all counts and was instrumental in facilitating the merger of ICON Exhibits with Bay area-based Delphi Productions in 2009 to form Group Delphi where she became the new entity’s VP of Marketing. As I was making plans for my retirement, Debbie expressed her interest in Highmark’s business model and its potential for growth. The best option for all was to bring Debbie back to Indiana to test her ability to become my successor. She joined Highmark in 2014 as the company’s president where she once again demonstrated her affinity for the exhibit systems business and the requisite leadership skills. You can imagine how pleased I was when she approached me with an exciting vision for growing the company and a compelling proposition to acquire Highmark TechSystems in 2016,” adding, “Since acquiring Highmark, Debbie EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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Pictured above: Cam Stevens with wife Heather and Rebecca and Andrew; from L-R: Bill Haney with sons Chad and Brett; Zach and Robbie Blumenfeld; and Ned Brown with daughter Kellie Glasser and family

has demonstrated she has the vision and business acumen to lead the company to levels of new product development and new market penetration that I have never envisioned. She makes her dad more proud with each passing year.” Exhibit Concepts founder Ned Brown feels the same proud way about his successor, daughter Kelli Glasser. “I never had any apprehensions. I offered Kelli a job after she graduated from the University of Cincinnati but she respectfully declined saying she wanted to make her own way. After a couple years she came to work and it wasn’t long before she found her niche. I knew she was smart and innovative and would be a great addition to our company.” For Zach Blumenfeld, VP at Abex Exhibit Systems, not only was it right for him, it was a perfect fit. He explains, “My motivation for working at Abex was graphic design. I started designing as a natural progression that came from draw210 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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ing and painting at a young age and also due to my interest in music at around the age of 13, which led me to designing and coming up with flyer graphics for my first band in middle school,” adding, “I started working in the business part-time at the age of 15 and full-time by the time I was 18 (about 12 years now being full-time at Abex). I am being groomed for my dad’s position one day, and at the moment I am responsible for overlooking all marketing, design, sales and new business development. I had no apprehensions really about working for my dad. The business has always been something I’ve been invested in because of my interest in design and attention to detail.” Derse’s Brett Haney says, “I came back to the company five years ago in a vice president position and have climbed the ranks becoming president in the summer of 2016. As president I oversee the day to day operations of Derse. We are follow-

ing a succession plan that will see my dad, Bill Haney, and his business partner, Bill McNamara be able to retire in the next few years. Even in retirement however, I see both Bills being somewhat involved in the business; I wouldn’t want it any other way, as having both of them as counsel on challenges that arise is invaluable to me and the other members of our leadership group. Anything that can make us better and more successful will always be wanted at the company and having their decades of experience to bounce ideas off of is an incredible advantage many do not have in my position. I did not have any apprehensions about coming to work with my dad as I knew well beforehand that he would be demanding but also be a great mentor to help me grow as a business person. We have a great working relationship that I think is built on mutual respect for each other’s strengths and abilities.” Samantha Rebecky, field service


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years


1. Alejandro Escalante The Omega Group, Latin America

2. Cam Stevens

3. Bill Haney

4. Mick Parrott


5. Bob Dobinski

6. Rich Rebecky

Stevens E3, Toronto, Canada

Derse, Milwaukee, WI

Highmark Techsystems & ICON Exhibits, Fort Wayne, IN

Corporate Communications, CorpEvents New England, Westborough, MA

Coastal International, Wayne, NJ

7. Robbie Blumenfeld Abex Exhibits, San Fernando, CA

a. “While the assets on your balance sheet are important in that they reflect the strength of your company today, the most valuable asset for its long term survival is never shows on your balance sheet: It is your company’s reputation. The best way to build that asset is to always honor your commitments, even if that costs you more money.” b. “Always listen to the client and hear them out before you offer any solutions. Review the situation and always be straight up with them. And remember their names—it’s important to say hello to everyone and remember their names. People like that when you remember them.” c. “My advice for my children working to advance themselves in a business is to work to continuously educate yourself through schooling, seminars, industry trade events and trade associations. Get involved and get connected with like- minded industry peers. It’s critical that you understand how a business works and what makes it operate. I mean this from both a production perspective as well as administratively. Also, you can’t be good at everything, so pick what you love to do in the company and do that. Hire people to do what you don’t like or don’t want to do, because there are people that love doing those things that you hate doing. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, and can help you grow the company. Your job is to be a cheerleader for your team of people. They will grow the business.” d. “I don’t remember giving her business advice. As I remember, her early days were filled learning the functions of various departments and then implementing ways to improve the efficiency and service to our clients. I was comfortable with knowing that she is self motivated to achieve the best results on any task set before her. She made my decision to retire fairly easy. All she had to do was tell me she was ready to take the responsibility.” e. “Winning as a husband and father, the most important jobs in life, and as a teacher and coach, requires one to be hard-working, prepared, sensitive, tough, resilient, and dedicated to being at your best all the time. These are qualities needed in a successful entrepreneur and business manager.” f. “If you don’t love what you do someone else will and it makes it hard for you to compete.”

8. Ned Brown

Exhibit Concepts, Dayton, OH

9. Will Nixon

Willwork Exhibit & Event Services Boston, MA

Answers: 1g, 2c, 3f, 4a, 5i, 6b, 7h, 8d, 9e

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g. The same advice I give him for life is the one I give him for work, “do not lose your credibility and always keep what you promise.” h. “You have to run the business like you want to run it – like the Millenial that you are. Don’t try to run it like I would – run it the way you want to with your new ways of thinking.” i. “Pursue your level of happiness and go into the workplace so you can work to live and not just live to work. Let work be a means to create happiness outside the workplace and have a great life.”



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Pictured left: the late Richard Rebecky with daughter Samantha and family on the beach; pictured below: Debbie Parrott on father Mick’s lap.

supervisor at Coastal International, says, “I like to say I have always been in the business--granted I didn’t always work in the business but I grew up listening to stories from my dad and some of his managers whom are close friends now. I officially started working in the industry when I was about 18 years old just to help a new display house and make a few bucks while still in school. I was a project manager when I began but when I started at Coastal I was brought on to support the Northeast ops manager and whatever else they needed from me. Mainly, I work with the ops man-

ager here in New York and some small account management to assist the NY office as well. Ever since I started in this industry I have always worked with my father in some way. I used to be one of his clients and now he is my boss. We have always had a great bond because when I was younger he coached me in sports and I think it just carried over once I got older.” Bob Dobinski also coached his kids in sports and took them on the road to do I&D with Corporate Communications (Rachel and Michael talk about the fun of pulling all-nighters dismantling a sports event as a

Alejandro & Alex Escalante

family), and Rachel says, “my dad was always the coach who took all the kids no matter how they played.” Says her father, “It’s nice working with your kids but there’s no plans for succession or transition. I told them this has been my dream and if it matches up with your dream, then great. But no pressure.” Willwork’s founder Will Nixon taught and coached his eight children as well. Says Nixon, “I was married to my wife, Helen, for 52 years, until her passing in 2007, and together we brought up eight children, six girls and two boys. Bill was the third born. I taught high school history and social studies, and coached high school athletics, for 40 years. During my career in education, I taught Bill in the classroom, and coached Bill in football, basketball, and track,” adding, “Contributions I made to Bill’s success in the industry were largely through the example I set, and lessons I taught, apart from ... and prior to ... me working in the tradeshow business. I set the example as a husband and father, teacher and athletic coach.” When asked about their most memorable industry experience, three different sons mentioned going to Euroshop with their father. It may not be the reason that Andrew Stevens and Brett Haney are following in their father’s footsteps but as Alex Escalante, from Omega Group in Latin America, says, “My most memorable experience was working at Atelier Damböck and being part of their staff during the stand they had in the last edition of Euroshop. I really like to make work trips with my dad,” adding a sentiment shared by nearly all, “About my dad, he is my example to follow as a boss, as a father, but above all, as a person.” ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years


j. “I would say the best piece of advice he’s ever given me is to be your own man. Think for yourself and make decisions for yourself. Trust your own instincts as they usually are accurate.”

1. Alex Escalante

The Omega Group

2. Andrew Stevens E3


3. Rachel Stevens

Stevens E3

4. Brett Derse


5. Chad Haney


6. Kellie Glasser Exhibit Concepts

7. Samantha Rebecky

Coastal International

8. Zach Blumenfeld Abex Exhibits

9. Rachel Dobinski

Corporation Communications/ CorpEvents New England

10. Mike Dobinski

Corporation Communications/ CorpEvents New England

11. Debbie Parrott

Highmark Techsystems, Inc.

12. Bill Nixon

Teamwork Event Specialists

Answers: 1o, 2r, 3p, 4j, 5s, 6t, 7l, 8q, 9k, 10m, 11n, 12u

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k. “My dad’s advice is you should be working to live and not living to work. Make money to live and have a good life. Plus, he’s President Buddha. He just doesn’t get mad. He’s a solution maker who doesn’t yell at anyone. He just looks for people who can handle the adversities and be creative and come up with solutions.” l. “The best piece of advice my dad has given me would be that always say hi to everyone you meet. Even if you need to reintroduce yourself ALWAYS say hi to them because you never know when you will see them again or when they may be able to help you in the future. Another piece of advice he gave me was to never be afraid to ask questions. Don’t just guess and assume something. Ask and learn from that issue/question and I always have. Just simply being polite goes a long way.” m. “The event business is filled with changes—it’s not about sticking to the plan –it’s all about your attitude when changes are happening and how you’re adapting. That’s what separates the great event planners—understanding the client’s view and adapting to what needs to be done.” n. My dad has always said that this is a business where you need to be comfortable getting your hands dirty and pitching in to get the job done. When I took on the presidency and then the ownership, he said, you always pay your team and your suppliers first and yourself last. He also said to be sure and thank the families of your employees for all the time those employees have to spend away from them to do what’s needed at work. I subscribe to all this advice as well as to his unwavering stance on the importance of integrity, work ethic, attitude and listening. o. “ ‘You can’t be more successful than others, if you don’t work harder than the others’--that’s my dad´s advice.” p. “Work hard and look after your clients. Service, service, service. Make sure your customer’s experience is good, and they will continue to come back time and again as a partner rather than a client.” q. “I think the best advice my dad has given me about working in the business is to always be looking for new ideas and design developments or advances in technology that could help further product development and capabilities to be able to produce a perfectly tailored exhibit.” r. “Listen to what everyone around you has to say and learn from what they do, they know how best to do different things and you should learn from them before finding a way to do it yourself.” Dad has also told me on a few occasions to always surround yourself with people that are smarter than you.” s. “The best advice my dad gave me was to be my own man and think for myself.” t. “I don’t know that this was ever said as ‘advice’ per se, but I know Dad’s philosophy has always been “take care of the company and it will take care of you,” and I completely agree with that. We both possess the feeling of responsibility to take care of the company’s clients and employees.” u. “I owe a lot to my parents for any success I have achieved in life, and in business. And it has been a privilege and has brought me great personal and professional fulfillment to have been taught, coached, mentored, and guided by my father. A winner and a fiery competitor. I have inherited, and get a lot of my work ethic, competitiveness, creativity, and commitment to thorough preparation, from my father.” @EXHIBITCITYNEWS


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DON SVEHLA Publisher


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SECTION HIGHLIGHTS 216 Industry Leader Quotes 218 Trends Expected to Shape

the Future of Tradeshows

Vancouver Convention Centre

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223 NAB ShowCares: A Sea Change in the Industry?

226 The Fight for the Vegas

Tradeshow Industry 230 Strides in Sustainability


Exhibit City News 215

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ECN is to be applauded for its unwavering commitment to what Bill Gates coined “content is king.” Having started my career in publishing at Harvard Business School Press prior to joining the events industry, I appreciate the importance of thought-provoking, relevant and influential content. ECN’s content is that and more. Plus it provides an important platform for the voice of our dynamic industry and the pressing issues we face and manage daily. ECN does a masterful job of keeping a pulse on the subjects, businesses and people that make this face-toface marketing medium tick. We thank you ECN! Looking forward to another 25 years of compelling content!”

Congratulations on 25 years! What a tremendous achievement. The ECN team has timelessly covered our industry worldwide. It is an honor for SWX Global (formerly Southwest Displays & Events) to recognize this accomplishment and to be associated with such a f ine media organization.”

Congratulations to Don and the entire ECN Team on your anniversary! Can’t believe it’s already been 25 years that ECN’s been providing our industry with the news for exhibitors and our partners who make shows happen – not just in Las Vegas, but around the world! I remember… working with Don, brainstorming on topics for my early “Advice from The Booth Mom®” column – my version of Dear-Abbyfor- exhibit-managers – in the late ‘90s, and ECN running my cookie recipes with anecdotes about the wacky things that happen and people you get to meet when you take a big suitcase of homemade cookies to shows to share during set-up.”

Brian Cree CEO, SWX Global

Debbie Parrott President, Highmark TechSystems


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Candy Adams “The Booth Mom” Consulting


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

Don and the ECN team - congratulations and thank you for 25 years of valuable service to the exhibition industry. I look forward to reading ECN because in every issue I learn something new that helps my business. Don, I look forward to another 25 years of ECN’s timely and valuable content.”

Congratulations to Exhibit City News on its 25th Anniversary! There has been a whirlwind of technology change in the past two and a half decades that have transformed the exhibition experience -- and there are no signs of this slowing down! Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, attendee engagement applications and data integration/ sales automation tools are just a few the change drivers for the coming years. Thanks to your publication which has, year after year, helped keep us abreast of these and other trends happing for our industry. Keep up the good work!”

Sam Lippmann Producer, Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF), Attendee Acquisition Roundtable, Exhibit Sales Roundtable, Large Show Roundtable

Congratulations on 25 years to Exhibit City News, Don and team. They have been a wealth of knowledge to our industry and a great support to me, my career and now Plus Studios. We are really lucky to have the people that we work with at Plus Studios. Everyone gives a whole lot, they put their heart and soul into everything they do all the time, and it’s nice to have peers and industry organizations like Exhibit City News that recognize and support our growth. It took some time for our group to be what it is today, and I’m very thankful. Like Exhibit City News, we are a small team that does big things, and I am looking forward to the next 25 years.”

Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, DES Corbin Ball & Co. Matt Naert, CEO Plus Studios


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HOW WILL OUR GARDEN GROW? Trends Expected to Shape the Future of Tradeshows by Cynthya Porter


hirty or so years ago, tradeshows were viewed with a palpable disdain by many in the C-suite who regarded them as marginally successful, inordinately expensive, and little more than boondoggles for managers and existing customers. Some—painting tradeshows as having woefully little value to the company—openly lamented the pressure to attend for the sake of image alone and said wistfully how they wished they could just dump the money into operating profits instead. In one such article in 1983, the Harvard Business Review famously quoted Burton Salomon of Manhattan Industries saying, “Everything nowadays is done for the show management, not for the exhibitors. The only other ones to get anything out of tradeshows are the hotels and the prostitutes.” Imagine Salomon’s surprise if he were to happen upon a show floor today. Not only would it look dramatically different with its soaring displays and multimedia-infused clamor, but it would be different, with an entirely revived position in every company’s best marketing plans. To wit, in 1979, the Harvard Business Review counted some 7,857 tradeshows in the United States with a total spend of roughly $6 billion. The most recent figures available say those numbers today are closer to 13,000 shows and around $14 billion, though the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) says the total halo effect of the exhibition industry a whopping $97 billion. It would be difficult to say what provoked growth over the past few decades, though it’s likely to have started with emerging products, budding trends and shifting ideologies that were in their infancy when Salomon and others made their observations. So, then, with 25 years of industry transformation under its belt, Exhibit City News is looking to the future 218 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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and postulating what budding factors will shape the next 25 years to come.

1. Sustainability A few years ago, the Green initiatives in the tradeshow universe were viewed by more than a few as a fad, fringe movement without a practical purpose or a tangible result. “Going Green” was expensive and there didn’t seem to be much of an attendee outcry over the fact that exhibition industry as a whole is considered the second most wasteful industry in the country behind construction. But that 600,000 tons of garbage—most of which ended up in landfills—began to weigh heavy on the environmentally conscious generations entering the workforce in more recent years and they began to sound a drumbeat for change. That movement got real for corporations when studies revealed that people, especially millennials, are increasingly likely to look for companies that share their social values to do business with. In fact, a large

number of them say shared values would generate loyalty for a company even if its costs were higher than competitors. With that being the case, growing alarm over pollution, waste and climate change have caused a globe-sized pivot for the exhibition industry. Now, a company’s sustainability and environmental conservation practices are just as important for many as the price and quality of its widgets. Booth materials are becoming recyclable, tchotchkes are becoming reusable, and food service operations are turning to compostable silverware and plant-based meats. This progression towards environmental responsibility shows no signs of slowing, with even the frequency of air travel coming under fire. “Flight shaming” is an emerging mindset that challenges the necessity of many of the world’s 38 million flights per year. The combination of flight shaming and improvements in virtual and augmented reality could have a significant impact on the structure of the exhibition industry going forward.

At the Cobo or TCF Center SB19 (Sustainability conference)


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

2. Personalized Experiences A few decades ago, people were enamored with the newfound anonymity of the digital world and many relished the privacy generated by things like avatars and nickname-based email addresses. The invisibility cloak provided by the internet depersonalized virtually everything, particularly in the world of business relationships, and that was just fine for most Gen Xers. Professionals entering the workforce today, however, are more likely to view that anonymity with distrust. They want to do business with people who understand them and share their values, not corporations. Their expectation of privacy has been demolished thanks to internet tracking, and studies show they increasingly crave face-to-face interaction and engagement that seems personally designed for them. The movement towards personalized ex-

periences provided on the tradeshow floor has taken many forms—from portraits painted in cappuccino foam to customizable scents and lighting during booth visits. Also, more and more displays are focused less on demo stations and more on creating a comfortable place for attendees to relax in an effort to foster that interpersonal relationship so prized today. Gamification, tactile experiences, services like massage and USB ports —there are a multitude of ways exhibitors are increasingly working on that human connection. But technology experts predict this is just a tiny glimpse of the personalization to come. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Near Field Communication (NFC), and Bluetooth technology are finding their way to the mainstream show floor, unlocking content by proximity that, in a growing number of cases, has been customized to a particular attendee. Beacon technology, a relative newcomer, is fine-tuning that

personalization by allowing attendees to control the information that is delivered to them as well as communicate with other attendees. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is evolving into another tool for personalization, particularly when combined with attendee data and mapping technology provided by RFID and NFC. Rather than just recite preprogramed information, AI conceptually has the ability to tell where attendees ate lunch, which booths they stopped at, and what their pain points are as evidenced by the sessions they are attending and material they are reading. But technology visionaries like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk think this is only the beginning, with AI eventually able to be hardwired into a person’s brain to address what they’re thinking without them having to ask. An attendee experience really can’t get more personal than that and some of the world’s brightest technology minds say it’s coming. EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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3. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Both have been swirling around the show floor for some time, but the technology is still scarce enough that a primer is in order, as they are expected to impact the exhibition industry differently. Augmented reality is a computer-generated view superimposed over a real view of the world, creating a composite view. Virtual reality is complete immersion into a digitally created environment, often with the aid of a headset or glasses. Mixed reality, an emerging technology, is a combination of both. Historically, the technology has been expensive to use and somewhat unrefined, making it more of a novelty than a staple in the business of exhibitions. But pundits say it is advancing at an accelerated rate, bringing up quality while bringing down cost, and both styles of altered reality are expected to eventually dominate not only the show floor, but everyday life. As budgets wane and costs for travel rise, not to mention the proliferation of flight shaming that is taking place, pressure will intensify on attendees to find alternative ways to gather the information available at a tradeshow. The world of virtual reality is perfect for creating an experience that


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is completely immersive—whether that virtual environment is created by a single exhibitor or a show organizer. Not unlike video games that livestream players from remote locations, a virtual reality tradeshow is expected to eventually replicate the show floor experience in astonishing detail. But rather than looking at 3D models of products not practical to display in an exhibit, attendees to the virtual show could walk through the corridors of architectural samples or sit in the cockpit of a new aircraft. The possibilities are literally unlimited for virtual reality and it is expected to explode in the coming years. For attendees, a sophisticated augmented reality platform could create speakers, performers, demonstrations and more as they walk the show floor. But where they are currently required to use a tiny smartphone screen and an app to see the augmented space, in the future it could be as simple as donning a pair of specialty glasses. This is the point, technology mavens say, when augmented reality and virtual reality will begin to mix, as something like glasses will allow an immersive environment that a smartphone screen will not. Add in AI, and it’s quite possible that we can’t even imagine yet what technology will be capable of in 25 years.

Not unlike video games that livestream remote players, a virtual reality tradeshow is expected to eventually replace the show floor experience ...”

So great is the evolution of augmented and virtual reality supposed to be that there is even speculation that eventually we will have trouble discerning what is real and what is not. But one thing definitely real: Exhibitors will be provided an unforgettable way to engage an attendee on the show floor—no matter whether it’s physical or virtual.


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

4. Attendee Data Management

For as long as there have been tradeshows, exhibit managers have struggled to collect and use data from attendees, though it’s not for lack of trying. Consider this: A Google search of the term “lead capture” turns up nearly a million results— so there’s plenty of reading material out there for those trying to get it right. But event experts say it won’t be pep talks, but rather advances in lead management systems, that finally make good lead management a reality. Systems emerging today do much more than the primitive badge scanners of years gone by. They qualify leads, add salesperson

notes, send collateral, deliver custom emails and upload every minutia of information to a cloud customer management system. Those products are making their way into the common area of exhibitry, but an attitudinal shift will need to accompany them for their use to be widespread. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, only about a quarter of exhibit managers even know what happens to the leads collected at a show. Exhibit Surveys finds that 87 percent of show leads are never effectively followed up on, and researchers at Fish Software say that the average exhibitor takes 26 days to follow up on a lead collected at an

exhibition. For companies with increasing pressure to demonstrate the return on investment for exhibiting, these statistics suggest they have obviously not been hitting it out of the park as a general rule. But a growing abundance of user-friendly ways to collect and process leads leaves critics hopeful that the coming years will find new rigor for managing and following up on attendee information. Expected to complicate that will be the General Data Protection Regulation—a set of personal data rules already in place for the European Union but expected to sweep the world in the coming years. In short, the regulations limit the way an individual’s data can be collected, used and shared. They currently apply to all EU residents and any companies worldwide trying to do business with them. While personal data protection is generally regarded as a good thing, instituting a system for managing the data on individuals in compliance with GDPR will be expensive for many corporations not prepared to do so. Among the regulations are that a company must gain (and be able to show) explicit consent for the collection of personal data—including phone numbers or email addresses—and obtain specific permission for how the company may contact a person going forward. Also, a person may ask to review the information a company maintains about them and may ask to have that data purged from the system for any reason. For companies just perfecting their data collection, it adds a wrinkle that will need to be considered. When it comes to how the tradeshow industry evolves over future decades, there are a great many variables that might come into play. Trade wars, health pandemics, climate change, data security and the pace at which “reality” technology develops will all have a seat at the table, as will the economy and, of course, Generations Z and Alpha. Researchers have speculated that the coming generations will be like millennials on steroids, but no one is saying that’s a bad thing. After all, the desire of incoming workforces for face-to-face marketing is part of what is ruddering this industry forward and ensuring it flourishes as a useful business tool for all sorts of professionals— except for, that is, prostitutes. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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Champion Logistics Group would like to congratulate Exhibit City News on 25 great years!

TRADESHOW. RETAIL. LIVE EVENT. AUDIO VISUAL. CHAMPION. 800.323.5401 | info@champlog.com | www.champlog.com

Visit Our Website DAILY UPDATES People on the Move, News, International News, Features From the Print Magazine & Historical Features too! Check ExhibitCityNews.com for the latest, breaking news in the industry!


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onfusing and exorbitant drayage calculations. Hidden electrical charges. Mystifying rigging expenses. These are some exhibitor pain points— and there are more causing a considerable amount of agony. Many exhibit managers, often those at larger companies, have reluctantly swallowed the bitter pill and adjusted their budgets upward year after year. But for some, the ballooning costs and frustration are just too much to choke down, so they abandon tradeshows and take their budget dollars to road shows, customer events, or other face-to-face opportunities. B.J. Enright and Amanda Helgemoe are all too familiar with those pain points. Enright is president and CEO of event solution company Tradeshow Logic, and Helgemoe is president of national installation and dismantle contractor Nuvista. From their respective positions on the service side of the industry, they have cultivated a deep empathy for the plight of beleaguered exhibit managers who feel taken advantage of by trade show pricing models that defy understanding or budget controls. The truth is that everyone in the tradeshow universe knows about those pain points, but the difference between everyone else and these women is that Helgemoe and Enright are doing something to change things. Each woman took a different path to the exhibition world. Enright is a third-generation general service contracting professional, and Helgemoe found her way to I&D by way of the corporate side of sales and marketing 22 years ago. But the tie that binds them is work with advocacy for exhibitor issues, and each espouses an unwavering sense that these issues could—and should—be handled better. Enright began working in the industry in 1991 collating service kits for her grandfather’s firm, Andrews-Bartlett & Associates Inc. With college, she moved to the show services desk. She remembers her mother,

Bonnie Aaron Sorensen, now the Tradeshow Logic CEO, rallying staff at meetings. “She has always been an advocate for exhibitors,” Enright says. “She wanted everyone to work in the exhibitor services area so they could understand it. At company meetings, she would ask the room, ‘Raise your hand if you

...flat rates for material handling and all-inclusive pricing for some services... would save many exhibitors significant sums & infinitely simplify show billing...

are in exhibitor service,’ and she would make everyone in the company raise their hands.” The business, Enright says, is in her blood, and she has always loved it. Also in her blood is a sense that she should give back by advocating for exhibitor rights, something she says her grandfather’s firm was always known for. Helgemoe always knew she wanted to run her own company, she just didn’t know at first what it would look like. It was chance that angled her into the industry through the I&D door, but after four years working for other firms, she knew what she wanted to do. “I felt the timing was right to go out on my

own and build a better product and service,” she says. Now, having achieved that through Nuvista, she focuses energy on the mission of the Exhibitor Advocacy Group, an organization comprising of exhibitors, show organizers, union leaders, exhibit houses, and general service contractors that spreads the gospel of fair market fees and transparent pricing to show organizers around the country. It was their mutual concern that brought Enright and Helgemoe together to push for exhibitor rights. The pair gave a presentation at the last Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) ACCESS conference to talk about a movement for change that is starting like a ground-swell but has the makings of a tidal wave. In short, they spoke of a pricing model that included flat rates for material handling and all-inclusive pricing for some show services, both measures that would save many exhibitors significant sums and simplify show billing. But this wasn’t just talk. The model they shared was set to be rolled out at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show 2019, a mammoth event for the media communications industry, and the very thought of it was radical enough to set the room buzzing. After all, if someone is saving money, that means someone else is making less money, or so conventional thinking suggests. And if someone is making less money, they are bound to be unhappy, at least in theory. But the reality, Helgemoe says, is that profits for many were already shrinking. The pricing model in place for the past several decades was rising so exponentially that it was pushing some smaller exhibitors off the show floor. For larger companies, huge drayage charges were prompting them to bring less equipment and pull back on their show-floor footprints. And for exhibitors continuing to buy space, the mind-numbing confusion caused by the show services pricing meant they were utterly unable to budget for expenses accurately, caus@EXHIBITCITYNEWS

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B.J. Enright explains how the NAB Show Care initatives were determined during the “State of the Industry” seminar at EDPA ACCESS last December

ing many to spend less so they could better weather the surprise of the final invoice. Smaller exhibitor numbers inevitably resulted in lower attendance for many events, and the trade show industry was spinning in a viciously destructive circle. Venues, show organizers, general service contractors (GSCs) and exhibitor-appointed contractors (EACs) have all felt the squeeze of fewer dollars floating around the trade show universe, and it was obvious to people like Helgemoe and Enright that the old ways were not working. “For as long as the industry has been here, it has been called a cottage industry, meaning each little show had its own house and did everything however it wanted to,” says Helgemoe. As such, rates for things like drayage rose relatively unchecked and show service pricing increasingly lost its transparency, with exhibitors usually forking over more than they anticipated. “But it has hit a ceiling and it can’t keep going,” Helgemoe says. “Corporations can’t sustain it—they aren’t increasing their budgets anymore so they are going to have to make cuts if prices continue to rise.” A few shows have tried over the years to institute more reasonable pricing models, most notably PACK Expo, which switched to flatrate drayage fees at least a decade ago. Though the show eventually boomed with the new fee structure, the concept didn’t get a foothold in the industry, Helgemoe says. With more large firms controlling multiple shows and pressure growing on exhibitor budgets, the time to push for broader acceptance of a new pricing model is now, she says, lest the industry continue to suffer under the old ways. Enright would argue that the old pricing 224 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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model has never worked, primarily because it causes significant exhibitor distress and disenfranchises them in the process. “I think exhibitors for so long have felt like they are taken for granted,” she says. “Like if we build it, they will come, and no one goes to the exhibitor to ask them what they need.” As such, when Tradeshow Logic functions as a GSC, which is one of the capabilities of the company, it has always used a variation of the exhibitor care and pricing models put in place for NAB because Enright thinks it’s only right. Tradeshow Logic was not the GSC for NAB, but rather it was a consultant brought in by the association because leaders were aware of the company’s revolutionary show production model. “They approached us and said, ‘We want you to make exhibiting easier and lower costs significantly and in a way that will stay in place on an ongoing basis,’” says Enright. “They wanted us to challenge the industry paradigm. Of course, there were people who said it can’t be done, but we started doing research—talking to exhibitors and exhibitor-appointed contractors to identify what their challenges were.” Enright says the NAB Exhibitor Advisory Committee was instrumental in generating a frank dialog, and the willingness of the NAB senior leadership to drive innovation was a pivot point for the organization. What emerged from that process was NAB Show Cares, a show-services program that gets to the heart of what was bothering NAB exhibitors most. The most striking element of NAB Show Cares is a flat drayage fee of $3.85 per square foot of booth space no matter the weight or volume of material being moved to the show

floor. Helgemoe says she had customers who saved as much as 60 percent under the new material handling structure. Also of considerable note is revamped and reduced rigging pricing that includes rigging supplies with the rigging crew rate for one transparent fee, and the new “no surprises electrical outlet pricing” that lowered the price and wrapped all electrical charges into one up-front cost. Exhibitors also gained the ability to sell goods on the show floor and access their own clouds through a new portal. To achieve the significant savings that NAB Show Cares represented, Tradeshow Logic bid out each element of show services separately: material handling, electrical, rigging, and everything else together (including decorating, furniture, etc.). The rationale for this, Enright says, was that it would isolate each service and promote fair market pricing for it. It also gave organizers the ability to consider specialized vendors who may have never crossed the show’s radar before, and it allowed NAB officials to see the true costs of each component of the event. But mostly, Enright acknowledged, it was to wrestle the crocodile in the room: drayage. “Material handling is kind of like alcohol at a restaurant,” she says. A lot of profitability can be cloaked in alcohol, she explains, much like the profit margins that can be tucked into drayage charges. And those profit margins, Helgemoe says, have gotten a bit out of hand, with the wrong group often being blamed. “A misconception is that the rates have to be so high because of union wages,” she says. “Unions are taking a beating over it, but union wages are not tracking anywhere near the increases in material handling, which can be at a minimum double, or four, five, six times, sometimes even 10 times the rate of inflation over the past 20 years.” Case in point: A 10-year study of cost increases at McCormick Place in Chicago found that over that period, union wages rose 23 percent, independent labor wages rose 24 percent, inflation rose 19 percent, and drayage—on the low end—increased by 42 percent, and on the high side by 142 percent, sometimes even within the same show, Helgemoe says. But exhibitors might be willing to forgive some of the burgeoning costs if they were told about them up front rather than experiencing sticker shock when they receive the invoice. “I think, of all the pain points, transparency is at the top,” Helgemoe says. “That came out of listening to customers who are very, very frustrated


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

that they couldn’t get transparency in an exhibitor service kit. They need fair market pricing and they need predictable costs. Those things are at the core of the problem. If show organizers are upset because the show floor is declining, we have a solution for them. We believe if organizations really understood the pricing better, then they might be able to negotiate better on behalf of exhibitors and control these costs.” The new pricing model may not be popular with everyone, as the 10x10-foot booth exhibitors must now pay the same material handling fee per square foot as everyone else, even if they previously hand-carried their materials into the show and paid no material handling charges. In the case of PACK Expo, the year they first changed to a squarefoot model for drayage, the show floor did shrink and officials were wary of the same possibility at NAB. But that was not the case, Enright says, and it appears that the changes will only make the show stronger. Part of the point, Enright says, is to encourage all exhibitors to create a better experience for attendees. She hopes that the savings from lowered costs will be

poured back into exhibit marketing and that the flat fee for any amount of material handling will encourage exhibitors to bring more elaborate efforts to the show floor. Enright is quick to point out that there is no generic fix for every show, as flat-rate material handling might not be feasible for certain industries, rigging fees might be more complex for others and the differences in exclusive providers from one venue to the next might complicate certain changes. “Every show is different and not all can do exactly what NAB Show Cares does,” she says. “Where the pressure comes in is that organizers can no longer believe that exhibitors will automatically come.” The key, she adds, is for associations and organizers to be sincere in engaging exhibitors to learn what would make their experience more satisfying. “The most important thing is that exhibitors feel they were heard and it resulted in significant changes. At NAB, exhibitors now believe that something is going to change when they communicate with organizers about problems.” With NAB 2019 under their belts, Enright and Helgemoe seem optimistic that


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the numbers will support the new pricing structure. Helgemoe says her clients were ecstatic at the savings they achieved under the new model. Enright says anecdotal evidence suggests the show did well, but she says she and her team will assess everything about the roll out of the revamped pricing to see if anything needs tweaking. Even though the results are preliminary, it appears the women’s efforts for change have the potential to transform the industry. Perhaps this is not how they envisioned their legacy when they entered the tradeshow world. But today, both say it is their mission to bring transparency to an industry that has been so good to them. “I was taught from my parents that we are here to serve other people,” Helgemoe says. “That’s always been my underlying motivation. It’s not about me; it’s about my ability to affect people in a positive way.” Enright, who says her grandfather imparted similar values to her, echoes those sentiments. “I would really like people to know that I care. I love exhibitors and I really want to give back,” she says. “I would like to implement change so our remarkable industry can grow and thrive.” ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Labor and Management Working Together


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Unions, management, labor and associations all joined together in the fight Jerry Stueve, the director of the Clark County Department of Building & Fire Prevention, and Werner Hellmer, the CCBD engineering manager, planned a two-and-a-half hour presentation on the new building code requirements for temporary structures (2018 CCBAC 226 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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22.02.065) on Nov. 15, and it seemed as if they thought that they would be addressing casino/resort and music festival planners. Unfortunately, nearly the entire audience of about 100 were from the tradeshow/ convention industry, and they didn’t want to learn how to implement all the new rules—they wanted to know why the tradeshow industry wasn’t exempted from these onerous and expensive new permitting requirements. And the 1 p.m. meeting lasted nearly four hours. Stueve admitted he had written the new rules because he thought the structures built by the Rock in Rio music festival in 2015 weren’t built to code for safety and he wanted to write new rules so that future festivals as well as casinos that wanted a tent on the top of a parking garage or other temporary structures would need to

get their plans approved. In a follow-up email, he wrote, “the current ordinance was also due to new requirements in the 2018 International Fire Code.” As he explained at the meeting, the fact that these new rules also impacted the two-story structures inside convention centers was an “unintended consequence.” Unfortunately, it was also an expensive consequence during SEMA when it was enforced for tradeshows (the law had gone into effect Feb. 4 this year). Exhibit builders suddenly discovered: 1. All plans for two-story structures have to be prepared by “an engineer who has a Nevada Engineering license in accordance with Nevada Revised Statute NRS 625.” Even if, as Jeffery Harms from CB Displays International, protested at the meeting and then sent a follow-up email to


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

clarify, they’ve submitted a “rental structure in the past and the stamped drawings and calculations have been sufficient, being done by an engineer familiar with the Octanorm structure in Atlanta where the structure came from, we now have to hire a Las Vegas engineer who has no idea what Octanorm is, to have a new set of drawings, calculations and stamps, in order to obtain a temporary building permit?” Hellmer replied, “In order to obtain a temporary use building permit in accordance with 2018 CCBAC 22.02.065 a new set of engineered plans and calculations would be required to address compliance with current building codes (2018 IBC and others as referenced in the presentation),” adding, “many engineers located in other states and even other countries have Nevada Engineering licenses so the restriction is based upon licensure and not location.” 2. Harms also said what was on the minds of many of those at the presentation, when he asked in his follow-up email, “Even though we are a licensed business in the tradeshow industry, who by contract employs teamsters from Local 631 as the trained labor force to install our exhibits, in order to obtain a temporary building permit, we now have to hire a general building/construction contractor (GC) from Nevada, again who may have absolutely no idea what or how our Octanorm or any other rental system assembles etc. in the tradeshow arena and have them noted on the application for said temporary permit?” Hellmer’s reply: “We are only able to issue commercial building permits to contractors that have a state of Nevada contractor’s license of the appropriate type for the scope of work being performed; scope of licensure is ultimately determined by the Nevada State Contractors Board and the requirements are detailed in NRS 624 and NAC 624. We further suggest that permit applicants seek the services of contractors that are either familiar with or able to learn the particulars of a new system. There are contractors that specialize in temporary works, rigging and theatrics. It is also possible for a current tradeshow company to obtain a Nevada contractor’s license and we understand that some companies are taking or have taken this approach.” One audience member then brought up that “$87,000 went to people who didn’t step foot at SEMA and had no part of the design or the build” based on the number of two-story structures and what their engineer charges to arrange a general

contractor pick up in order to receive the temporary building permit. One exhibit builder mentioned that his cost for getting his SEMA plans approved went from $450 to $5,000. Questions were asked by the crowd if the GC on the plans also has to build the exhibit and they replied “a contractor is required to “pull” the permit.” 3. Hellmer then started to explain that the permit cost was going to be on a sliding scale which would be based on the cost of labor (including set up and tear down) and the use of materials (rental fees). An audience member then asked, “If this is really a safety issue, then why isn’t there just a flat fee for tradeshow booths and not a sliding scale?” Hellmer replied that it might be possible for a flat fee to replace the sliding scale for tradeshow booths in the future but that’s not the case at this time. When Harms asked for clarification on the permit costs in a follow-up email, Hellmer replied, “We need a single valuation value provided that would generally include the cost of labor (including set up and tear down) and the use of materials (rental fees) associated with the project. We are specifically not wanting to capture outof-town/state/country transportation costs in the valuation so feel free to take those costs out of the valuation used for building permit fee calculations. For projects where the materials are owned and there is no rental fee we would look at some form of amortized or depreciated value of the structure for the period of time in use plus the set up and tear down costs.” Exhibit builders as well as representatives from the Teamsters asked how the Building Department planned to actually inspect all these two-story booths at CES—when one audience member yelled out, “I’m letting you know now, that we would need to have 65 booths inspected for CES,” adding that for many shows it might be on a Saturday or Sunday, and there wouldn’t be much time between when the booth is finished and the show opens. Hellmer had a slide that addressed this concern explaining that he wanted the audience’s feedback before he committed to bringing in more inspectors for big shows or allowed for consultants to be used for the inspections. Those in attendance merely explained that they didn’t want him to bring in more inspectors or hire consultants—they simply wanted the previous exemption for tradeshows to be brought back. Hellmer insisted that he didn’t have the power to not enforce the law but that

they are in the process of “relaxing” the rules for tradeshows and he wanted to stay “vague” on what was being relaxed because it wouldn’t go into effect until March or April of 2020 (if the County Commissioners approve the changes to the law). Lorri Monty, show director of operations for SEMA, then asked point-blank, “how much of the industry do we (Las Vegas) have to lose before you’ll exempt the convention industry?” as another yelled out, “no other city in the U.S. is asking for this level of temporary building permits and fees to build a tradeshow booth that will only be up for three or four days.” Gerri Groubert from Pavilion Event Services asked why the tradeshow industry wasn’t consulted when these rules were being written—and when told that the new “relaxing” rules are currently in “process” but they didn’t want to say what the changes included—wanted to know why there couldn’t be some input from the tradeshow industry before the “relaxing” rules are submitted to the legislature. Stueve explained that he could do that but that it would slow down when the changes would take effect because of what goes into changing a law. Groubert mentioned that back in 2008 or so, the director of the building code regulations, had weekly meetings with the tradeshow industry to discuss how best to maximize both safety and efficiency when creating new regulations. Daniel Campbell, S.E. of ATC Construction and a structural engineer/contractor, asked if there could be a hotline specifically set up for inspection requests on the weekends. Hellmer replied that they were giving consideration to allowing the design engineer to provide independent inspection services and help expedite the matter. Joey DeBlanco, P.E., president of Las Vegas Civil Engineering, also sent a follow-up email to Stueve asking about the changes that are being proposed to make it easier for tradeshow booths and Stueve promised that “we will publish the entire proposed ordinance for public comment. I will let you know when that occurs. The notice will also be posted in the [Las Vegas] Review-Journal.” In the meantime, for those who missed the meeting, Hellmer has posted all the slides on their website and you can see the slides at http://www. clarkcountynv.gov/building/engineering/ Documents/Temporary%20Use%20 Structure%20Building%20Permit%20Process%20Version%201.1.pdf @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

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View this entire issue online at issuu.com/ exhibitcitynews


ECN’s 2020 I&D ACE Awards Submissions Deadline is Jan. 30

January/February 2020 • VOL. 26 • ISSUE 1



Tommy Blitsch from Teamsters Local 361 led the counter-attack with the following letter to the County Commissioners December 4, 2019 Clark County Commisioners: Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Chairman, District B Lawrence Weekly, Vice Chairman, District D Michael Naft, District A Larry Brown, District C Tick Segerblom, District E Justin Jones, District F James B. Gibson, District G 500 S Grand Central Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89155 Dear County Commissioners, I am writing this letter with great concern regarding the recent change to the Clark County Building Administrative Code, and implementation of such code, and the catastrophic affect it will have on the Trade Show/Convention Industry in Southern Nevada. Teamsters Local 631 and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters strongly opposes these changes and we support all facilities, contractors, associations, workers, and the residents of Nevada who will be affected by this change. As you may or may not know, Teamsters Local 631 represents over 5,000 tradesmen and tradeswomen who work directly in the trade show industry in Southern Nevada. We take great pride in our partnership with our signatory contractors and the facilities as we all strive to create a safe working environment for everyone working in the trade show industry. This partnership has helped make Southern Nevada the top trade show destination in the world and brings millions of dollars in revenue to our city and state on a yearly basis. On November 15, 2019, I attended the meeting held by the Clark County Department of Building & Fire Prevention regarding the changes and implementation of the new requirements covered under the new Clark County Building Administrative Code (Title 22.02). Also, in attendance at 228 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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this meeting were numerous industry experts including representatives from trade show associations, LVCVA, Sands, and numerous local trade show contractors. This meeting was conducted by Mr. Werner Hellmer and Mr. Jerry Stueve from the Clark County Department of Building and Fire Prevention. As this meeting progressed, it became obvious to all in attendance that the following had not been done prior to these decisions being made: 1. Due diligence of the financial impact to our city and state including, but not limited to, shows moving to other cities. 2. Due diligence of the extraordinary high increased costs added to the trade show contractors, facilities, and exhibitors. 3. Inclusion and communication with the trade show contractors and/or experts who set up and tear down these shows prior to this new code being implemented. In addition to the issues listed above, I find it confusing that the change of code documents that were presented at the November 15, 2019 meeting do not reflect what was submitted to the County Commissioners on January 7, 2019, and voted and approved by the County Commissioners on January 22, 2019. I have attached to this letter the recommendation presented to the County Commissioners on January 7, 2019, the ordinance that was unanimously approved by the County Commissioners on January 22, 2019 with an effective date of February 6, 2019, the CCBAC Permit Guide 401, as well as the PowerPoint presentation given at the November 15, 2019 meeting by Mr. Helmer and Mr. Stueve. It is also confusing why facilities are being finedcontractors are being forced to pay outrageous permitting fees, (as high as $9,000 per booth), and clients of these contractors are having to downsize their booths as a result of these changes. When asked about the reasoning behind the new rules and the changes, the response that was given to the group was “it was an unintended consequence”. The “unintended consequences” of these changes can and will cause severe and permanent harm to the convention industry in Southern Nevada. As the Director of Conventions, Trade Shows and Casino Division for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, I have seen firsthand shows in other cities pack up shop and leave because of restrictions similar to these. Many of


these cities rolled back the rules they implemented to bring their lost shows back with zero success. In short, when the show and exhibitors leave, they leave for good. These cities are now licking their chops at the prospect of taking shows from Las Vegas and relocating them to their cities. The result of just one of these major shows leaving Las Vegas will result in a loss of millions of dollars in revenue for Southern Nevada. In closing, I would respectfully ask for the County Commissioners to intervene and address this detrimental interpretation. The existing code, 22.02.190 Section H, should be used until a responsible solution is presented. In a few weeks the start of the busiest time of the Las Vegas trade shows calendar begins with CES, SHOT, World of Concrete, IBS, KBIS, NADA, ISC WEST, Surfaces, PPAI, Con Expo/Con Agg. and Magic. It is imperative to the trade show community, Las Vegas, and the state of Nevada, that this current situation doesn’t cause additional “unintended consequences” during these shows. PLUS



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Respectfully, Tommy Blitsch

Secretary Treasurer/ CEO Teamsters Local 631 Director; Conventions, Trade Shows & Casino Division, International Brotherhood of Teamsters PART 3


LVCVA Board to reimburse SEMA fees but exemption is only temporary

Many in the tradeshow industry received emails on Dec. 10 that seemed as if Santa was granting all their Christmas wishes. First, the LVCVA Board voted unanimously at their regular meeting to adopt agenda item #10 which states: “That the Board consider: 1) Authorizing the CEO/President to execute amended agreements with Muller Construction, Above the Ceiling, and Las Vegas Civil Engineering for exhibitor booth engineering services not to exceed a cumulative amount of $625,000; and 2) Authorizing the CEO/President to pay all Clark


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years County permit fees related to these design services not to exceed $500,000.” Next came an email from Jerry Stueve, P.E., director/building & fire official, that was a “Notice to Industry” re: Temporary Structures Permitting Requirements that says, “Effective Dec. 10, 2019, temporary structures, booths, sets and scenery used for conventions are exempted from requiring a building permit.” Unfortunately, the next paragraph states “we could allow the permit exemption ... until such time as a proposed amendment to the ordinance related to termporary structures is approved.” So, unfortunately, the Las Vegas tradeshow industry is not yet saved; it has only received a reprieve so that CES, the Shot Show, ConExpo, et.al. may go on without worrying about the new rule changes. Stueve included another three attachments to his email along with the temporary exemption letter, including the proposed ordinance, a public notice and a questionnaire. In his email, he writes: “Pursuant to NRS 237.080, please take notice the following proposed change to the Clark County Code is being proposed by the

Clark County Board of County Commissioners as follows: An ordinance to amend the Building Administrative Code, Title 22, Chapter 22.02 Attached is the public notice, the proposed ordinance, and the questionnaire. Each of these documents are also available for review at http:// www.clarkcountynv.gov/building/Pages/ ProposedOrdinances.aspx and the Clark County Department of Building and Fire Prevention Customer Lobby at 4701 W. Russell Road, Las Vegas, NV 89118. The Public Notice states: “Prior to the adoption of the proposed rule, the Clark County Board of County Commissioners is required by NRS 237.080 to make a concerted effort to determine whether the proposed rule will impose a direct and significant economic burden upon a business or directly restrict the formation, operation or expansion of a business. Due to this, trade associations, owners and officers of businesses which are likely to be affected by this proposed rule, and any other interested persons are required to be notified and provided an opportunity to submit comments, data, or arguments to the County regarding whether the proposed rule will:

a) Impose a direct and significant economic burden upon a business; or b) Directly restrict the formation, operation or expansion of a business. Comments must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 3, 2020 by email to Theresa.Atimalala@ClarkCountyNV.gov. So, the fight has really only just begun. Tommy Blitsch, secretary/treasurer of Teamsters Local 631, says, “I hope that EVERYONE fills this out. Obviously they are doing their “Due Diligence” this time so there’s no “unintended consequences.” Obviously our collective voices have been heard and the County Commissioners have granted us a “do over.” Teamsters Local 631 is going to continue to monitor this and talk with the political leaders of our state to see this all the way to the end. In addition we will be in attendance at the County Commission meeting when this is voted on to voice our support if need for the convention industry in our city. Please forward this to any and all entities in our tradeshow community. The business impact study is vital to protecting Las Vegas as the number one convention destination in the world.” ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Safe temporary power solutions Exceptional customer service www.edlen.com (800) 553-3536


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n October 8, 2018, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a comprehensive report warning that world governments must make “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to prevent irreversible consequences related to global warming. The report identifies the year 2030 as a crucial benchmark, when global temperatures are expected to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. Experts warn that at this level and beyond, we can expect increased heatwaves, sea level rise, droughts, devastating storms and for coral reefs to all but disappear—conditions we are already beginning to experience at current temperatures (1 degree C above pre-industrial levels).

This sobering news signals the absolute necessity for all industries, governments, institutions and communities to pull together to save our planet. This is everyone’s problem, and no one has the privilege of conducting business as usual while others make the sacrifices necessary to ensure that future generations have a future. This is a good time for us, as an industry, to review where we have made strides in sustainability and why it is important that we renew our commitment to the environment.

Logistics and Shipping

There is no getting around the fact that the shipping of freight, sometimes over long distances, is necessary to staging a large meeting or convention. Logistics companies have been proactive about evaluating envi-

ronmental performance and implementing creative strategies to green the supply chain. From energy-efficient warehouse facilities, to cleaner burning vehicles, to logistical tactics that minimize shipping distances, emphasize two-way truck moves and facilitate recycling efforts, these companies are minimizing the industry’s carbon footprint in significant ways.

Travel and Transportation People also have to be transported to event locations. With the environment in mind, more organizations and meeting planners are, when possible, localizing event venues, using technology to link participants and speakers in lieu of in-person attendance, and using eco-conscious travel strategies like carpooling or buying carbon offsets. Major convention cities are effectively creating alternative transportation options for business travelers, with accessible and desirable public transportation connecting airports and hotel-convention corridors.

Convention Centers and Meeting Venues

Beehives on the roof of the TFC Center in Detroit, Michigan 230 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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Convention centers and other meeting venues have taken deliberate steps to make facilities greener while creating a higher quality experience for visitors. The public and private sectors have joined forces across the nation to plan for and build infrastructure that helps to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions and increase recycling and composting initiatives. Bold innovations in green building have yielded beautiful structures that bring technology and nature together in new ways. From green roofs that are havens to bee communities, to buildings powered by geothermal and solar energy, these monuments to the future— many of which are LEED certified—are sources of pride to local communities and a draw to green-minded event hosts.


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Vancouver Convention Centre

Green Meetings

Trade organizations, corporate leaders and event planning professionals have responded to the call for a cleaner, greener industry by collaborating to define and implement sustainable meetings practices. Technology is replacing paper, and disposable water bottles are going the way of the dinosaur. Virtually every show floor boasts recycling bins, and kitchens are engineering clever ways to reduce food and service ware waste. I recently visited a venue where landfill-clogging coffee stirrers were replaced by sticks of linguini—ingenious! In May 2018, the Events Industry Council (EIC) hosted the first Global Sustainable Event Standards Forum at IMEX Frankfurt, where sustainability leaders from around the world drafted a definition for event

sustainability and four guiding principles for sustainable event standards. The EIC and other organizations are continuing to remake the industry through ongoing education and collaboration, resulting in actions that have transformed our profession from one of the biggest environmental offenders, to one of the greatest environmental leaders. We must press on, blazing a trail for other industries that would be greener, while sending the message to political leaders at home and abroad that our planet is in crisis. They need to know that we are willing to give up the old ways, and we are eager to innovate and collaborate. We can be the heroes of the new millennium, the champions who stood for change, or we can be the generation that destroyed the world. Who would you rather be?

...I recently visited a venue where landfillclogging coffee stirrers were replaced by sticks of linguini— ingenius!



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IN LOVING MEMORY OF: L-R Top row: Michael Altobelli, Kurt Walker, Kathy D’Adamo, Bob Lessin, Ron Maillet, Stanley Hymes, Richard Rebecky & Carl Fawcett Middle row: Thomas McKernin, Jim McKernin, Bob Betzel, Tommy Calamia, Patsy & Hank Garrity, Gene Rogowicz, Lynn Strocchia, Larry Ciccotti, Ron McEntee, Dennis-Oliva & Kathy Anaya. Bottom row: Arthur Bloberger, Brenda Turvey, Anthony Lucafo, Alfonso Morales, Jill DeWitt, Patti Shock, Ed Mato, Mary Ann Furnish and J. Stephen Barry


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GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN by Kristan Obeng & Jeanne Brei During the busy exhibition season, annual tradeshows bring together individuals from all walks of life. Sometimes, it’s just a simple meet and greet in passing. Other times, a lifetime friend is made who becomes an extended member of the family. Those who drove not only the show but the entire industry gave it their 365 – they took care of customers, became mentors, leaders and overall left an immeasurable impact. It doesn’t matter how long they lived or how long they worked in the industry because their peers will ensure

1990 Carl Birsa 1995 Randy Smith Jack Beckman 1996 Michael Bruton 1997 Judy A. Lomanto Ernest J. Gibas Jr. Al Zimmermann Wayne Waterhouse Leona C. Birkrem Jack Dodson Jim McKernin Joseph Edward Hogan Charles “Chuck” Wilson 234 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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they are never forgotten. The annual tradeshow, akin to a family reunion, provides these opportunities for reflection and remembrance of the ones we lost, but Exhibit City News aims to give you more. Your loved ones and friends will continue to live on the pages of our publication for years to come, and we will never miss an opportunity to keep memories of them alive. Until the next gathering, help us continue to reminisce about the amazing people who are sadly no longer here.

1998 Bob Denicker Jerry A. Smolka Joe Stockwell Otto J. Stegemann Bobby Carl 1999 Milan Dean “Turk” Ursin Diana Lynn Pickles Frank Pozza Ronnie “Buddy” Shirt Ed Porter Fred Van Soest 2000 Robert T. ‘Hawk’ Gonzales Norbert Przybyla Allen Crandy Jeffrey Maggerine

Kevin O’Dowd Roseann Skala Al Stevenson Jerry Fontana George “Jabo” Gore 2001 Donald Svehla Sr. Brad Knox Patrick J. Naujokas Bernadette Guadagno Stanley Keenan Kenneth McAvoy Sr. Joseph D. Adlesick Danny Taylor 2002 James P. Howe James Handrahan Sherry Elliott Reynolds


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Covering the Industry for 25 Years

Henry Ranftl Paul Gentile Douglas Ward Neil Grossman Phillip Mogle Wayne Eaton Herb W. Mertes Jr. Dick Phebus Mark Witt Patricia Streicher 2003 Paul & Helen Bagely John Rodgers George Kirkland Ann C. Fisher Trevor Burton Paul Olavarrieta Jr. Barbara Cucino Ray LaBelle Steve Pomper 2004 Tyler Rudel Cheryl Stendel Earl J. Oliver Jeffrey C. Socha Tofek ‘Sal’ Saleeba Kathleen C. Tamasi Terry O’Flynn Edward R. ‘Juno’ Tyda Dan Sexton Mike Adams 2005 Howard Walode Donna M. Urbanowicz Gerald van Dijk

Jerry Kalov Earl L. Neal Bill Mueller John Chevalier William J. Zeilenga Sr. Ronald G. Miller Randy Yeargin Karl Hetzel Ron Chan Mark Brosnahan Ken Rudman Daniel J. Vander Sanden Art Kiple 2006 John Koziol Dianne Nelson Binger Ronald G. Miller Joseph “Joe” Murphy Roy Evars Thomas E. Knott Jr. Cindy Gray Cannon Allen Konopacki John Patrick Valek Clay Wilkening Jerry Paul Lesniak Manny Cortez Mitchell E. Hodge Florence Beckman William C. Casey Greg Rupp Kay Gile Nicholas Cirkosz Bobby Keen Gail Flannery 2007 Bob Krakoff

Bob Francisco Edward Knauerhaze Joe Ercole Moe Bell Jack Wogelius Jim McCrady Wayne Veal Ann Birsa Edward A. Chapman Donald E. Stephens Shelton Adell James Pruitt Franc Dutton Leon Littleton Roger Parris William Russo Charlie Ellithorpe Hans Staeger Harry and Joan Lee Robert Rainey Sr. Joseph Bagnall Timothy Lysgaard Roy Hornsby Larry Klein 2008 Jim Vrzal Ron Fritkin Barbara Jean McAfee Rick Goldammer Sr. ‘Chicago Joe’ Shroyer Michael DeFilippis Cindy Rae Snow 2009 Francis “Bud” Rebedeau TJ Stephens Steven McMahon EXHIBITCITYNEWS.COM

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John Hampton Haines Harvey Junior Newman Marilyn Oshman Hank Garrity Edmund “Ed” Wiley Taylor II Colleen Pienta Jim Clark Eugene L. Strathman 2010 Michael Grivas Sr. Bence Kadar Thomas Alan Johnson Ryan Iverson Linda Cotton James P. Low Dorian Yolanda Limon 2011 John Teets Richard Bialczak Ken Broadbent Ray Liuzza Sal Cacciato Lawrence “Larry” Przybyla Julia Bunge Bruce Robert Korver Shaun A. L. Gavagan 2012 Norman Glicksberg Kurtis “Kurt” Johnson Gilbert Ballen Leo McDonald Gregory A. O’Dell 2013 Carol Bialczak Lee Kleidon 236 EXHIBIT CITY NEWS

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Joseph “Joe” G. Bonino Dale Van Ort Bob Firks Gerald (Gerry) S. Howard 2014 Robert A. “Bob” Wilson Alex Shtylman Timothy Dembski Jack Wayman A.J. Janosko Michael Hardy Erik “Rik” Williams Kay Hollander Stephen F. Cahill Ron “Ronnie” Lusk Robert “Bob” Dallmeyer Jennifer Elliott Peter Holman Ilse Almanza Roger A. Smith 2015 Gerald Perutz Dino Fiorentino George Wurm Michele McDonald Jerry Roper 2016 Julian Schoicket 2017 Walter “Cactus Jack” Clemmons Ken Ranucci Thomas Patrick McKernin Arthur Bloberger John Hasbrouck

Joseph Onorato Kathy Anaya Stanley Hyams 2018 Larry Ciccotti Philip H. Kemper, Jr. Matthew Campbell Stephen J. Barry Thomas J. Calamia Jr. Alfonso Morales Ron McEntee Kurt Walker Dennis James Oliva Lynn Strocchia Anthony Lucafo, Brenda Turvey Carl Rex Fawcett David Jeka Jill Dewitt Michael Altobelli 2019 Mary Ann Furnish Gene Rogowicz Patricia (Patsy) Garrity Ron Malliet Bob Lessin Patti Shock Terence Reece Donnelly Robert “Bob” Daniel Betzel 2020 Kathy D’Adamo John Graham Richard Rebecky Kraig Shetler


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fter a traumatic six-week period in the fall of 2017 in which ECN lost their editor, Arthur Bloberger, to esophageal cancer on Sept. 28, their office manager, Samanta Arjune, to a gunshot wound at the 1 October tragedy at Mandalay Bay, and their sales director, Kathy Anaya, passing away unexpectedly after a test at St. Rose Hospital on Nov. 17, ECN has bounced back while continuing to hold the memories of those they lost close to their hearts.

Clockwise: Top, with John Staley in 1978; Giving presidential debate commentary on CNN; Playing guitar in 2012; At ComicCon LV in 2017; Celebrating his birthday with his daughter, Alexis, son-in-law Greg, and grandchildren Ruby, Lily, Greyton and Gigi this past July, and time-traveling with Jeanne Brei at her Swanky Supper Club Soiree show in 2016.


July 5, 1956-September 28, 2017


he staff and writers for ECN, as well as many in the exhibit industry, all share in the loss of this wonderful man and talented editor. ECN Publisher Don Svehla said, “Arthur made many friends in the industry during his two years with us. Our readers will surely miss his professionalism and easy going style.” Art director Thomas Speak said, ““I am very proud of the work Arthur and I did during his two-years with the magazine. Always on the bright side of life, Arthur and his smile will be dearly missed.” Our director of sales, Kathy Anaya, shared, “In the past two years working with Arthur has been such a pleasure as he was a dedicated editor and an awesome team player. He had a zest for life, was very

talented and will greatly be missed but never forgotten.” And our office manager, Samanta Arjune, who was shot at the country music festival just three days after Arthur passed away, lamented, ““Arthur was one of the kindest, loving man I have ever met, he enjoyed and loved life. I will truly miss him!” ECN writer Amber Johnson spoke for many of the ECN writers and contributors when she said, “I am so saddened to hear about Arthur’s passing. I really enjoyed working with him–he was a very nice man” and ECN columnist Lesley Martin echoed those sentiments and said, “I am so sorry to hear. Arthur was a terrific person and excellent editor for ECN.” ECN writer Pat Friedlander shared, “He was such a kind, likeable man who still managed to keep the train on the track. He was fun to work with—and to talk to. My heart will be with all of you.” When notified of Arthur’s passing, Mary Klida, senior marketing & communications manager for the Cobo Center

in Detroit, said, “How very sad. He was a wonderful gentleman and a great editor. Please give everyone there a hug from me. His passing is a loss for us all.” His passing was mourned internationally, as Marianne de Raay, the executive director of AIPC (International Association of Convention Centres), wrote from her home in Belgium, “I am so sorry to hear that Arthur passed away – he was a great editor and I’m sure he’ll be missed as a very kind colleague. I had no idea he was ill and although we only worked by email and never met, I’ll remember him as a great industry colleague.” He was incredibly grateful that his newly adopted tradeshow family nominated him for a Randy Smith Memorial medical assistance grant and, he so wanted to be there in October to thank everyone from the EACA, EDPA Foundation, and the board of the RSMGC for the financial assistance that made it easier for him to battle the cancer and ultimately to cover his end-of-life costs. ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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Oct. 16, 1952-Nov. 17, 2017


athy began working for ECN in 2012 and quickly rose to director of sales. Says ECN’s publisher, Don Svehla, “Kathy was integral in nearly every aspect of ECN–from running the office [between office managers and when our current office manager Sam was shot in the 1 October tragedy] to running my schedule


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to being on top of renewing all our advertisers, she was keeping it all together. We talked every day for the last five years, even when I was out of the country, we’d text. She will be deeply missed.” ECN’s new editor, Jeanne Brei, expressed her condolences and said, “It’s been a tough couple of months for ECN. Kathy was incredibly supportive when I started working here full time back in August when Arthur’s illness and medication required that I be with him all the time. She knew the industry and this publication so well and she was always willing to share her knowl-

edge with me. I will always be grateful for her support and training and making me feel welcome at ECN. And, of course, we will all miss her little Mimi who came to the office every day and sat at her feet.” ECN’s art director, Thomas Speak, lamented, “Kathy was the heart of Exhibit City News and it is so hard thinking about publishing an issue without her. I was lucky enough to get to know her over the years at ECN and will dearly miss her warm heart, get ‘er done attitude and her die-hard passion for Dr. Pepper. I will miss our talks in the yard and my partner in crime at ECN.” ANNIVERSARY EDITION


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THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS AND ADVERTISERS Without their support, now and over the years, none of this would have been posssible. SILVER SPONSORS



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FOR ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES Contact sales: 702-309-8023 ext. 105, sales@exhibitcitynews.com @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

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We don’t just FURNISH BOOTHS.


Trade shows and conferences should propel business forward, and CORT Events creates the environment to make that happen. We help you make sure attendees have a place to think at the top of their game, so you can go ahead and call us what we are: your partner in executing unforgettable engaging environments and exhibits.

© 2020 CORT. A Berkshire Hathaway Company.

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