Exhibit City News - July/August 2021

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July/August 2021 • VOL. 27 • ISSUE 4



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July/August 2021 • VOL. 27 • ISSUE 4


On our cover: The wonderful women of Willwork who pivoted and learned new skills and took on new tasks in order to help Willwork not just survive but thrive. Pictured L-R: Kaitlyn Kewriga, Denise Franzen, Lisa Studley, Dee Peters, Anita Bota, Sarah Fantauzzi and Maureen Jardin. Photo Credit: Paula McCallum




The Wonderful Women of Willwork

Feature Story 24-29

Willwork Global Event Services’ Bob McGlincy features the women who pivoted and helped Willwork survive and thrive through the lockdowns

Industry Survivors & Pivoters: What it Took to Survive & Thrive From vendors to show producers to I&D to exhibitors—what it took to survive


The “Secret Sauce” Behind Trussworks’ Success

Columns 10

Writer Tristin Vaccaro describes how Trussworks became “more than just truss” to stay profitable and survive

Convention Center Snapshot George R. Brown Convention Center



As the Saws Turn

Going “All In” for the Return of Live Events

Exhibitors: Our Industry’s Forgotten Stepchild

ESCA’s new event readiness initiative is “All In” to ready the industry for the recovery

14 The Tradeshow Times

16 Las Vegas Buffets are Back!



I&D and Event Labor


Ask an Expert

Dina Hall on how getting the WomenOwned Business Designation has helped her family company

Shop to Showfloor Section


Are We Closer to the Light at the End of the Tunnel?


Q&A with Dina Hall, Champion Logistics Group President/CEO



Convention Center Spotlight Houston’s George R. Brown CC


People on the Move

International Focus: AIPC Floors Can Be Intelligent



In Memoriam

Stress Matters in the Tradeshow World

Daryl Clove, GES Las Vegas, Enterprise, UT

The Global View


The Don & Mike Show

The Don & Mike Show Welcomes Sponsor Circle and Heads to EDPA’s ENGAGE

22 Airport Snapshot

George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Departments 8 48 56 60 65 73

Editor’s Corner Eat, Sleep & Play The D.E.A.L. Regional Show Calendar Industry Service Guide Advertiser Index

6 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

Steve Wiksup, 3D Exhibits & Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, Rhinelander, WI Richard Raedeke, Condit Exhibits, Denver, CO Condolences to the families of: Nth Degree’s Richard (“Cowboy Richie”) Joseph Apps (Chicago/Texas), Monte Moore (Nashville) Joey “Big Joe” Rafferty (San Diego) Scott Woolard, Nth, Zenith Labornet & Epic Labornet (Ft. Worth, TX)

George R. Brown Convention Center photo by Pavel Kaplun / Kreativstudio Pavel Kaplun



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t last! The lockdowns are ending, tradeshows are returning and the industry is recovering—and not a moment too soon! Our July/August issue usually features the women in our industry, and this month we continue that tradition along with celebrating the survivors and silver linings from the last year. Bob McGlincy highlights nearly a dozen of the “Wonderful Women of Willwork,” (pg. 3538) who have taken on new tasks and responsibilities so Willwork could avoid furloughs and news editor Emily Olson did a Q&A with Champion Logistics CEO Dina Hall (pg. 32-33) on becoming certified as a Women's Business Enterprise. Part One of our pivoting survivors from the last year include an Ithaca, New York-based designer named Pete St. John who created the Tooty Toob (“the best fart toy you’ll ever own”) to Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Trussworks’ President Steve Hess who pivoted into hand sanitizer stands (pg. 40-41). We talked to tradeshow/meeting producers, including Informa’s Maria Ramirez, as they created a start-up with Melanie Bash and Molly Hoisington called Get Informed Concierge Event Service. We also spoke with Joe Murphy and Andie Weinman from Continental Buyers Group on how they “rolled the dice” and set their meeting at Caesars in Las Vegas for the first week of June. Fortunately, Lady Luck smiled on them and all restrictions were lifted on June 1. We talked to Teamsters who became entrepreneurs, Melissa Skipworth’s foray into becoming a realtor, Las Vegas Mannequins/Store Supply owner Alison Wainwright, who has opened the Voodoo Brewing Co. Vegas bar, Johnny Vegas’




8 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

PUBLISHER Donald V. Svehla Jr. (702) 309-8023 ext. 102 DonS@exhibitcitynews.com

prospecting at Arizona abandoned gold mines and Chicago-based tradeshow staffing guru, Lisa Breitman, who branched out to voiceovers and live events and was happy to staff the Sweets & Snacks 2021 show in Indy last month. See pg. 24-29 for still more pivoting survivor stories. The industry lost several more giants in the last couple of months and ECN sends out our deepest condolences to everyone at GES, Nth Degree, Condit Exhibits, 3D Exhibits and more. We thank those who let us know when someone passes and who let us share their thoughts and memories in our tributes. Our columnists have their finger on the pulse of the industry as always—veteran Jim Obermeyer talks about how important it is to come back and give the exhibitors more of a voice in transparency, costs, attendee data and safety protocols. AIPC’s Sven Bossu also writes about maximizing the ROI for exhibitors; Bob McGlincy discusses the light at the end of the tunnel from CEIR’s webinar; Paco Collazo weighs in about taking care of your mental health and Calanit Atia features the extraordinary Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars as Las Vegas buffets start their comeback. Mike Morrison headed to EDPA’s Engage and writer H.K. Wilson describes how ESCA’s AllIn campaign will help the industry be able to handle the next few months of a compressed show schedule. We hope you like our features on this issue's focus city, Houston, and, as Jim Obermeyer always says, “See you on the show floor!” Stay healthy and have a wonderful summer!

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeanne Brei (702) 309-8023 ext. 103 JeanneB@exhibitcitynews.com MANAGING EDITOR/GAL FRIDAY Lisa Abrams (702) 309-8023 LisaA@exhibitcitynews.com ART DIRECTOR Thomas Speak Tom@Speak-Design.com NEWS EDITOR Emily Olson EmilyO@exhibitcitynews.com COLUMNISTS / WRITERS Calanit Atia Sven Bossu Paco Collazo Bob McGlincy Mike Morrison Jim Obermeyer CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Vince Battaglia Larry Kulchawik Jeff Quade Tristin Vaccaro Gina Widney H.K. Wilson PROOFREADER Emily Olson NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Christy Giambattista ChristyD@exhibitcitynews.com CIRCULATION Manny Chico Mike Morrison

Editor-in-chief Vol. 27, issue 4, copyright 2021 by EXHIBIT CITY NEWS, published six times a year 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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Photo by Micahl Wyckoff

George R. Brown Convention Center Location: 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, TX 77010 Year Built: 1987, it replaced the obsolete Albert Thomas CC, which became the Bayou Place entertainment complex in the downtown Theater District Square Footage: The three-level, 100-ft.-high GRBCC has 1.3 million sq.ft. of usable space Parking: Three parking garages with a total of 3,968 parking spots—two are connected via skybridge and the third is across the street. Close by is the Tundra Garage with 2,478 parking spots. Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is complimentary in all public areas. Daily internet access and exhibitor internet access is available for a daily fee per device, based on speed. Hotels: The Hilton Americas-Houston (1,200 guest rooms), and the Marriott Marquis, (1,000 guest rooms), PLUS! both connect via skybridge Where to eat, sleep and play Airport Info: About 10 miles near GRBCC p. 48 from William P. Hobby (HOU) Airport and about 20 miles from George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) Airport Fun Fact #1: The striking red, white and blue color scheme on the CC’s exterior has a purpose: mechanical systems are painted red, structural supports are blue and building surfaces are white. Fun Fact #2: There are 11 public art works in the GRBCC, all created by Houston area artists. It’s also the first CC in the world to have a permanent Bitcoin ATM. Website: www.grbhouston.com ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 11

COLUMN As the Saws Turn of stakeholders. Many shows found themselves in a “business as usual” scenario that added no value to anyone—organizer, attendee or exhibitor. Part of the issue now is that there is no formal organization in our industry that represents the exhibitor. We have the International Association of Venue Managers representing facilities, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events and the Society of Independent Show Organizers supporting show organizers, the Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association repincreased, and resenting labor companies, issues around and the Experiential Designtransparency, ers & Producers Association By Jim Obermeyer metrics and cost representing the exhibit side. savings became more probSince the departure of the lematic. Exclusive show site Trade Show Exhibitors Assoservices from the general conciation years ago, there has tractor, like material handling, been no place for exhibitors to electrical and rigging, became work together and voice their more complex and expensive, concerns regarding industry iscreating a lack of transparency sues that directly impact them. for these services and their While some show organizers costs. Leads and data from are beginning to change their attendees became proprietary model and exhibitor advocacy information of show managegroups are beginning to form ment, and the data was rarely [see ECN’s “Exhibitor Advocashared so that exhibitors could cy Group’s White Paper on the calculate a meaningful ROI. Future of the Industry” in our Most importantly, there was May/June 2021 issue], there is a significant lack of support still a long way to go to balance from most show management representation in our industry. organizations to find cost This has been an issue for savings for exhibitors. Rather, a very long time. In the late those cost savings offered by 1980s, early in my career in the general contractors went this industry, I was a corporate to show management and tradeshow manager for a large were subsequently recovered defense contractor. We were through higher costs to exhibone of three exhibitors (along itors, without benefits added with two other very large for participation. The industry companies) that had the three had become stuck in a rut and largest exhibit spaces in the very hesitant and reluctant to front of a large annual manchange—increasing expenses ufacturing engineering show. and new added costs—but no Show management would not new recognized value to any share any attendee data, and

Exhibitors: Our Industry’s Forgotten Stepchild


he last 18 months have brought an incredible amount of change to our industry—most of it unanticipated and much of it unwanted. But it is in times like these where many companies—and many executives—take the time, whether they want to or not, to evaluate a lot of what is going on in their businesses. For corporate marketing and events executives, this has been a time to closely examine their marketing spend and the results those invested dollars have brought to the organization. And when it comes to events specifically, the complete shut-down of faceto-face activities has caused many to evaluate that spend and consider alternatives. Beyond the obvious—the virtual tradeshow—are a plethora of options, including private events, road shows and pop-up activations, that companies may consider as an alternative to being an exhibitor at the traditional tradeshow. Even before the lockdowns, the exhibitor experience on the show floor was deteriorating. Every year, exhibiting costs 12 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

consistently raised their space rates and service costs with no obvious benefit to the exhibitor. It took the three of us joining together, going to show management and telling them that unless they created an exhibitor advisory committee and opened their books, we would not participate in the show the following year. They were reluctant, but I think they realized that if they didn’t, their show was at risk. The committee was formed and they started working with exhibitors in a much better fashion, but it took a few years to get there. The reality is that face-to-face events—tradeshows, conferences, live events—will return, in some form. Exhibitors want to go back live but are going to have a challenge with their budgets and the justification of the expense—showing positive ROI. Their biggest issues are transparency, predictability in cost (and savings vs. increases), access to attendee data and safety protocols. Our challenge right now as an industry that has been badly hurt is to make this recovery an opportunity to improve the way we operate these events, bring the exhibitor into the mix and give them the voice they deserve. If we cannot pull together and figure this out, we will not survive in this new normal. For without the exhibitor, our industry family will be without a key member. And that is not going to benefit anyone. See you on the show floor. Jim Obermeyer has been in the exhibits and events industry 39 years, both as a corporate tradeshow manager and exhibit house owner. He can be reached at jobermeyer903@gmail.com.


COLUMN The Tradeshow Times

Are We Closer to the Light at the End of the Tunnel?


n June 10, the Center Events.” The popularity of the for Exhibition Industry hybrid model has been receding Research presented among postponed events. (Full a webinar titled, “Outlook for virtual tradeshows have decreased the U.S. B2B Exhibition Indusfrom 54 percent in January to 38 try—Are We Closer to the Light By Bob McGlincy percent in the May survey, and at the End of the Tunnel?” The the number of shows with “one or presenters were Nancy Drapeau, VP of more virtual offerings” decreased from 88 Research, CEIR, and Dr. Allen Shaw, percent to 75 percent.) president, Global Economic Consulting “The Average Daily Rate of New Associates, with Cathy Breden, EVP/COO COVID-19 Cases in U.S. (has) PlumIAEE, serving as the moderator. The wemeted.” Lower rates increase confibinar can be accessed at store.ceir.org. dence and should boost show attendance. Some of the salient points discussed were: “A Quick Economic Recovery Has Been Affirmed.” This has been “Popular (Participant) Requirea quick “V” shaped recovery from a ments Focus on Safety Protocols national standpoint, although it is esand Liability Protection, Not Testing timated that it will take three years for nor Proof of Vaccination.” Approxithe industry to recover. While that may mately 83 percent of events through May seem like a long time, it took almost ten imposed some type of safety requirement years for the industry to recover fully (for example, face masks, signed health after 2008. risk waivers and/or physical distancing). Job gains are smaller than ex“The Primary Reasons for Canpected for four reasons: those celing (events were) Linked to Govmaking $15 an hour or less can possibly ernment and Corporate Policies.” make more money on unemployment, The uncertainly as to when state or local child care costs and availability is still an lockdown rules would allow conventions, issue with schools not 100 percent open, as well as mandated corporate “no travel” some in the workforce have chosen early policies, were the main factors in cancelretirement and some are still concerned lations and/or postponements. about their health. “The Shift to Digital (is) RecedRevenue retained by virtual ing among Canceled In-person events has been negligible and is

14 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

not considered an option to replace in-person events. The outlook for live events is very promising for the second half of 2021. According to surveys, 78 percent of attendees and 80 percent of exhibitors expect to be at shows in the third quarter. The numbers increase to 94 and 95 percent respectively for the fourth quarter. Show cancellation rates are steadily decreasing. In quarter one, 77.6 percent of shows canceled, and another 14.2 percent postponed. The rate is decreasing in quarters two and three, and only 5 percent of shows in the fourth quarter have canceled. “Stay the Course!” for events planned for Q3 and Q4 is CEIR’s suggested business plan. This is a very fluid situation, but each and every event that occurs will build more confidence. “Higher Inflation is Likely to be Transitory” despite May’s dramatic increase, according to the Federal Reserve. Are we closer to the light at the end of the tunnel? The answer appears to be, yes. CEIR’s prediction: The “Most Likely Scenario” is that the “Worst is Behind Us” and that “By Q3 2021 Enough Americans Are Protected to Achieve Herd Immunity.” CEIR’s forecast for industry growth is that, while the total metrics in relation to 2019 numbers are forecast to be negative, it is important to realize that there is substantial growth predicted year-on-year when compared to 2020. My opinion is that there is a pent-up demand for the return of live face-to-face events and this fall will be extremely busy in terms of numbers of shows. What is your opinion? Bob McGlincy is director, business management at Willwork Global Event Services. Willwork creates engaging, energized and exceptional event experiences. He can be contacted at Bob. McGlincy@willwork.com




ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 15

COLUMN Ask an Expert

Las Vegas Buffets are Back!


as Vegas is known for its buffets all around the world. There was a time when people thought of buffets as a cheap way to eat while visiting Las Vegas. However, in the last decade, the high-end buffets have become gourmet restaurants. The quality of food By Calanit Atia and the selection can compete with any top-level restaurant in Las Vegas. spolitan’s Wicked Spoon, ExDuring the nearly yearcalibur Buffet, the Wynn Buffet long lockdown, most buffets and the extraordinary Bacchaclosed—with the exception of nal Buffet at Caesars Palace. the South Point Hotel & CasiNamed the No. 1 buffet in no, which reopened its Garden Las Vegas by USA Today, the Buffet on July 1, 2020, with reBacchanal Buffet at Caesars duced capacity and staff serving Palace redefines the buffet food, and, for a short while, the experience, and has offered Cosmopolitan and the Wynn exceptional dining since it Hotel & Casino. Many hospital- opened in 2012. ity experts predicted the end of Now, following more than self-serve buffets, especially on a year of renovations, the the Las Vegas Strip. award-winning buffet is showBut there is great news. Bufcasing a multimillion-dollar fets are slowly coming back! enhancement. Bacchanal’s Prior to lockdowns, there were seafood stations, carving nearly 60 buffets in Las Vegas stations, American and Latin and, 15 months later, only a cuisine kitchens, as well as the handful have reopened, includ- entrance and dining room, ing the South Point’s Garden have all received significant upBuffet, MGM Grand Buffet, grades and improvements. In Circus Circus Buffet, Cosmoaddition to an all-new look and

the high-end buffets have become gourmet restaurants... 16 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

feel, Bacchanal’s menu has also been expanded, adding nearly 100 new dishes to the already impressive menu, including more than 100 vegan and vegetarian options. Additionally, the famed buffet has introduced reservations, making them available for the first time since its launch at OpenTable.com. Bacchanal Buffet sets a new standard for Las Vegas buffets by redefining the buffet experience through elevated global cuisine made fresh daily by a team of specialized chefs who oversee the preparation of the food in nine open, interactive kitchens. “After 14 months and a multimillion-dollar renovation, Bacchanal is back, and might I say the best just got better,” says Sean McBurney, regional president of Caesars Entertainment. “At Bacchanal, it has always been about the food, and that continues today, now more than ever. You’re going to see hundreds of beautifully-curated, delecta-

ble dishes. I could talk for days about how spectacular this buffet is, but we’re going to let the food do the talking.” Bacchanal is self-serve with all required sanitation protocols in place, including changing utensils every hour, somebody to actively watch guests at each station, sanitizer at each station, fresh plates and no eating while waiting in line. Reservations will continue to be required and can be made by visiting OpenTable.com. For more info, visit https:// www.caesars.com/caesars-palace/restaurants/bacchanal-buffet. For a buffet chart that’s updated monthly, visit https://vegasfoodandfun.com/ buffet-comparison-chart/ Calanit Atia is an award-winning event planner, entrepreneur, Air Force Veteran, founder and president of A to Z Events, Las Vegas DMC and Entertainment Agency, 2021 MPI Advisory Board Member and speaker. She can be contacted at (702) 2122500 or Info@AtoZevents.com.


ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 17

COLUMN International Focus: AIPC

...corporate executives will need to be convinced again of the value of organized events...

Floors Can Be Intelligent by Sven Bossu, CEO AIPC


n the preparation for our Annual Conference, I had a meeting with one of our speakers, Wiktor Bourée. He is the CEO of Technis and has been selected by Forbes for its annual “30 Under 30” ranking. His company transforms the floors of convention centers into intelligent platforms. Not only was it an energizing conversation, but it was also a great example of the new type of value convention centers will provide in the future: data. The theme of this year’s conference is Elevation—it is about re-opening for organized events and bringing them to a higher level. That higher level is not only about providing an excellent service. It is also about supporting the customer in justifying the investment she/he is making in the event. It was a lesson I learned years ago, when I was running the global financial event SIBOS. During the annual account meetings, the discussions were not that much about pricing, location or advertising possibilities, but on ways how we—as an organizer—could help the exhibitors in securing (or even increasing) the yearly budget required to participate in the event. The key elements were data and speed. After some trial and error, we were able to deliver a report containing data 18 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

on the impact of their investments. Some things were straightforward, like the number of views their advertisements got or the profiles of the persons attending their conference sessions. Others were more complex, like providing heatmaps, showing the number of persons visiting their booth. This data was then combined with the data the exhibitor already collected, like number of meetings, leads generated, etc. But what made it truly impactful, was that the reports were delivered within two weeks after the event—at which time the budget holders, who attended the conference, still remembered it, which made the “this is why we invested in this event” story even more convincing. Convention centers can play a crucial role in making stories like these happen, by investing in technology and by demonstrating the value the data collected can bring to organizers and exhibitors, for example by providing reports like the ones mentioned above. In my view, this type of service will become even more important going forward, as executives—especially at corporate level—will need to be convinced again of the value of organized events. Implementing this type of technology offers at least three opportunities for

convention centers. First of all, it allows to create new revenue streams or to secure existing ones. Secondly, it allows to obtain an even better understanding Sven Bossu of how the convention center works in terms of flow and how its design can be leveraged to meet the expectations of the customers. And thirdly, the fact that this is data based also means it can be tracked against performance indicators, both at the level of the convention center, the organizer and the exhibitor. As with every opportunity, there are of course some challenges to address. First, there is the selection of the technology to use in a rapidly-evolving market. Second, there is a governance related to the collection and use of data to be defined and implemented. And third—as demonstrated by recent hacking cases—security is not to be underestimated. Talking to people like Wiktor Bourée makes you realize that the event market is going through a transformation, which the COVID-19 crisis accelerated. The next normal is a fascinating one, offering great opportunities to those embracing it. There’s lots to discuss during the AIPC Annual Conference next month. AIPC, the International Association of Convention Centers, represents a global network of more than 190 leading centers in 64 countries with the active involvement of 1,000+ management-level professionals worldwide. It is committed to encouraging and recognizing excellence in CC management, and maintains a variety of educational, research, networking and standards programs. For more info, visit aipc.org.

The Global View COLUMN

Stress Matters in the Tradeshow World

Is one of the industries with the most social interaction a lonely one?


nother early morning heading to the airport, calls with the family, calls with the client and an endless list of tasks to do. That is how most of our days go by. We never stop; it is hard to find the balance. And in this rush, we do not even think about how we feel, and we don’t stop to analyze our mood; we do not pay attention to our mental health. Let’s face it, even though the events industry has a lot of social interaction, sometimes it feels like the loneliest profession. And that is because mental health is something that is not on our radar. We assume it is not important, or we do not have time for that. But the truth is it does matter, and it has a significant impact not only on our personal but in our professional life as well. That is why it is essential @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

to start talking about it, to create a support network so we can feel free to share our feelings. This is especially true during these times that have been so hard, not only for our industry but for the whole world, the times that we don’t understand, and the times in which we live, surrounded by uncertainty. We need to know it is ok to feel stressed or anxious. Still, there is no need to deny these feelings. It is vital to accept them and know how to process them, and for that, we need someone who can hear us and let us know we are not alone. I met Laura from Stress Matters at the ESSA yearly gathering in the U.K. She gave a session about her platform, Buddies Matter, a free peerto-peer support program created by her company for the meeting, events and exhibitions industry.

This initiative was all can help each other. designed to match Maybe this year’s lesson By Paco Collazo you to someone with is to learn how and when similar experiences and reto reach out. sponsibilities who can become Do you have an idea of an your “support buddy.” This is initiative to help our industry? a way of bringing people from I would like to know about it all our industry together. and chat with you. For more Your buddy is not likely to info about Stress Matters, visit have any professional training www.stressmatters.org.uk in mental health or well-being support. Still, he or she Paco Collazo is the owner & CEO may be someone like you who of Atlanta-based Happy Projwants to know that someone ects, where their passion is “to has their back. collaborate with the planet’s top My company and I are very standbuilders, event production proud to support this procompanies, agencies and brands to gram that has already started solve all your face-to-face marketing operations in the U.K. and is needs from concept to seamless launching in the U.S. We want execution.” He worked 13 years to encourage the creation of a in the family business, ending as safe environment and commua sales and project director at nity for all the people of our SISTEXPO (Sistemas de Exposicion), industry. Because together, we a full-exhibit/event house based are stronger. in Mexico. He is also on the EDPA It’s time for us to take care of Board of Directors. Contact him at us and our mental health; we paco@happyprojects.us. ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 19


The Don & Mike Show Welcomes Sponsor Circle and Heads to EDPA’s ENGAGE by Mike Morrison


ay and June of 2021 started seeing some normal activity for the tradeshow, event and experiential industries as rules for gatherings started relaxing. The two-month period was highlighted with the respectfully-attended EDPA Engage event at Stone Mountain just outside of Atlanta June 10-11. I attended the event on behalf of the show and interviewed Dasher Lowe, EDPA executive director, on the success of the event and the “reboot” for the industry and live events in general. While many Don & Mike shows during May and June saw guests speaking about the speculation of what shows will look like on the return, Engage was a great look at what conferences might see in the future... no masks, no real social distancing and almost normal, pre-pandemic conditions and many attendees smiling and glad to be back together at a conference. Speakers, however, were quick to center discussions on the fact that shows and events, at least for the immediate future, will look different than those pre-pandemic. This is due to many reasons, but mainly the lack of robust budgets, the travel concerns being seen at the moment with business travel down in a major way and the implementation of many forms of hybrid/virtual show technology at live events for those who are not quite ready

20 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

Mike Morrison hits the links with Octanorm’s Norm Friedrich.

to go back to in-person events. Speakers centered discussions on the new “Work from Home” model for many companies and employees, to how different booths will look for the future, to technology that may be seen in booths and events soon and, of course, the change in corporate culture and how that might affect the industry. The Don & Mike Show also brought on a new sponsor and participant for the podcast. Circle, an omnichannel guest experience agency based in Las Vegas, is a part of the podcast team focused on the new normal for the way shows will change for the future, with the implementation of broadcast to shows and the adding of technology pop to events that have

not been seen to this time. Circle CEO Shawn Garrity has joined The Don and Mike Show weekly since their teaming up with the podcast to share their latest additions to shows and how the new normal of live shows will change for the better with the implementation of omnichannel for clients to get more ROI in their live events. Circle also has added a once-per-month video presentation with The Don & Mike Show to the format along with weekly updates for the industry listeners. The remainder of summer and into the third quarter is expected to see very busy upticks in tradeshows, events and experiential marketing. The

Don and Mike Show is looking forward to playing a part of this strong resurgence and hope to see our listeners soon at a live event! The Don & Mike Show can be heard on Fridays at TheDonAndMikeShow. net; ExhibitCityNews.com; Facebook (www.facebook.com/DandMshow); LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/ groups/12096643/); Twitter (twitter.com/DonAndMikeShow1) and most all podcast platforms including iTunes, Google, Spotify and more. Mike Morrison is the national sales director for WS Displays as well as co-host and producer of “The Don & Mike Show” podcast, now closing in on 200,000 listens. Contact him at thedonandmikeshow@gmail.com or mike@wsdisplay.com. For more info, visit TheDonAndMikeShow.net

The Omnichannel Guest Experience Agency


Hosted at Circle Las Vegas Broadcast Studio


Maÿ 14

Omnichannel vs Hybrid


June 18

Branding via broadcast


Julÿ 16

Introducing ESG (Environmental and Social Governance) Measuring sustainability, societal impact and corporate governance


August 13

How to grow revenue in the retail experiential sector


September 10

How technology, engagement and measurement are redefining live events


Octòber 15

Redefining the architecture of large scale events

The Don & Mike Show can be heard on Fridays at: TheDonAndMikeShow.net; ExhibitCityNews.com; and most podcast platforms including iTunes, Google, Spotify and many others. E @DandMshow C groups/12096643 D @DonAndMikeShow1 MINNEAPOLIS, LAS VEGAS, SAN FRANCISCO, LOS ANGELES, MIAMI, BOSTON, NEW YORK



ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 21


Photo courtesy of Houston Airport System

George Bush Intercontinental Airport IATA Airport Code: IAH, which stood for “Intercontinental Airport of Houston” Location: 2800 N. Terminal Rd., Houston Year Opened: Houston Intercontinental Airport opened in 1969. In 1997, the city council voted unanimously to change the name to George Bush Intercontinental Airport after the 41st U.S. president. Size: The airport covers 10,000 acres and has 10 runways that, if placed end-to-end, would be 43 miles long. It has 130 gates in five terminals that are connected by a skyway and a subway. Terminal E was completed in 2004 and it’s currently undergoing a $1.3 billion capital improvement program scheduled to be completed in 2024-25. Transportation: Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) buses serve the airport. Taxis, rideshares and limousine services are available, and shuttle buses service local car rental facilities. On-Site Facilities: The airport houses an on-site Marriott Hotel, between Terminals B and C, that’s accessible via the landside inter-terminal train, which runs every three minutes from 3:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m. daily. The hotel has 573 rooms, restaurant/ bar, concierge lounge, coffee shop, health club, sundry shop and a conference center. Fun Fact #1: IAH groundskeepers are tasked with maintaining more than 41,000 sq.ft. of flowers and shrubbery. Fun Fact #2: There are several art installations on the IAH grounds and interior. “Light Spikes” was created for the 1990 G7 Summit, which was moved from the GRBCC to the IAH grounds after the summit. Website: www.fly2houston.com ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 23



For an industry that thrives on long hours, frequent flier miles, the power of personal interactions and the thrill of creating extraordinary live experiences, the majority of 2020 was hell. But, as they say, there is always some good to be found in whatever is judged bad, and vice versa. Tradeshow and live event workers, business owners, show producers, vendors and creators were able to spend time with their immediate families—including holidays, they were able to help home-school their children and they were able to have free time to pursue a hobby, binge watch programs, remodel their homes, exercise, read, brainstorm and more. In an unprecedented move, most governments around the world decided they had the power to determine which people and jobs were “essential” and so, construction workers and truckers continued to work throughout the lockdowns. But I&D companies, tradeshow staffing companies, tradeshow suppliers/vendors, associations, show producers and others found they needed to pivot in order to survive when tradeshows and live events were banned for months on end.

I&D Labor

Many in the show floor and I&D labor force discovered their skills were transferable to “essential” and high-in-demand categories and became entrepreneurs. Last spring in Las Vegas, one local Teamster journeyman starting doing renovations on his own home and posting the results on Facebook. This led to being asked to paint others’ homes, remodel their kitchens and build doggy doors for them. He started becoming so busy that he posted: “Ok 631 Teamsters: Sound off if you have a skill. There is far too much work out here to be sitting around. Quiet mouths don’t get fed. Or if you know someone with a skill who is in need of a lil’ something extra let’s post it here. Come on, let’s work together. Everyone could use a hand right now. Let’s go!!” The post received 180 replies within hours, with post24 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

ed skills including mechanic; cleaning and detailing cars, trucks, SUVs, ATV, and boats; custom carpentry; closets and built-ins; custom furniture; plumbing; tile, marble and granite flooring; some electrical; graphic/vinyl installs and car wraps; window perf; pest control; appliance repair; drywall; painting; A/C work; rustic farmhouse floating shelves; building solar screens and digital marketing. One proud father, John Jouas, president at Inside Dimension Services, says, “I have two boys, Justin and Geoff, who followed me into the tradeshow business when I started my own I&D company 17 years ago. We were chugging right along until March when the bottom dropped out. Justin designed and built his first door (the white hexagon style) for his own house back in May, posted pictures on his neighborhood NextDoor page

Justin Jouas

and orders immediately started rolling in. This all happened organically. His wife, April, came up with the concept for their master BR/bath doorway. Once the neighbors saw the pictures online, people started tracking Justin down, including a well-known realtor in the area. Things have just taken off from there. Justin is crushing this new door business and his

brother Geoff has been helping (mostly with the installations) but he’s more focused on homeschooling his first grader and pre-K boys right now. There are a lot of guys I know in our industry,” he adds, “that have switched gears to make ends meet until the Earth gets back on its axis.” Many companies and vendors decided to go from furloughing employees to closing their businesses indefinitely. EDPA board member Chris Griffin, owner of Crew XP, maintained exhibit fabrication facilities in Orlando and Las Vegas, as well as builder sites in 10 more key convention cities across the country. That is, until the industry was “vaporized.” He shuttered his Las Vegas facility and moved equipment and supplies into storage, maintained a skeleton crew with the help of PPP funds while giving 60-plus hours a week of his own time to championing the cause of the meetings and exhibitions industry. As he explains, the reasons why he’s so proactive in advocacy efforts and spending so much time and effort in Washington, D.C., are that “Tradeshows have been denied federal recovery dollars. This is the year we’ve decided to stop being invisible. We need to be recognized for who we are and our value to the U.S. economy…Every tradeshow is its own small business incubator. And for every dollar spent on a tradeshow exhibit, there is another spent on flights, hotels, food and other items. This industry collects money and distributes it throughout the economy. I don’t know of another that amplifies the overall economy like ours does.” Massachusetts-based

Alison Wainwright's store turned into event space

Teamwork Labor Services chose to keep their employees employed by thinking outside of the box to find new clients and new opportunities with existing clients while tradeshows were shuttered. Grocery stores and new clients like casinos and liquor stores wanted safety graphics and Plexiglas enclosures. Some wanted a new design and installation of self-checkout units. Other companies wanted Plexiglas enclosures and vinyl graphics installed in their offices, as well as signage on desks, floors, walls and doors. Since alcohol consumption increased dramatically, Teamwork created and installed several highend designer shops, requiring extensive custom millwork. They even rebranded a farm with vinyl signage and began remodeling homes.


Many business owners focused on pivoting to provide what was in demand—Rethink Fabrics, a sustainable apparel company that creates branded and private label T-shirts made from 100 percent recycled plastic water bottles for exhibitors at tradeshows and events, did just that. “As tradeshows were @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

being canceled, we were able to quickly repurpose our fabrics from producing shirts to masks very early in the pandemic stage and sold hundreds of custom masks in the first week,” says Terence Jackson, principal. “Due to the fact that our fabric is already anti-microbial and water-wicking, it was a logical progression to make masks for our customers. Moving forward we will continue to sell masks and other travel accessories that will protect travelers, tourists and tradeshow attendees while diverting plastic from oceans and landfills.” Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Trussworks’ President Steve Hess says, “we wondered what we could do to think outside the box and remain profitable.” He sketched a hand sanitizer dispenser stand and it went from a design on a page to a completed prototype ready to go to market in less than two weeks (see story on p. 40). Alison Wainwright, owner of both Las Vegas Mannequins and Las Vegas Store Supply, is a hardcore entrepreneur who thrived on the challenge of filling hours spent in mandated lockdowns. She began by transforming her warehouse-sized prime Las Vegas location on Desert Inn and Valley View Drive into a mega hip venue suitable for everything from music videos to private parties and didn’t miss a beat. She realized that by customizing her store into an event space that could be personal-

ized to a client’s taste whether it be a musician, photographer or bride-to-be would be the type of creative challenge that would draw upon her tradeshow, meetings and live events industry skill set—that “get ‘er done and make it work before the show doors open” magic that she had learned, honed and perfected during the last 16 years of working in the tradeshow industry. Once her building had found a purpose that could be utilized during lockdowns, she switched gears and pursued another of her passions—craft beer. She had always dreamed of owning a restaurant and bar and she fulfilled her dream by becoming the owner of the Voodoo Brewing Co. Vegas set to open in July. Located in the Las Vegas Arts District at 1409 Commerce Street, she’s looking forward to the fastpaced and fun restaurant/ bar business. Many industry workers found 15 months too long to wait for their jobs to return and pivoted by leaving the industry. Founder of a Las Vegas audio-visual consulting firm and former senior account executive for Total Show Technology, Melissa Skipworth had been in the tradeshow industry since she was 18, having learned the business from her father, Norman Davies, owner of Exhibit Fair International. But facing a calendar of canceled events, she was forced to reevaluate her profession and decided to get into real estate. She was

able to get licensed quickly and her previous sales experience and the techniques she worked two decades to perfect proved to be a strong foundation for her new career. “My experiences in tradeshows and conventions truly prepared me to excel in my daily activities as a Melissa Skipworth REALTOR®,” says Skipworth. “My highly-proficient skills in prospecting, communication and storytelling allow me to grow my business and help my clients accomplish their homeownership goals.” Joining Coldwell Banker Premier Realty, a full-service brokerage with three campuses in Las Vegas, was an important decision for Skipworth. Backed by an iconic international brand helps Skipworth establish trust with her clients. “My services are not limited to buying and selling a residential property,” says Skipworth. “With CBPR, I can guide my clients through relocation, property management, commercial investments and luxury transactions.” And, she admits, she may still do some tradeshow work as well now that the world has started turning again because it’s possible to do both. Industry veteran John Fecchino (aka Johnny Vegas), manager at We Are Conventions and Preferred Network Provider, went prospecting for gold at abandoned gold mines in Arizona while waiting for tradeshows to return and says he loved getting "away from it all." ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 25


LB & Associates’ hostesses in the Ferrero USA booth, Sweets & Snacks 2021


Many tradeshow talent agencies had to close shop during the lockdowns including Judy Venn & Associates. Chicago-based LB & Associates is a tradeshow talent agency that has spread their wings over the last 16 months. Lisa Breitman, founder/owner, explains, “During lockdown, we were hoping to transition to booking actors for online shows. But exhibitors didn’t want to invest too much in these events. So, we branched off and started booking talent for voiceovers. While we were open to most events prior to lockdown, our focus was always tradeshows. Post lockdown, we are open to more types of events. Recently, a major exhibit house asked us to supply talent for a big activation in Denver for talent to drive guests of the MLB All Star week around Denver while talking about the car’s features. Until exhibitors’ budgets return to normal, we will be open to different types of events.” Breitman admits, “My service of booking talent is always the first service pulled from exhibitors’ budgets as the marketing budget tends to be cut in half. I know it’s going to take a while for my business to be back in full force. "My newest competitors source strangers off of Face26 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

book which I always explain to my exhibitors and potential exhibitors is an extreme risk. I’ve had the best reputation in the industry for 20 years because I book very smart, outgoing actresses instead of pretty models that just stand there and do the bare minimum. I make sure the talent are very prepared and versed on the exhibitors’ products in advance so they can answer questions like a sales rep.” Although she admits that it may be a slow start, her first show post-lockdown was the Sweets & Snacks Expo in June in Indianapolis—a long time since her last event at the 7-11 Expo in Las Vegas in February of 2020. But she says, “We are still kicking and ready for this year and excited for some shows. My agency has worked with every major electronics company on shows like CES, CEDIA, InfoComm and more. After the recession, our client base transitioned to all the major candy and snack companies. I am hopeful for a strong return and know it will take time.”


Another survivor, Pete St. John, principle at St. John Design Group in Ithaca, New York, brainstormed a side hustle that, according to him, is an “uplifting” pivot. St. John wrote on Facebook,

“My exhibit design firm was hit just like the rest of us. We used the downtime to invent, manufacture, market and release a toy called the Tooty Toob (the best fart toy you’ll ever own), and it’s been a helluva hilarious ride ever since. Maybe I’ll see you on the show floor, maybe not, but either way, I figure we could all use a good laugh.” There’s no laugh track needed at the commercial he created that’s currently generating lots of laughs—and sales—at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=UX28xx3EUII.

Tradeshow/ Meeting Producers

Tradeshow producers and associations have one of the most difficult roles in bringing the industry back to life. They’re faced with attendees who range from still being uncomfortable in public to those who are more than ready for life to just return to normal. Meeting Planners International hosted their World Education Conference, the first large meeting at the new Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, in mid-June and handled the dilemma with pre-show emails surveying attendees' comfort levels with physical contact and then inviting (not requiring) them to wear colored ribbons on their badges indicating if they were claspers (huggers), bumpers (fist or elbows), noodlers (people who preferred others to keep a pool noodle distance away) or Zoomers (virtual attendees). Red ribbons on their badge immediately told fellow attendees to keep their distance, while yellow meant you could fist or elbow bump and a green ribbon

meant you were welcome to give a hug. Caesars also hosted a smaller meeting the first week in June. Continental Buying Group and Preferred Jewelers International™ usually host two to three annual shows that feature educational components alongside networking events and the tradeshow. President and CEO Andie Weinman and her business partner/husband Joe Murphy didn’t want to wait any longer than necessary to return. Murphy explains, “After being apart for over a year, we knew there would be a pentup demand for merchandising and connecting with our CBG family of retailers and suppliers. Our first live show post-pandemic far exceeded our expectations. Even though the attendance was at about 50 percent of what we normally see at our shows, the energy was off the charts. There were laughs, hugs and tears of joy as our family reunited,” adding, “Having a smaller group enabled us to create a more intimate atmosphere. We were able to create seating arrangements at the morning breakfast meetings to ensure that our members would network

with members and guests that they had not previously been familiar with. We invited 12 qualified retail guests and strategically seated them with our existing CBG retailers. The guests were so impressed by the show and our CBG family that seven joined CBG on site. Two more are still in process.” Murphy admits that in planning their show for early in June they “definitely ‘rolled the dice’ as there was so much uncertainty with regard to the pandemic. I decided to take the positive approach and believed that with the rapid vaccine rollout, we would begin to see a decrease in cases, which would result in the lightening of restrictions. We maintained weekly contact with our representative at Caesars, Misty


Joe Murphy and Andie Weinman

Spano. Misty was excellent at keeping us abreast of all developments in the state of Nevada regarding changing COVID protocols. When the CDC announced that masks would be optional for those vaccinated, I knew more good news was coming regarding

our event. One week prior to our show, we were notified that as of June 1, which happened to be the first day of our show, all COVID restrictions would be lifted. This enabled us to conduct our show as usual, no social distancing with masks becoming optional.” During the lockdowns, Murphy says, “We did not furlough anyone, but used the PPP loans to pay our employees. As it turned out, it was the smart move since many companies are having difficulty getting employees to come back to work. Florida had lighter restrictions than most of the country. One employee and I were able to continue working from the office for limited hours. Because of the nature of our business, the

rest of our team were able to work from their home offices. During the lockdown we contacted and communicated with every retailer to help them navigate through the SBA and PPP loans as the applications were very convoluted. During this time, we also developed our own Virtual Platform to ensure that our suppliers and retailers would be connected and be able to continue to have product through the season.” In addition to taking care of their members during the lockdowns, in their personal life, Murphy says, “Andie and I had considered moving, but with everyone escaping to Florida from lockdown states, real estate was going through the roof. It would be impossible

ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 27


to find another space like what we have now, for a reasonable price. We decided to invest in our existing property. Another big goal of ours was to stay healthy and also relieve stress. We exercised daily at home and walked six to eight miles every day. That is one of my better memories!” He adds that one of the positive side effects of the last 15 months was that it reinforced how “Andie and I are a team. We are resilient and we realized even more how much we enjoy each other’s company. Brainstorming new strategies on our daily morning walks along the beach path gave us time to think about the future of our business and how we could help our members and our team. Many great ideas emerged from those walks.” Informa Markets, one of the largest tradeshow organizers in the world, also found some great ideas during the mandated sabbatical. As the organizers of leading global tradeshows including World of Concrete, MAGIC and Las Vegas Cosmetic Surgery, and Las Vegas’ largest meeting and conventions customer, they decided to enter into a partnership with Melanie Bash and Molly Hoisington, industry 28 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

veterans with expert knowledge of the entertainment capital of the world, to found a new premier full-service concierge event service in Las Vegas, called Get Informed Concierge Event Service that will provide everything from transportation and dining arrangements to large-scale corporate events and entertainment. In addition to their local offering in Las Vegas, the team has also developed virtual event experiences to support digital trade events and conferences.

of Get Informed LV, adds, “When our customers return to the show floor, they are not just looking to have a good experience, they’re looking to have the best experience possible. The great thing about digital is that it has created much more efficiency in our day-to-day lives, and people have come to rely on that ease of experience. As we got word that cities and states were on the brink of re-opening, we thought there was no time like the present to develop a bespoke concierge service that would meet those needs in an in-person format.” She adds that “Informa Markets is the largest tradeshow organizer in the world. Our reach and depth is unmatched. The Get Informed team are two industry experts who have a very niche, start-up feel. The combination of the resources of a large-scale FTSE 100 company with the specialism and care of an up-and-coming team really sets us apart. While we

Melanie Bash, Maria Ramirez and Molly Hoisington

Informa photo by CG Photography

2021 CBG Vegas Retailers and Suppliers

“We made the decision to embark on this partnership because we recognize the value of ease, efficiency and excellence as our customers look for opportunities to network, connect and rebuild this year,” says Ken McAvoy, EVP, Corporate Development, Informa Markets. “By partnering with Get Informed, we are able to be a single point of contact for our customers both on and off the show floor, helping them easily secure dining reservations, travel accommodations, entertainment opportunities, event venues, digital networking opportunities and more, in addition to the quality connection and commercial opportunities they receive at our events. Melanie and Molly are well-respected throughout the industry, and we are thrilled to have them on board as our preferred concierge partner in Las Vegas." Maria Ramirez, director of housing and operations, Informa, Las Vegas and co-founder

to connect year-round. While incredibly valuable, qualifying suppliers and buyers often takes meaningful networking and relationship-building, and that is not really replicable in a virtual format.” She adds that another result of the lockdowns is that they’re more focused on quality over quantity and doing more hybrid events. “I think a way that our success metrics have slightly shifted is that while we continue to target aggressive attendance numbers to keep a rich mix of buyers on the show floor, we have been more focused on pursuing quality attendees who are coming to the show floor eager to do business. A lot of the customer feedback we’ve received after our

smaller events this year has been that they have as many, if not more, orders than previous years because of such an engaged and qualified attendee mix,” adding, “We are also looking at a hybrid event mix moving forward. We are very much committed to the live event experience, but we also see the long-term strategic value in complementary digital solutions that extend our reach and deepen the customer experience.” Looking forward, Ramirez says, “The tradeshow industry is a resilient one. We’ve surveyed customers across many industries and the shared sentiment is that everyone is eager to return to in-person experiences. 2020 was a really isolating year, and many industries

suffered, now it’s time for recovery,” adding, “I also think we will be better than ever now that we have really strong digital and data solutions to extend our brands into yearround community-building platforms. Many of the people who come to our shows have developed lifelong friendships and professional partnerships, and even more than the opportunity it provides for recovery and regrowth, it also provides an opportunity to share laughs with old friends, create new ones, learn from industry experts, and see and feel the latest products and innovations, unparalleled experiences that I think we have all truly missed, and that Get Informed will help us accelerate as we return to the show floor.”

Informa photo by CG Photography

look to expand further, we also focus on Las Vegas, where we have really deep, rich relationships. It’s sort of like calling a friend of a friend for a great reservation. It has that family feel because here in Vegas, we are all family.” In addition to partnering with Get Informed, Ramirez says that the company saw other bright spots during the lockdowns. “The only silver lining, if you can say that, of the pandemic, is that it accelerated our digital ambitions and allowed us to focus on developing solutions that helped keep our communities connected and doing business while we couldn’t meet in-person. But the reality is that we have always seen digital and data solutions as complementary tools to allow our communities


ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 29

HERE FOR YOU When You Need Us

A Message From the CEO Of beMatrix USA

As our industry comes roaring back, beMatrix stands ready to help you fill orders, meet short term inventory needs, and exceed your customer’s expectations. We know that the last two years have been tremendously difficult, and we anticipate that you are asking key logistical questions such as: How do we scale back up with our current staff? How can we manage cashflow as we rebuild? Will the supply chain support our customer timelines? Can we expand our product offerings? beMatrix is here to help!

beMatrix is pleased to announce some key solutions to help you meet your client demands with minimal up-front investment. Short Term Rental Solutions Project specific inventory when you need it Long Term Rental Solutions Supplement your inventory as you scale your business Kontainer Media Bank Access to database of projects from around the world Payment Terms Reinstating payment terms to help with project budgeting Lease to Own Grow your inventory while preserving your cashflow Enhanced Quoting and Fulfillment Easier auto payment options and improved customer service Pop-IN Build interior spaces and retail environments with ease Pop-OUT Create impressive experiences outdoors Xtreme Solutions Letting you build bigger more expansive designs beMatrix will always be part of this community and when we say “Making Live Communication Easier” we mean it. We want to help you as you rebuild post-COVID. To get details on all of our new and existing product offerings visit us at connect.bematrix.us/hereforyou. On behalf of our staff at beMatrix USA, thank you for being a part of our family. Now, let’s get back to work!


Tara Ericson, CEO, beMatrix USA

be anything. beMatrix. beMatrix® USA 4476 Park Drive, Norcross, GA 30093 T. +770 225 0552 • info@beMatrix.us www.beMatrix.us Follow us:



Dina Hall is the president & CEO of the Illinois-based Champion Logistics Group, a 40-year-old family business and market leader in full-service, third-party logistics. The company specializes in the transportation of tradeshow exhibits and retail environments, and its reach extends nationwide. 32 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

With Hall at the helm, following her father, Lance Lucibello, who founded the company, Champion recently earned the Certified Women’s Business Enterprise designation. ECN spoke with Hall about the process of earning that designation, her vision for the company and how her team has weathered the challenging past year.

ECN: What was it like growing up in a family business? Dina Hall: My father founded the business in 1980 when I was in junior high. Although there were a couple of summers in high school when I helped in the office, I never really saw myself working there. In college I majored in economics and thought I would be working in finance at a large corporation. That’s why it was so surprising that I got pulled into it. I was quite fortunate that I did. The summer after I graduated from college, my father asked me to create an employee benefits program because he knew my strengths with organization. I fell in love with the culture he created and decided to stay. I headed up Champion’s human resources department, before moving into the roles of CEO and then president & CEO. ECN: What did your role as VP of human resources teach you about the organization? DH: I learned the importance of placing people in positions that play to their strengths rather than simply hiring someone to do a specific job. We often move individuals into roles that are more in line with a unique skill set or personality type they may have instead of the experience they bring on board. ECN: Your brother, Drey Lucibello, is in national sales development for Champion and shares ownership of the company. Do family politics ever play a role in Champion’s operation? DH: Drey has been in sales long enough that a lot of his clients are business owners themselves. And they’re always shocked at how well the

business is run. We are very good about setting boundaries and making sure we have that work/life balance. ECN: How has the company evolved under your leadership? DH: Prior to, and at the beginning of my career, Champion cast a wide net and serviced any type of freight we could make money moving. We realized in the early ’90s that we were especially good at servicing more specialized types of industries, like tradeshow, and began focusing on these areas of business. Niche markets have continued to play to our strengths through the years; however, through my leadership tenure, we have gotten better at analyzing which of these specialized markets to concentrate on, and the exhibit and live event industries have become our primary focus. ECN: What’s it like to lead in a male-dominated industry? DH: Looking at Champion, you would never know that we work in a male-dominated industry. About half of our employees are women, and many of our longest-tenured and most-experienced staff members are female. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by so many smart, hard-working and industry-savvy women. I am so proud that Champion is an outlier in that regard. ECN: That’s an excellent segue into Champion’s recent designation as a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise. Why did you choose to pursue that designation? DH: It meant a lot to me personally to be recognized as a woman-owned-and-controlled business. I am also excited about the opportunity to

network and learn from other WBEs, and for opportunities to work with other WBEs. ECN: I looked through the application requirements. It looks like a lot of work! DH: It was a long process. It took months to put all the paperwork together. We were turned down the first time due to a technicality. When my father retired, my brother and I—we have such an incredible relationship—we took equal shares of the business to protect our families. But the majority of the business has to be woman-owned. So, I bought an additional share of the business and applied again six months later. That’s when we received the designation. We have to do a yearly recertification. But having the

designation has helped me already. The association holds conventions and networking opportunities and I’ve listened to some really incredible people talk about their business challenges. They provide so many learning opportunities. And if I ever have a problem or issue that I want to talk through, there’s always someone to call. It’s nice to know that I have an outlet for those sorts of things. ECN: Champion is a very respected organization, known for having its own fleet. What else separates you from the competition? DH: Champion has always been client-focused and strives to be an extension of our customers’ business. This often involves taking a deep

dive into understanding their product or service, really getting to know key personnel, and often assigning a specific internal team to work directly with them on communication, goals and expectations. We also know that our employees are our greatest strength and we deeply value them. Our average employee has been with us more than 10 years. Through our more than 40 years of growth, we have maintained the small, family-owned culture, and I know that our employees see and believe that we appreciate them as extended family members. ECN: How has this last more than a year of lockdowns impacted you and your company?

DH: It has certainly been the most challenging time in Champion’s history, and I have grown more professionally and personally during this time than at any other point in my career. Leaning on other business owners, specifically in the exhibit industry, has made this challenge easier to navigate. I have learned to let go of things I cannot control and move on from things I cannot change. I have learned to appreciate small victories and focus on long-term progress rather than shortterm success. We got really good at branching out during COVID and doing things outside of our comfort zone to make sure we’re positioned to ride out any other storm that comes.

Champion Logistics Group has a transportation divison specializing in the coordination of trade shows and special events. Champion provides the most reliable and flexible trade show transportation in the industry.


ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 33

Here. ready. stronger than ever.


SHOP TO SHOWFLOOR An In-Depth Look into Today’s World of I&D and Event Labor

Pictured L-R: Maureen Jardin, Sarah Fantauzzi, Lisa Studley, Denise Franzen, Anita Bota, Kaitlyn Kewriga and Dee Peters

The Wonderful Women of Willwork Pg. 36-38

The “Secret Sauce” Behind Trussworks’ Success Pg. 40-41

Going “All In” for the Return of Live Events Pg. 42-46

This section is dedicated to all exhibit house professionals, as well as all exhibit managers and tradeshow coordinators worldwide. For advertising information and rates, please call our offices at 702-309-8023 and ask for sales. @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 35

SHOP to SHOWFLOOR I&D and Event Labor


36 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News


OVID-19 crushed conventions, shuttered venues and eliminated jobs. Some businesses closed their doors. Here’s how one company survived. When shows first cancelled, Willwork began making adjustments. This was nothing new for the company headquartered in Massachusetts, as the organization historically embraced change: evolving over the years from an I&D contractor, to a full-service General Contractor, to the creation of teams specializing in AV services, Digital Solutions, Retail Environments and Concert Productions. The pandemic created new challenges, and the company produced new solutions. Willwork constructed field hospitals in convention centers, and began selling Personal Protective Gear. They researched state safety regulations before commencing outdoor construction and performing indoor retail and graphic installations. Willwork produced numerous virtual events for tradeshows, galas and fundraisers. Flipping houses in several states became another avenue for keeping key personnel employed … all the while,

the company continued with limited I&D and GC work. At the same time, the business challenged itself to think longer term—what can be done to improve systems and procedures? As can be seen below, the women of Willwork led the charge on many of these projects.

Denise Franzen is

a rock-solid pillar of the organization. She has impacted the service, attitude and profitability of the company more so than anyone, with the exception of the president and the CEO. A graduate of Stonehill College, she first worked in the healthcare industry before joining Willwork. With more than 21 years of industry experience, she has run operations and sales, and currently serves as the administrative director. During the pandemic, Franzen facilitated the health and safety training for Willwork teams in multiple states—including infection control trainings, GBAC technician trainings and WHO certifications. She developed a system for ensuring Willwork’s COVID-19 regulation compliance for construction and retail work

throughout the country. She facilitated the launch of the company’s new website, and has been working with the IT department to improve internal platforms. She is active in the community, serving on local youth program boards and facilitating social groups for grade-school-age children. She lives on the South shore with her husband and two boys.

Lisa Studley is

the chief financial officer for the company. After graduating from U. Mass Dartmouth, she began her career in public accounting in the construction industry, passed the CPA exam and then moved to the private sector, working in publishing, property management and home construction. She joined Willwork in April 2011, and under the tutelage of then-CFO Ted Barowich, she progressed from senior accountant, to accounting manager and then to controller. During the pandemic, in addition to her regular duties, she has maximized PPP funds and ERTC credits. Studley says, “Keeping up with the changing rules and regulations related to PPP and other programs being administered by the SBA is a full-time commitment.” She has been involved with retail installations, managed PPG sales and suggested Willwork begin work flipping houses. She met her husband in high school and has been a “hockey @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

mom” to her two children.

Sarah Fantauzzi

is the executive vice president, sales for Willwork. She has a Masters degree from Roberts Wesleyan College. Experienced in HR, sales and technology, her career spans multiple markets including insurance, software, manufacturing and construction. She is a team leader with more than 10 years of industry experience, and joined the company in June 2019. During the pandemic, she transitioned to become an executive event producer, as opportunities switched from live events to virtual ones for sales, fundraisers, galas and, of course, tradeshows. She is on the Board of Directors for the NHRA, and the EDPA Northeast chapter. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and two children. “If the last 14 months have taught me anything,” Fantauzzi says, “it is that resilience, patience, thinking positive, making an impact in the lives of others and never giving up are at the core of life, both personally and professionally.”

Dee Peters

is the digital solutions and IT manager for Willwork. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and has been in the industry since 1998. Tasked

initially with revamping the IT department, she has assisted in creating digital platforms and maintaining and growing the company’s digital footprint. During the pivotal period of the pandemic, she has used her knowledge to manage virtual events for new and existing clients. In addition to being an amazing part of the leadership team, she holds a black belt in Muay Thai and Krav Maga and continues to train.

Anita Bota knows

tradeshows and events. She has been involved with the industry for the past 32 years, starting as a college intern, working with AutoCAD. A graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology, she worked as a graphics manager and national account executive. She joined Willwork in January 2014 as the director of event creative services. In addition to other duties, she produces several large GC shows. During the pandemic, she transitioned from non-stop road warrior, to being at home and getting re-acquainted with her daughter. She has assisted with retail estimates and graphic installations for Willwork, and has also transitioned to director of operations for a

family concrete construction company, employing some of the efficiencies that she learned in the tradeshow industry. She is currently planning tradeshows for this summer and fall.

Maureen Jardin has been

with Willwork for the past 21 years. She is a graduate of U. Mass Amherst, and prior to joining the company she worked in data processing and marketing. She is the national operations manager for the company; previous positions included: event specialist, CSR, account manager, assistant city manager and director of information and research. During the pandemic, she has been tasked with maintaining relationships with partners and clients. Despite having a job that some weeks requires availability 24/7, she has a life outside the industry: a violinist since the age of nine, she has performed with the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, four times a year for the past 14 years. She also acquired her cosmetology license in 2015, and works as a part-time hair stylist.

Stephanie Latzanakis

is an award-winning designer in the Massachusetts office. She interned in May of 2016, and joined the company in 2017, after graduating from Stonehill College. During the pandemic, she joined the social media team, assisting with the

ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 37

SHOP to SHOWFLOOR I&D and Event Labor

visual design of content, and transitioned to the planning, sourcing and scheduling of the postings. This work proved to be a great way for her to gain experience in other areas, including research, copywriting and marketing—which have helped further elevate her design skills and contributions to the company.

Danielle Clark After re-

ceiving a Masters degree in communications from Marshall University, Danielle Clark joined Willwork as an event services manager in August of 2007. She progressed through several positions and is currently the Southeast general manager. She is a Certified Meeting Professional, and is also the executive director of Curry Ford West (part of the Orlando Main Streets Program) and will lead “in fostering growth and relationships among community residents and business owners.” She lives in the Orlando area with her husband and two children. She is involved in the planning and production of upcoming shows in several cities around the country, including the first GC event in the brand new $375 million Caesars Forum.

Noelle Webster

A graduate of Southwestern University, Noelle Webster started her tradeshow career with

Willwork in September of 2016. Prior to that time, she had been in events ranging from fundraisers, brand activations and corporate meetings. She is currently a national account manager, and leads Willwork’s Austin, Texas, division. During the pandemic, she has transitioned to new sales in retail, while maintaining existing relationships and leading social media posts. She helped establish the EDPA Texas chapter, and currently serves as its vice president. She is part of EDPA’s class of 2020 Future Leaders, and is serving on the board of directors of EACA. She is passionate about industry advocacy and mental health, and has helped organize and host webinars on those subjects.

Shannon Cushing

is a senior event manager, and has been employed by Willwork since her graduation from the top-ranked Rosen College of Hospitality Management at UCF. She has been involved with IAEE and MPI for the past ten years. During the pandemic, she has been more involved with retail. She received

38 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

GBAC training, and is assisting and educating clients with “new/safe ways to bring events back … adapting to a ‘new normal’ that we as an industry are still trying to navigate.” She helped with the planning and producing of Mr. Olympia in December (one of the largest live, international events in the U.S. at the time). Cushing, along with the rest of the Orlando team, is producing six events in June, several over the summer, and McLane, Mr. Olympia and the ATT Summit in the fall.

Kaitlyn Kewriga is

the director of client services. At U. Mass Dartmouth, she was captain of the swimming and diving team, and graduated with a degree in marketing. She worked in hospitality before joining Willwork in May of 2013. She began her career as an event specialist, and progressed to account manager, then to account executive. Mentored by Franzen, she learned all aspects of operations, sales, accounting and administration prior to her present leadership position. During the pandemic, she pivoted to retail installations, becoming the main point of contact in real time between customers and the field. During this period, she learned more about construction and developed new pro-

cesses and internal programs to better service customers. She continues to work with clients, account managers and account executives on current and future projects. Kewriga and her department are the glue that holds the office and field together, the critical link between the sale and the service. It takes a team to create success: owners, employees, clients; field, office; men, women; everyone. Those listed here are not all the women who work at Willwork, not even all of those in leadership positions, These are ones who added responsibilities and shifted to new roles to help keep the company functioning. Willwork is keeping people working, in the field and in the office. As Franzen explains, “The past 15 months have certainly been challenging for our industry and our organization. So many of us have adapted and changed in order to survive. We are so proud of our team and their ability and desire to rise to the challenge. Because of their extraordinary abilities, passion and dedication, we have not only survived, but know that we will continue to thrive.” Willwork: Still here. Still working. The group photos were taken by Paula McCallum, an account manager and graphics designer, who joined Willwork six years ago.






The Workers of I.A.T.S.E. LOCAL 835 look forward to making your Show or Booth carefree and successful!! The industry’s finest labor, southern hospitality, and plenty of sunshine. WWW.IATSE835.ORG

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SHOP to SHOWFLOOR I&D and Event Labor

Industry Survivors & Pivoters

The “Secret Sauce” Behind Trussworks’ Success by Tristin Vaccaro


e all know the story all too well: In the last 15 months, tradeshows and events were canceled or postponed and the industry came to a screeching halt. This story is usually told through a lens of loss and, at times, hopelessness. For Trussworks, though, the story is different. Trussworks has provided steel truss systems for the live event industry for 30 years. When the lockdown first started, Trussworks knew that they would need to pivot, and quickly, to endure. “In the beginning, we, along with everyone else, thought COVID-19 would only be around for a couple of weeks,” says Trussworks President Steve Hess. “When we realized it would be much longer, we wondered what we could do to think outside the box and remain profitable.” Everyone was in uncharted waters, and it was time to either sink or swim. After doing a quick inven-

tory of the materials they already had and evaluating the rising demand for products that prevented the spread of the virus, Trussworks had their answer. Acting quickly, Hess began by sketching a hand sanitizer dispenser stand. Within just a few days, the stand went from a design on a page to a completed prototype. In less than two weeks after that, the product was ready to go to market. By utilizing their existing stock of steel and leveraging existing relationships with suppliers to source dispensers, Trussworks was able to manufacture large quantities of the stands in a short amount of time. With supply lines secured and materials sourced when others could not, Trussworks was ready to roll out their new product line. Well, not quite. A new product meant selling to a new market. Trussworks couldn’t rely on tradeshow dealers to bring thousands of dispenser stands

40 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

to the right customer base. “We knew who the buyers were, we just needed to figure out a way to get in front of them,” says Hess. Again pivoting, Trussworks took their product to janitorial supply companies and educational suppliers, those who already had the ear of the buyers, to get the product sold. Making these new connections required many hours on the phone and constant emails with an entirely new audience that was unfamiliar to Trussworks and vice versa. Hess described the process as, “basically starting at sales ground zero. Getting them to believe in us and our product since they never heard of us before.” It’s important to note, these weren’t dealers that were looking to fulfill single orders or even orders of eight to ten. These dealers wanted to buy hundreds or, in several cases, thousands at a time. Once dealers heard Trussworks was able to commit

to supplying these kinds of quantities and could deliver, the sales started to roll in. In the end, Trussworks manufactured and sold more than 15,000 sanitizer stands. With the success of the sanitizer dispenser stands, Trussworks was able to remain on the stable ground they had been building upon before the pandemic. Instead of focusing on how to stay alive, they were able to continue their growth and acquisition strategy. Perhaps the most exciting? Trussworks is proud to announce they are the exclusive distributor of Prism Lighting Solutions in the U.S. Their lighting solutions range from industry-leading flexible strip lighting to award-winning arm lights, lightbox modules and DMX special effects lighting. “There are even new products that we developed during the pandemic that we haven’t even announced yet,” teases Hess. To further their growth strategy and supplement these product line additions, Trussworks added two new staff members. Roman Moszkowicz was hired to lead the brandnew Lighting Solutions Di-

vision and Joe Guerrero was brought on as national sales manager. During the pandemic, while others experienced layoffs and closures, Trussworks was able to grow their team by 50 percent and they are looking to add more. Not only that, but they are looking to expand to a new facility within the year. Trussworks is proud to celebrate these newfound successes, especially during such a challenging time for the events industry, but it was not without challenges and hard work. Hess continues to work seven days a week to improve and grow the industry he loves. He credited Trussworks’ success on their ability to act quickly, invest strategically and trust their gut. When asked what advice he would

sure, but it’s the secret sauce that will continue to propel Trussworks forward.

While others experienced layoffs and closures, Trussworks was able to grow their team by 50% and want to add more. give to other businesses if a similar situation were to ever happen again, Hess offers, “Use every minute of every day moving forward. Those who sit around waiting for things to happen will still be sitting there while those who take action blow past them.” When all is said and done, Hess truly believes the entire experience made Trussworks a better company.

“I’d like to think we had a ‘secret sauce’ for coming out of the pandemic stronger and more vibrant than when we went in,” says Hess. As for what exactly that “secret sauce” is, Hess won’t tell. It’s probably a combination of willingness to adapt, mixed with strategic acquisitions, a lot of teamwork and possibly even a dash of luck. It’s hard to know for

Since 1991, Trussworks has produced high-quality steel truss systems for the display industry. Their systems are known for their superior strength, ease and speed of assembly, and of course, clean and stylish looks. Over the years, they have added several product lines to their traditional systems. Every system they design adheres to the four principles which embodied their first product lines. For more info, visit trussworks.com. Tristin Vaccaro is an experienced copywriter, marketer and sales executive with experience in the live event and security industry. She has recently launched her own freelance copywriting firm and can be reached at tristin.vaccaro@gmail.com.

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SHOP to SHOWFLOOR I&D and Event Labor

Going "All In" for the Return of Live Events By H. K. Wilson When you have dedicated thousands of hours to achieving mastery in your field, you don’t just walk away when things get tough. There is likely no industry that has been harder hit by the pandemic than that of live events. And while thousands of meeting and tradeshow workers have been furloughed or lost their jobs outright, they have not simply given up on the careers they have invested in. This skilled workforce has remained connected and proactive, and as the world is beginning to turn once again, it is ready for action. Throughout the pandemic, associations have been the industry’s beating heart. They have provided the unbroken infrastructure and leadership to keep people communicating and innovating. They have taken on big challenges from supporting the mental health of members to advocating for the industry at the highest levels of government. The focus early in the pan42 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

demic was organizing industry efforts toward health and safety. What could the industry do to ensure that event personnel, exhibitors and guests could come together again safely—and further, what could the industry do to make people feel safe? As COVID numbers have declined and event calendars are filling up, new challenges have emerged. Now, the industry is grappling with the logistics of reactivating former workers, onboarding new personnel, pulling equipment out of warehouses and restocking materials—all complicated by ongoing supply chain shortages and rising costs. But have no fear—this is an industry of freakin’ logistical geniuses. We’ve got this. And we’re all in. Fittingly, “All In” is the name that the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association has given to its new event readiness initiative aimed at bringing leaders together from across the exhibition, meetings

and events industry to create strategies that ensure everyone is ready to execute the anticipated compressed show schedule in coming months. ESCA has been working hand-in-hand with its members and partners throughout the pandemic crisis. It is a key contributor to the Go Live Together initiative and the Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA), as well as a strong supporter of the Exhibitions Mean Business initiative. Now, All In addresses the “Three Rs” of the post-pandemic environment: Readiness to bring the industry and its workforce together with new innovations. Restart with greater flexibility and new technologies, and to provide health and safety protocols. Re/Event to tackle industry challenges with stronger communication and new solutions.

Julie Kagy is ESCA’s director of operations. A graduate of Purdue’s hotel and restaurant management program, Kagy went on to work for Four Seasons Hotels before pivoting to tradeshows at GES. There, she became an active ESCA member, and eventually, she was recruited to become one of ESCA’s key personnel. Six years later, she and her team are focused on helping the industry get back to work. “As we started hearing rumblings that shows were coming back, we realized we had to focus not just on the safety piece, but on rehiring, retraining and reinventing ourselves so that we’re ready. We needed to get the word out there that this is not something we’re ignoring. We’ve all been working incredibly hard, and our main focus is ensuring that the industry is ready with the right staff, labor and equipment.” As a conduit for communication among venues, labor, contractors and suppliers, ESCA is facilitating education, information sharing and cooperation between parties to ensure a successful, industrywide reopening. One place where ESCA has been able to help is by quashing erroneous

rumors. “One rumor is that everybody is retiring early,” Kagy says. “That is completely inaccurate. There’s another rumor that people are leaving the trades. That is just not the case. This industry is where their benefits, pensions and livelihoods are—it’s a career. Leaving would be equivalent to a teacher, doctor or any other skilled person making a career change. Labor might have been finding other things to do in the meantime, but people are ready to return to their careers.” For everyone to come together again, venues must be ready to receive them. During a virtual panel discussion about All In hosted on June 15, David Causton, general


manager of McCormick Place and vice president of convention centers at ASM Global, said that in order to welcome people back safely, venues are successfully adopting new cleaning protocols. Many have become Global Biorisk Advisory Council certified. During the downtime, numerous facilities have made capital improvements, adopting new technologies like touchless doorways and restroom facilities. Some have

even embraced the events of the future with new broadcasting studios. And finally, greater cooperation among organizers, contractors, labor and exhibitors is making the upcoming compressed show schedules possible. Chris Schimek, executive vice president of event delivery at Freeman and ESCA board member, says that during the pandemic downtime, his team has focused on enhancing the customer experience. “We’ve centralized customer service support and

unified our localized service teams into one national team for a more consistent approach, given exhibitors additional ways to communicate with us (like text and chat), increased show floor efficiencies to ease move-out headaches, added new modernized product offerings, simplified our pricing models (for storage and material handling), and are expanding the option for customers to submit and complete outbound paperwork without any paper. Also, our branches have become more regionalized to offer greater consistency in product and service.” Bringing team members back is currently one of Freeman’s greatest challenges. Schimek

ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 43

SHOP to SHOWFLOOR I&D and Event Labor continued, “We are ramping up quickly as shows come back—and we’re so happy to be doing so by re-onboarding furloughed team members. Freeman has kept them close through regular contact and updates from their manager, a weekly newsletter that includes business, industry and team updates, Town Halls and webinars on a range of topics.” Each department has created onboarding playbooks to maximize efficiency. “We’ve also engaged those on furlough and others in the industry through a new community Live Team (www. liveteam.com), which is an online networking resource for professionals in the business-events industry. The goal is to build a community to connect, share and learn new skills to help prepare talent as we come back to live events.” Joanne M. Sanders is the international vice president and tradeshow department director for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. She is also co-chair of ESCA’s labor and management council. Sanders shed light on some of the difficulties the industry’s labor sector is now facing. Despite her organization’s tireless efforts to help revamp production lines to produce PPE by employing members, and setting up and staffing vaccination sites across the country to provide members with short-term employment, approximately 85 percent 44 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

of its membership remains unemployed. But during these months of limited activity for workers, Sanders says they have not been idle. “We have increased our online training courses to ensure that workers have maintained their skills and adapted to new technologies that they may now find on the show floor. At this writing, one of our main challenges exists in 25 states where governors have chosen to eliminate the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which will affect hundreds of thousands of workers in our industry in the next few weeks. To be clear, these folks are NOT staying home because of the money. They are skilled technicians who can see the industry gearing back up and they know the return to work is imminent, but imminent is defined as late summer early fall in many markets. Eliminating PUA and PEU is creating a gap from which they may not recover.” Collaborating with ESCA and other organizations has been critical to getting IATSE members back to work. “Participating with ESCA and the All In campaign has certainly created opportunities for greater communication and collaboration,” Sanders says. “In the last few months, we have created the Tradeshow Labor Alliance with representation from the IATSE, IBEW, Carpenters, IUPAT (Painters), and Teamsters. We have been working with employ-

er members of ESCA, with venue managers and with suppliers to develop safety protocols for return to work, to enhance training programs for new technology, and to review new ways of addressing work as we anticipate a compressed schedule in the fall. The more information we share, the earlier we share it, the more likely we can reach suitable solutions, especially in situations where unanticipated issues arise. Having practiced collaboration over the last 15 months will bode well for all of us as the industry moves forward.” Jeff Quade is the executive vice president for events at GES. His organization has been proactive by reimagining its business and mapping new opportunities for growth. “We made some strategic changes to better facilitate the evolving needs of our clients and reimagined the exhibitor experience journey. Some recent examples include: » “The GES Plus Series , a broad simplification initiative across multiple exhibitor services and product offerings. The initiative Jeff Quade

has rigorously analyzed all pricing structures and created a comprehensive series that makes the ordering and billing process easy to understand and transparent for show organizers and exhibitors. Our first programs in the GES Plus Series include material handling and electrical, which will be followed by future programs in the series.

» “New offerings for GES Exhibitor Services: » Electronic Bill of Lading (BOL) allowing exhibitors to electronically prepare their shipments at the end of a show, from the comfort of their booth. » A texting service program for all locations which allows exhibitors and EACs to text a question instead of seeking out GES personnel at show site. Third- and fourth-quarter show compression is challenging both physical and human resources. “To address this, we are utilizing our Flex Talent Pool program and the return of skilled professionals to our organization to ensure we successfully produce these shows,” Quade says. “The Flex Talent Pool program offers flexible work opportunities for experienced exhibition and live event talent. We created this program in anticipation of live events returning in 2021. With business demand still uncertain, this program allows us to flex up and down as business needs necessitate.” Through it all, he says ESCA has remained an important resource. “The organization is critical in providing education, training, resources and ample networking opportunities in our industry,” Quade says.

Julie Kagy

“ESCA provides us with upto-date information on what is happening in our industry, helpful guidance on health/ safety protocols and resources to collaborate with.”


Kagy encourages ESCA members “not to be isolated or stand in silo. Reach out to have honest conversations when you’re having challenges—even with those outside the ESCA membership. Likely, somebody can assist. Be extremely proactive and have contingency plans in place. As much as possible, we need to be addressing things in advance.” All In participants report that they are already seeing some unique arrangements coming out of this initiative, from sharing of resources to collaborative strategies for moving things in and out of show sites efficiently. Kagy continued, “When I first became an ESCA member, I was so surprised at the

ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 45

SHOP to SHOWFLOOR I&D and Event Labor

Haribo booth at Sweets & Snacks 2021 in Indianapolis

camaraderie between competitors. This is a very small world, and many relationships have been established for years and years. I see people working with each other, asking a contractor to mark the floor before move-

in or making arrangements to share equipment. The really positive thing COVID has done is accelerate that spirit of cooperation.” This is a bridge year. Research shows that companies have not lost interest in

ESCA's All-In event readiness initiative is to create strategies so everyone is ready to execute the anticipated compressed show schedule in the coming months ... 46 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

face-to-face marketing—they have simply been waiting for a safe time to return. According to Kagy, partnerships are crucial to everyone’s success in the coming months. “We all need to row together in the same direction. We know the foreseeable future is going to present a unique set of challenges. We all need to communicate and reinvent ourselves a little bit. And doing things differently is not a bad thing. A lot of innovations came out of the past year. We’re excited to see how that affects the tradeshow and event world going forward. And we’re excited to be back to work and addressing challenges so we can come out on the other

side. This is who we are—we can do anything. Having the conversation about how is the key.” Since 1970, ESCA has provided a unified voice for service contractors and their partners in the exhibition industry. ESCA now has more than 160 member companies throughout the U.S, Canada and Mexico and maintains alliances with IAEE and CEIR to promote the industry. ESCA is dedicated to the advancement of the exhibition, meetings and special events industries. Through the education, information exchange and level of professionalism shared by members and their customers, ESCA promotes cooperation among all areas of the exhibition industry. For more info, visit www.esca.org.




ouston is the fourth-most populous city in the U.S., racially and ethnically diverse and culturally rich; its rapid growth is fueled by its diverse economy. The GRBCC was named after George Rufus Brown, a civic leader, philanthropist and internationally recognized entrepreneur and engineer who donated six of the 11 blocks that comprise its footprint. The red, white and blue building—one of the largest CCs in the U.S.—is 100 feet tall. Its facade is reminiscent of a ship, perhaps as a nod to Houston’s port, which ranks first in the U.S. in international waterborne tonnage handled. After 30 months of construction undertaken by 1,200 people and at a cost of $104.9 million, the GRBCC opened in 1987. Expansion began in 2001 to add three exhibit halls and 62 meeting rooms, bringing the total to 105. Also, part of that expansion was the development of a 1,200-room headquarters hotel, the Hilton Americas-Houston, connected via two skywalks. During its first renovation, the 1,150,000-sq.ft. convention center grew to 1,800,000 sq.ft. The expansion was completed in December 2003, just in time to host Super Bowl XXXVIII press conferences. In 2008, the 12-acre Discovery Green park was developed across the street. The urban park contains a lake, performance areas, bandstands, a playground, two dog runs and plenty of space to lounge on the lawn. Two parking lots were built beneath the park to make up for the parking lots lost to this picturesque urban oasis. 48 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

by Emily Olson

Football is king in Texas, and in 2014, the GRBCC underwent a second major renovation in anticipation of Super Bowl LI. Six lanes the length of five city blocks were converted into Avenida Houston, a 97,000-sq.-ft. pedestrian-friendly convention and entertainment campus that boasts five restaurants. A new hotel—the Marriott Marquis—was built and connected to the CC via skywalk, too. In addition to more than 100 meeting rooms, ballrooms and event space, the GRBCC includes a general assembly theater, which can seat 3,600 people for concerts, conferences, meetings and performances. Exhibit Hall B3 can be converted into an enormous 6,500seat space that is an appropriate venue for sporting events and concerts. Throughout the years, the GRBCC has been host to myriad impressive events, including two Texas Democratic National Conventions; the annual International Quilt Show, which draws 60,000 attendees; and Comicpalooza, Houston’s largest pop culture event. The GRBCC also opened its doors when neighboring Louisiana was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Approximately 7,000 evacuees took shelter. The GRBCC is owned by the city of Houston and operated by Houston First Corporation, a government corporation that, in addition to the convention center, manages several performing arts facilities, including the Wortham Theater Center, Jones Hall for the Performing Arts and Miller Outdoor Theatre.

SLEEP Located just steps from the Houston Museum of Fine Art is the sophisticated and fun Hotel ZaZa. It offers concept suites—such as the space-themed suite—for those looking for a bit more than just a place to lay their head at night. For a more classic, but no less impressive, hotel experience, the JW Marriott is a good choice. The hotel is located in Houston’s business district and offers stellar service and spacious rooms without any fussiness.

PLAY Houston is home to some world-class entertainment, from theater to ballet to opera. But if you’re spending just one day in Houston, the museum district is a downtown draw that shouldn’t be missed. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is packed with enough curiosities that someone can easily spend a day there. Check out the Hall of Paleontology first and let the displayed megalodon jaw stretch your imagination. The museum is only minutes away from the Houston Zoo, home to countless species and the extraordinarily impressive gorilla exhibit—the largest in North America.

Photo by Julie Soefer Photography

George R. Brown CC

Houston is a multicultural melting pot, and its cuisine speaks to the incredible number of cultures that call the city home. However, even though you can find just about any dish from any part of the world within the Houston city limits, there are a few dishes you shouldn’t leave without trying, such as chicken fried steak—a southern staple. A gorgeous cut of beef is battered and fried to crispy, craggy perfection before being doused with a helping of white gravy and generously sprinkled with cracked black pepper. Pro tip: Eat it with a side of mashed potatoes. In 2020, Houston Press awarded Live Oak Grill with the honor of Houston’s best chicken fried steak.

A new story is being written about Detroit and the meeting industry we all care deeply about. As we dedicate ourselves to the new realities of meetings, our customers’ safety has become The Center of it All. Now, we look to what is important beyond our 723,000 square feet of exhibit space and being the 17th largest convention center in the country. The new story being written is one about the character of our community and the places we gather. We look forward to meeting again.

tcfcenterdetroit.com | 313.877.8214


Our Industry May Be Battered, But Our Foundation Is Strong. Thanks to the stewardship and hard work of our 51 Founding Grantors and Grantor companies, individuals, and charitable events the EDPA Foundation Endowment is solid, well managed, and our policy that 95% of money raised goes to recipients and causes allows us to continue to: Support two college design programs to help nurture talent for the future. Continue to fund our industry scholarship program, needed now more than ever. Make a generous donation to the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic to allow them to continue their good works. When the storm passes, and things improve for our industry, we will have a strong foundation to rebuild on.


Together, We Are Making a Difference.

Be Part of the Story. Visit www.edpa.com/edpafoundation to see how.


ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 49


People on the Move


ities are opening back up for business and furloughs are ending—and not a moment too soon! CORT Events has promoted Mike Davis (right) to president and COO, John Hile to executive VP of business strategy and Paula Newell to executive VP of operations. Industry veteran Mike Benson is going to head up a new division at ShoLink as director of general contracting and events and Bill Furlong was named CEO of Atlanta-based International Market Center’s Juniper, their new fully integrated omnichannel B2B e-commerce platform. After nine years of leading beMatrix USA, Robert Laarhoven is leaving to launch his own consulting firm. EDPA board member Dana Esposito, formerly of Elevation3D and ACCESS TCA, will be taking on a new role as VP of Brand Strategy and Experience at Sacks Exhibits in Andover, Mass. TideSmart Global named Jeff Fortmann (right) executive VP/general manager. Previously with Highmark TechSystems and Access Intelligence, Fortmann will lead their experiential offerings division, TideSmart Experiential (formerly EMG3), focusing on events, engagements and activations. Washington, D.C.-based mdg, a Freeman company, has appointed industry luminary Erin Lee to oversee the continuing growth and transformation of its digital, data and web departments. Penn.-based IMS Technology Services has expanded their team and hired Mike Schisler as a senior project manager and Christopher Kissel as a national account manager. They also promoted Chris Leonard to director, technical operations, Brook Kebede to production supervisor and Brian Johnson to warehouse supervisor. 50 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

by Exhibit City News

GCI Graphics, a division of Exploring, Inc., has hired print industry expert Jayme Carey as a senior client experience manager. Don & Mike Show sponsor Circle, an Omnichannel Guest Experience Agency, has added to their team with Paula Handra (right) as VP of event operations based in the San Francisco Bay area, Las Vegas-based Angela Donka as controller and Anthony Warren as project manager. Warren has 16+ years of experience, having worked at Astound Group and Xibit Solutions. New England-based CorpCom welcomed Bob Rucci as their new senior graphic design director, joining them after 15+ years with Elevation3D. ESCA board member and Metro Exhibits co-founder Bobby Lee has joined CSI Worldwide to run their General Service Contracting division. Iowa-based Trusswork has hired Roman Moszkowicz, formerly with Prism Lighting Group, to lead their new LED Lighting Solutions division. In new business development positions, ProGlobalEvents welcomed Rob Dunn as the new senior business development manager in Fremont, Calif., and Momentum Management added Stephanie Worley (right) as their newest senior account executive for the West Coast. Christopher Kappes, the founder/COO of Exhibitshub, an online marketplace of exhibits and services, has joined St. Charles, Missouri-based Craftsmen Industries, Inc., with the title of client development. BeyondLive, Inc., a leading-edge developer of 3D virtual experiences for corporate clients, announced the addition of Patrick King as a business development manager.

EDPA NE board member/treasurer Matthew Johnson has joined Nationwide Displays as VP of business development. He was formerly with Elevation3D. Exhibit/event marketing veteran Misty MacGregor joins the ADEX International team and will focus on the Florida tradeshow/event market. In international news, INVNT, a global live-brand storytelling agency, has appointed U.K.-based Peter Clarke as director of business development for EMEA. INVNT also launched a Higher Education Div. with Sarah Winkler as senior VP and JoAnn Peroutka as VP of the division. Paris-based Sonia Thomas has joined jwc GmbH, a global exhibition and conference industry consulting firm, as a senior consultant. She was COO of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, from 2006-2021. Also at UFI, Michael Duck was elected incoming president for 2022-23. In other association news, Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, current president and CEO of the Chicago-based Association Forum, will become ASAE’s next president and CEO effective Sept. 1 and the Professional Convention Management Association has named Meghan Risch as VP, strategic and corporate communications. In CC news, Spectra welcomed new Social Sales Manager Kasia Koontz and Operations and Custodial Manager Thomas Dyer to the Owensboro CC and Sportscenter in Kentucky. The San Diego CC named Sufi Karaien executive chef as Daryl O’Donnell (Chef D) moved to Tennessee. Melbourne, Australia’s Convention and Exhibition Centre COO Leighton Wood is retiring this summer and Helen Fairclough was promoted to fill his position.


Daryl T. Clove

January 12, 1950May 9, 2021


aryl Thomas Clove passed away in his sleep May 9 in his second home in Enterprise, Utah, at the age of 71. He had spent 39 years working for GES, beginning in 1971 at Las Vegas Transfer & Storage, which became United Exposition in 1986 and was bought by GES in 1988. He started as a freight manager and was promoted several times including to VP Freight in 1994, EVP Freight/Acting EVP Production in 1996, EVP/GM–GES Las Vegas in 1997, EVP of Operations in 2000 and retiring as EVP, National Accounts in 2010. Daryl was born on January 12, 1950, to Thomas Alvy and Thelma Neilson Clove in Provo, Utah, where his father was playing football for BYU. He grew up in Henderson, Nevada, with his four brothers. In his childhood, he enjoyed spending summers with his maternal grandfather, ranching cattle in southern Utah. After graduating from Basic High School in Henderson, Daryl served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for two years in Texas, teaching in Spanish. Upon returning home, he married his high school sweetheart, Addie Marie Bowler, on June 24, 1972. They proceeded to raise a family of six children (two boys and four girls). Having no more than a high school education, Daryl started work as a truck driver with his father. With a strong work ethic and dedication, he rose to become a national officer of GES Exposition, producing conventions and tradeshows. He retired from GES Exposition in April 2010, only to lose both his wife and his mother later that same year. Daryl loved the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting, camping and fishing, as well as riding horses with family and @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

friends, throughout his life. In retirement, Daryl returned to his roots and took up farming and ranching in Enterprise, Utah, which he did until his death. He was a loving “Bampa” to his grandchildren. Many industry co-workers shared their memories of him on Facebook, including Ken McAvoy, EVP at Informa, Global Exhibitions, who wrote, “Loss of a Quiet Giant! In life you meet many people who influence not only your life, but the tradeshow and convention industry as a whole. Some do it in a ‘quiet’ way and obtain your appreciation and respect from that never is forgotten. This past week we lost such an individual in Daryl Clove in Las Vegas. Dedicated to his family first ... and the industry second ... we have lost a ‘Quiet Giant’. Rest in Peace my friend! Everyone is better off by knowing and appreciating what you did for our industry. We will all miss you!” Hugh Sinnock agreed, and wrote, “Well stated, Ken. We have lost a great friend to so many in our industry.” Rip Rippetoe concurred, writing, “I learned so much from Daryl over the years. I will miss him. Thanks for the words, Ken. Couldn’t agree more.” Barry Rappaport added, “Ken, thanks for your post and words that describes my feelings as well. Daryl was respected by all and influenced so many people. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” Fred Buonacorsi shared that “Daryl was a strong influencer of so many of our careers. His knowledge was great, his demeanor was strong but fair. Daryl was a good person and a friend. He will be missed by many.” Frank McCrary wrote, “RIP Daryl! A great man and a fantastic planner!” Steve Anderson added, “He mentored so many of us! He is missed and loved!” Steve Moody shared, “I had the pleasure of working with Daryl many times. He was a true professional and one hell of a guy.” Marybeth Liberty wrote, “Very sad to hear, he was truly one of the best. I first

met Daryl when my career started way back when at the Sands and I learned so much from him. Rest In Peace. Prayers and love to his family and friends.” Bob Kneesel added, “You are all correct. He was a man of few words, but when he did speak, people listened.” GES EVP Exhibitions Jeff Quade wrote a beautiful tribute and sent it to the family (see his tribute below). On social media he wrote, “I told his family that Daryl was a humble leader that had an incredible internal compass that allowed him to go 'North.' The ability to 'go North' through all obstacles and deliver on his commitments, endeared him to many. His humility and integrity made him a great leader, co-worker and friend to many.” He is survived by his four brothers: Terrill (Mareli), Craig, Kevin, and Kelly (Karen); six children: Lonny (Tami) Clove, Sheree (Eric) Rowe, Heather (Mike) Bryant, Heidi (Brent) Barlow, Rochelle Clove, and Jake (Kassie) Clove; 20 grandchildren: Aubree (William), Dillon, Garrett, Jenna, Wyatt, John, Emma, Brock, Tyler, Sadie, Levi, Bridget, Addie, Zachary, Bronson, McKinney, Blake, Porter, Landrie, and Jaelie; and 1 great-grandchild: Primalynn. His funeral was held May 20 in Henderson, Nev., and he was interred next to his wife in The Enterprise City Cemetery. To share a memory or condolences, please visit www.metcalfmortuary.com /obituary/daryl-clove.

GES EVP Exhibitions Jeff Quade’s Tribute to Daryl I had the privilege of working alongside Daryl for the last decade of his career at GES. It would be easy to speak to Daryl’s professional accomplishments, the number of employees he led, revenue and profit he generated, his technical freight expertise, the size of the shows or the significance of those shows to the business, but those do not define Daryl from my point of view. What I want his family and friends to remember are the character traits that made him the leader, co-worker and friend to everyone assembled here today. ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 51


There are three traits that to me define who Daryl was: The first is that Daryl had a tremendous internal “North Star.” I do not know if it was from years of being outside or his love of hunting, but his ability to know how to get “North” through any situation was incredible. That confidence and conviction empowered many to follow him, to believe that any obstacle could be overcome and that ability to lead, endeared him to his clients. I had a big brother/ little brother work relationship with Daryl. I do not need to explain to the family the dynamics of the sibling balance of power. Let me assure you, I was the little brother, and from time to time my big brother had to keep me in line. Today, if I close my eyes, I can see Daryl asking me into his office, sitting at his desk, arms crossed and looking over his glasses, to tell me he was disappointed.

Disappointed Daryl meetings were never fun. Daryl would explain his point of view, his conviction of how or what we should do, and we would generally close our meeting with me understanding and agreeing to his point of view and a handshake … after the handshake, there was no mistaking who was in charge! The second trait is Honor and Integrity. Daryl Clove was one of the most honorable individuals I have had the opportunity to work with. Along with his internal “North Star,” he walked the talk. As I got to know him personally over the years and he shared with me his faith, I understood the foundation of his honor. Daryl was not one to carry his emotions and feelings on his sleeves, he felt the best way to witness in a professional setting, was to live out the values of his faith. At no time, did I

Steve Wiskup April 15, 1954 May 18, 2021


teve Wiskup, 67, retired from 3D Exhibits in March 2020 after spending 47 years as a union carpenter with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters. He passed away May 18 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Steve began his exhibit industry career at Exhibitgroup Chicago in 1979 as a master carpenter. He went on to become a shop foreman and an estimator at Exhibitgroup. In 1995, he joined 3D Exhibits with four others to start up the new company. He served as VP Production and fulfilled the many other needs 52 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

for a start-up company. When Bill Dixon retired, the company was purchased by Gene Faut to continue the vision. Steve went on to serve as PM, estimator and field supervisor for the many new clients that 3D quickly attracted. “Steve always volunteered to do whatever it would take to complete a project. He would always say, 'How can I help?' Every successful start-up company in our industry had

ever question his integrity and that core value of honor and integrity allowed his employees, clients, and partners to trust him. His word was unquestionable. The third and final trait is Humility. Teddy Roosevelt famously said, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’ Daryl spoke softly, yielded great influence and was one of the humblest individuals in our industry. An industry that is not shy of big egos and excessive hubris. Daryl had all the individual accomplishments that would have been easy to brag about, but he choose to let others take center stage, and was more than willing to chart a course North, with integrity and humility. On behalf of the entire GES organization, I want to thank you for sharing your brother, father, uncle and grandfather with us. We are eternally grateful. Thank you.

people like Steve to make things happen. His energy and dedication will be missed,” says Gene Faut, president, 3D Exhibits. Steve joined 3D as a “jack of all trades” guy who helped Bill Dixon to jump start 3D Exhibits from $0 to $4 million in 1995. Coming from a big company like Exhibitgroup, 3D’s vision was “customer service.” 3D then grew to more than $100 million in 2019. Steve’s contribution to 3D’s start-up success will not be forgotten. Steve is survived by his two children, Brad and Amanda, his sister, Cynthia, and his brother, Gary. His son Brad says, “I followed in my Dad’s footsteps and became a union carpenter in 2006 and then joined the 3D team in 2015.” He will be missed by his family and the many friends and associates within the exhibit indus-

try. His family remembers that “Steven had a great passion for fishing, hunting and snowmobiling, and touched the hearts of so many with his great knowledge to fix and build anything. He was always lending a helping hand to others. Steven, you are not here today, but we were all so blessed because you were the best.” “I worked with Steve in two different companies and he was always there to stop and lend a hand,” remembers Larry Kulchawik. “I, and the many others in the back lot of the industry who knew him, will always remember Steve’s dedication and will miss his friendship and support. ” —contributed by Larry Kulchawik To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit www.tributearchive.com /obituaries/21266260 /Steven-B-Wiskup.


Richard Raedeke

May 2, 1965-July 13, 2020


lmost a year ago, the Condit Exhibits family was devastated by the loss of Richard Raedeke, following a long illness. After nearly 30 years with the company, Richard contributed to each department and helped shape the work-life of every single employee in the front office, on the manufacturing floor and inside the warehouse. Richard started at Condit in October of 1992 and eventually ascended to VP of operations in 2005 but not before heading almost every major organizational division, including graphics, IT, design, project management and field services. His understanding of Condit’s inner workings was unparalleled. “Richard was already at Condit when I was hired, and I actually thought he was older than me,” said Kevin Trainor, design director. “I think part of it was that he was so professional, so competent and so well regarded. He seemed like … a grownup, a guy who had a lot of responsibility, which he took very seriously. Not just his job, at which he excelled, but the health of the company and the well-being of his employees.” Richard was instrumental in creating the in-house graphics department, build@EXHIBITCITYNEWS

ing and maintaining the entire modern IT infrastructure, and coordinating a complex move to Condit’s present location at 5151 Bannock Street in Denver. “Richard had extraordinary superpowers that made him the go-to guy for everything,” said Pete Nelson, Condit’s graphics manager. “He could pretty much make anything happen.” “Richard could wear many hats,” said Laura Braafladt, senior account executive. “He always took responsibility for digging into difficult issues and resolving them.” “I grew to know him as this curious and eager learner of the business as he tackled and conquered many facets of Condit over the years by leading and managing our many departments,” said Keita Usuda, senior designer. “He was one of the key people that helped grow Condit by getting involved in improving every single department over the years.” Richard is remembered by his team, long-timers and short-timers alike, for his integrity, professionalism and work ethic as well as his steadfast support and guidance. “I found Richard to be a man of great integrity from the first day I met him, and that impression only got stronger through the years,” said CEO Mike McGowan. “You could always count on Richard to be the professional one. You could always rely on his calm, methodical approach,” said Mandy Glenwright, senior project manager. “Richard was the rock of Condit,” said Jennifer Molina, warehouse manager. “I was always blown away at all the differ-

ent tasks and duties he gladly took on. I felt I could go to him with any issue, good or bad. He was an amazing role model.” “I clearly recall the sense of warmth and sincerity he exuded,” said David Brown, longtime vendor partner at Taylor Corp. “When we had conversations either face to face or over the phone, I noticed that Richard was always open and connected to me and never preoccupied.” Richard was also known for his stern manner and no-nonsense approach, which helped clarify objectives, motivate the team, and improve the bottom line. This included regular use of spreadsheets, flow charts and numerical data. “He didn’t pull any punches or mince words with me at any point in the 10 years I worked with him, and I always appreciated and respected him for it,” Glenwright said. “I will admit that Richard was an intimidating figure to a brand-new salesperson!” said Jenny Koehn, vice president of sales. “It was clear that he was in-charge, and you had better get your ducks in a row before approaching him.” He also enjoyed the fun and fantastical side of Condit, including annual Halloween extravaganzas, the Condit Olympics, go-karting, badminton tournaments and more. “I really appreciated seeing Richard’s goofy side, which usually presented itself in his Halloween costumes like NASCAR driver and pirate,” said Koehn. “And I remember how excited he was to view the solar eclipse in 2017! He bought the special glasses and gathered everyone outside in the parking lot.” Despite 75 years of company history, Richard worried for the Condit family and the business amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and did his best to prepare the company and the team to function in his absence. “Four days before Richard passed, he sat in my office and expressed guilt that he would not be around to help us get through the pandemic,” McGowan said. “Even at the end of his life, Richard was more concerned for others than himself.” “I know Richard would love that Condit has kept the doors open, and we’re back up and running strong,” said Nelson. “Condit ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 53


Richard ("Cowboy Richie”) Joseph Apps, Nth Degree Romeoville, IL April 28, 1961 - May 16, 2021 “Oh man. Richie Apps…I respected the hell out of this man. Used to catch him at local rodeos. Always wore his boots. Wow. Man made an impact in my life. Good man. Going to miss him.” —Bob Reinecke

Big Joe Rafferty, Nth Degree San Diego, CA August 3, 1962-May 23, 2021

was a huge part of Richard’s life and he always wanted it to be the best business.” Today, Richard’s memory lives on each day within the walls of Condit and through the employees he mentored. “His contributions to the company’s success cannot be numbered,” said Trainor. “He truly felt that we were all part of a Condit family, and his deep, emotional connection to our company and its people, whether enjoying the successes or getting through the hard times, contributed more to creating our Condit culture than almost anything else.” “Richard once told me, ‘When in doubt, ask yourself this one question: is it good for the customer? If the answer is yes, then just do it, because what’s good for our customer is good for Condit.’ I think he would want us to simply take care of our customers and each other and the future will take care of itself,” said Usuda. “His knowledge and willingness to always help was part of the reason he wore so many hats,” said Elzana Bailey, senior controller. “I do believe that a big part of Condit success has been because of Richard’s leadership and that the foundation he was part of will carry us for the next 75 years.”— contributed by Condit Exhibits staff. For more memories, visit www.condit. com/remembering-richard-raedeke 54 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

“We have lost a great man, one of our San Diego 831 boys. Big Joe Rafferty- a great friend with a huge heart! RIP Brother... you will be missed! —Doug DeNure

Monte C. Moore, Nth Degree Watertown, TN January 18, 1963 - May 23, 2021 "What a good man he was, could always count on Monte." —Bill Russell “One of my favorite guys to work with out of Nashville. Rest in Peace.” —Steve Scranton

Scott Woolard, Nth Degree/Zenith Labornet/ Epic Labornet Ft. Worth, TX April 3, 1963 - January 8, 2021 “I knew Scott from his help at tradeshows. Always had a smile with a wonderful attitude. Scott was such a pleasure to work with! He lifted the spirits of everybody around him! I am so sorry for the family that lost such a good man too early, know that he was loved by so many!" —Harley Gaffney “I’m so crushed that we have lost three of the greatest I&D men in the business, they were true men, who loved their fellow workers, would go to the Nth degree to make sure everyone was okay or needed help. Their love and compassion for the family and work will be sorely missed. RIP Joe, Monte, Rich. God’s speed be with you. We all love ya.” —Bill Force “Wow I love this man [Joe]. One guy that I always wanted to have on my booth whenever I came to town; you will truly be missed. That’s three great men Joe, Monte and Rich.” —Steve Stone

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Dining, Entertainment, Attractions & Lodging


Houston’s Diverse Array of Delectable Delights by Jeanne Brei Houston, the “Bayou City,” “Space City,” “Magnolia City,” “Hustle-Town” and a handful of other nicknames, is the nation’s fourth largest and fourth most populous city (behind NYC, L.A. and Chicago). At 655 square miles, the city of Houston could contain the cities of New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Miami. So, naturally, the city’s restaurant scene is as ethnically diverse as its more than 6 million residents. With 10,000 restaurants

representing cuisine from more than 70 countries and American regions. In 2016, Yelp listed Houston as having 600+ vegan friendly restaurants, 150+ farm-to-table restaurants and more than 700 food trucks. Houston was named the “newest capital of great food” by Food & Wine and the country’s most exciting food city by Tasting Table magazine. The Visit Houston website (www.VisitHoustonTexas. com) has pages and pages of restaurant recommendations—with about 20 restaurants in each category. Categories include popular hotspots for crawfish season (typically February through May), BBQ joints, top steakhouses, award-winning restaurants and iconic Houston meals (including wings and waffles at the Breakfast

Klub, fried shrimp with remolaude at Christie’s Seafood & Steak, pansoti at Tony’s, campechana extra at Goode Company Seafood, parillada at Churrascos, a Vietnamese sandwich at Les Givral’s, dim sum at Fong’s Kitchen, fried chicken at Frenchy’s Chicken, and so many more). Phoenicia Specialty Foods, an international grocery store, is only a few blocks away from the GRBCC and has both dine-in or take-out options if you want to picnic out on the Discovery Green Park. If you need coffee, juice or a dessert by the GRBCC, check out Tout Suite’s cool, eclectic vibe. Also convenient to the GRBCC is the Hearsay Gastro Lounge with a cozy atmosphere and craft cocktails. Batanga has a 3,600 sq.ft. bricked patio with string lights and offers 50 percent off bottles of wine (ex-

56 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News


cluding bubbles) all day long on Sundays, including brunch. Also downtown, The Lake House is a family-friendly, fast casual concept located on the south shore of Kinder Lake in the heart of the Discovery Green urban park. Operated by the nationally renowned Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group of Cafe Annie fame, the Lake House features all-American nostalgia with great burgers, delectable grilled chicken, signature salads, beer, wine and drinks. And if you’re a beer connoisseur, you can join the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium’s UFO Club for just $18 and get a T-shirt and a mobile app that will look up beers, queue it up and track your progress to tasting 200 beers. They eschew franchises, but have a dozen locations throughout the South.

Miller Outdoor Theatre


Houston’s Robust Cultural Arts Scene by Jeanne Brei Downtown Houston’s nationally renowned Theater District spans 17 blocks and features seven renowned performing arts organizations and many smaller ones in four venues: Alley Theatre, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Jones Hall and Wortham Theater Center. The Theater District also includes one venue dedicated solely to dance: Houston Ballet’s Center of Dance. Houston is one of only a few U.S. cities with resident professional companies in the four disciplines of the performing arts: ballet, opera, symphony and theater. The city has more than 500 @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

institutions devoted to the performing and visual arts, science and history. The Houston Symphony resides in Jones Hall, an amazing architectural wonder that offers unparalleled versatility, enabling it to accommodate several art forms. Overhead, 800 hexagons create a moveable marvel that can be raised or lowered to regroup volumes, alter the physical circumstances of a room and manipulate acoustics. The auditorium can literally shrink from 2,912 seats to 2,300. The ambience of the hall is enhanced with its vibrant red velvet seating, golden teak walls and a sweeping loge that seems to reach for the stage. Outside, Jones Hall is just as beautiful, with its curving marble walls and a rectangle of columns. And in the lobby, there’s a “Gemini II” sculpture hovering just below the lobby ceiling that resembles shooting stars as it pays hom-

age to the hall’s performers and acknowledges Houston’s role in space exploration. From April to November, since 1923, the Miller Outdoor Theatre (in Hermann Park) has been a local favorite for free outdoor performances of professional shows by Theatre Under the Stars, the Houston Symphony and the University of Houston, among others. Robust doesn’t begin to describe Houston’s cultural arts scene. The Houston Grand Opera is the only opera company in the world with Grammy, Tony and Emmy awards. The Alley Theatre has staged more than 25 world premieres in its history. Backed by private and public contributions, the theatre underwent a $46.5-million renovation in 2014-15. Theatre Under the Stars is one of the largest nonprofit producers of musical theater in America. Nearby is Bayou Place which hosts the Reven-

tion Music Center, a movie theatre, restaurants, event venues and more. For those who like their entertainment more along the party variety, prior to the lockdowns Houston was ranked as the sixth best party hub in the nation with 1,256 bars, 123 dance clubs, 17 beer gardens, eight country dance halls, 13 jazz and blues venues, 63 karaoke bars, 98 music venues, three piano bars and 52 pool halls. They’re located in numerous nightlife districts including Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, Washington Avenue and Rice Village. If sports are more up your alley, you can take in a Houston Rockets basketball game at the Toyota Center or watch the Astros swing away at Minute Maid Park—which are both downtown. Or you can head to NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium) to watch the NFL’s Houston Texans’ home games. ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 57


Dining, Entertainment, Attractions & Lodging


Set Your Sights Through Houston’s Free AR App By Jeanne Brei Houston, home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the training base and home for our nation’s astronauts and the site of Mission Control, has taken tourist sightseeing to new heights using the latest augmented reality technology. A brand-new, free VisitHouston AR app takes the view you normally see through your cell phone camera and adds a layer of “augmented reality.” By using the app, you can just point your phone camera in any direction and little labels pop up automatically displaying what’s there, what type of business it is and how far away it is. Clicking on a label reveals even more information about that place, like restaurant descriptions, ratings and more. In 1969, “Houston” was the first word spoken from the moon by The Apollo 11 mission when astronaut Neil Armstrong said, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Houston is also home to Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, which is NASA’s center for spaceflight activities. The Space Center’s Independence Plaza is the only place in the world where you can enter a space shuttle replica resting on top of the original shuttle carrier aircraft, NASA 905. 58 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

The exhibit immerses visitors in the science and history of the shuttle era and only here can visitors walk through the flight deck, mid-deck and payload bay of a shuttle replica and the seven dynamic areas within the aircraft. Also going high-tech is Houston’s CityPASS Tickets good for five of Houston’s top attractions. By purchasing the CityPASS tickets online you get instant delivery with mobile tickets that can be used right away or within a year of purchase. Visit the attractions at your own pace, in any order, over nine consecutive days. They offer Space Center Houston, the Downtown Aquarium, the Houston Museum of Natural Science and a choice between the Houston Zoo or the Museum of Fine Arts and a choice between Kemah Boardwalk and the Children’s Museum Houston.

Unique to Houston is a Buffalo Bayou Boat Tour. The 90-minute private, relaxing ride along the Buffalo Bayou takes you along the heart of Downtown, historic Buffalo Bayou past Allen’s Landing, Sesquicentennial Park and Sabine Promenade, McKee Street Bridge and the industrial side of the city. Due to current restrictions, only private charters are available, but the tour can accommodate up to 20 people and be scheduled at your convenience based on availability. A few more unusual attractions include the Galleria area Water Wall, a 64-foottall fountain—built to look like a “horseshoe of running water”—that sits among 186 oak trees at the base of the 64-story Williams Tower. Designed by architect Philip Johnson more than 20 years ago, it offers a refreshing

moment of Zen or a perfect Instagram selfie setting. More free attractions include catching a sunset or sunrise 40-minute LED-light show at James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace on Rice campus (no show on Tuesdays). The grass-covered pyramid illuminates and changes colors as the natural light reflects off the structure. Or watch 250,000 bats emerge at dusk from under the Waugh Drive Bridge, located over Buffalo Bayou between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive. Finally, the 84-acre Glenwood Cemetery is the resting place for some of Houston’s most iconic residents with ornate headstones and sculptures, including more than 20 mayors, past governors, oil tycoons and Howard Hughes, the famous aviator, engineer and movie director.

Buffalo Bayou Boat Tours


No Need to Choose Between Historical, Convenient or Luxurious in Houston’s Hotels By Jeanne Brei The 1,000-room Marriott Marquis, which opened in 2016, and the 1,200-room Hilton Americas-Houston, which opened in 2003, bookend the GRBCC, and both are connected via a skybridge to the convention center. The Marriott Marquis Hotel even features a giant Texas-shaped lazy river on the roof. But regular readers know that I prefer hotels with grand histories and architecture over convenience and newness. The Hotel Icon’s boutique hotel experience doesn’t make a guest choose between history, convenience or luxury. Still conveniently located in downtown Houston and featuring luxury accommodations, the Hotel Icon was built in 1911 as the Union National Bank Building, one of the country’s earliest steel and concrete skyscrapers. Fully restored, the 12-story hotel represents the neo-classical period with intricately carved exterior Corinthian columns, soaring 30-foot Doric interior columns and impressive decorative interior molding. Other historical hotels include The Sam, which opened in 1924 and is the oldest operating hotel in the city of Houston. Recognized in the @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

The Marriott Marquis Hotel, Houston

National Register of Historic Places, The SAM opened as a 10-story hotel featuring 200 guest rooms (today, reduced to just 100) with modest restaurants. Most guests back then had overnight layovers between trains, as Houston’s Union Rail Station was only a couple of blocks away (currently the home of Minute Maid Park). Guests could rent a room for $2 per night; for an extra 50 cents, they received a room with a private bathroom. The Sam has also been updated with state-of-the-art finishes and fine dining and is now part of the CURIO Collection by Hilton. Also downtown, in the heart of the Theater District, The Lancaster Hotel is a historic luxury boutique hotel that originally opened as the Auditorium Hotel in 1926. Thanks to its location in the theater district, the landmark

hotel enjoys a legacy of nearly 100 years of providing exceptional service and hospitality to guests that have included opera singers, musicians, actors, dancers, screen writers, film stars, poets, authors, politicians, wrestlers, boxers, circus, rodeo performers and even a horse! Another hotel that opened in 1926, The Warwick Hotel was built at the entrance to Hermann Park. The exterior is decorated with Georgian-styled cast stone ornaments and the U-shape of the building was constructed to catch the southeast breeze. In 1962, it was purchased at auction by Houston oilman John Mecom Sr., who completed an extensive renovation. Today, the building houses Hotel Zaza and many of the original architectural touches remain. Finally, for more than a decade, the 18-acre Hous-

tonian Hotel, Club and Spa served as the formal residence of President George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara, while he served as president and vice president of the U.S. (1981-1992). The pair stayed at the property 10 to 15 times each year and, although they did sleep in The Manor House before it became the property's private restaurant, the Bush family later moved to room 271 so the President could be more easily guarded by the Secret Service. The room was later expanded to include four regular rooms, with two living rooms and two bedrooms—all customized with personal touches and monogrammed towels. The Manor House, which had been open only to members of the Houstonian, is now open to the public for lunch. Guests can also see the Botanic Room, where the G-7 Summit Treaties were signed. ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 59

*Disclaimer: All shows are subject to cancellation, check the official event website on the ECN Tradeshow Calendar for the latest information.

Tradeshow Calendar

Att = Attendance | CC=Convention Centre | Exh = Exhibitors | Nsf = Net Square Feet


All Information Is Subject to Change*

Show ICCE - International Conference & Exhibition on Clean Energy-Virtual ICANM - International Conf. & Exhibition on Advanced & Nano Materials-Virtual American Urological Association - AUA Northeastern Section Annual Meeting The National Franchise & Business Opportunities Show Western Manufacturing Technology Show - WMTS Oil Sands Trade Show & Conference National Pet Industry Trade Show Global Business Travel Association Canada - GBTA Global Energy Show SIIQ - Immigration & Integration Conference Edmonton Franchise Expo American Dental Congress

Start 08/09 08/09 09/03 09/11 09/14 09/15 09/19 09/20 09/21 09/21 09/25 09/27

End 08/11 08/11 09/05 09/12 09/16 09/16 09/20 09/21 09/23 09/22 09/26 09/28

Venue Virtual only Virtual only Hotel Bonaventure The International Centre Edmonton Expo Centre Suncor Comm. Leisure Centre International Center Metro Toronto CC BMO Centre

City Ottawa Ottawa Montreal Toronto Edmonton Ft. McMurray Mississauga Toronto Calgary Montreal Montreal CC Edmonton Expo Centre Edmonton Vancouver


Start 07/07 07/08 07/10 07/10 07/12 07/13 07/13 07/13 07/15 07/18 07/25 07/26

End 07/10 07/11 07/12 07/13 07/14 07/16 07/15 07/16 07/17 07/20 07/28 07/30

Venue Minneapolis CC Keystone Conf. Center Henry B Gonzalez CC Omni Ft.Worth Hotel Ft. Worth CC Hilton Anatole Iowa Events Center Chateau on the Lake Spa Omni Oklahoma City Henry B. Gonzalez CC Gaylord Rockies Resort & CC









Industry Energy 13 Manufacturing Healthcare 5000 150 35000 Business 2828 100 Manufacturing 5700 400 85000 Energy[Oil & Gas] 1811 230 40800 568K


1600 50

20000 Business Healthcare



U.S. CENTRAL Show National Assoc. of Church Business Administration - The Church Network National Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Symposium Texas Restaurant Association - TRA Marketplace Pawn Expo - National Pawnbrokers Association DUG Eagle Ford - Developing Unconventional Gas Sunbelt Builders Show Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo - FEW Missouri Bankers Association Annual Convention American Association of Meat Processors Exposition - AAMP Texas High School Coaches Association - THSCA National Contract Management Association World Congress - NCMA World Congres International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease


60 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

Denver CC

City Minneapolis Keystone San Antonio Ft. Worth Ft. Worth Dallas Des Moines Branson Oklahoma City San Antonio Denver Denver


Industry 1600 100 27K Religious 1200 100 15000 Healthcare[Nursing] 5041 505 83869 Food & Beverage 375 91 28856 5912 476 54120 Energy[Oil & Gas] 2500 208 31800 Building & Construction Energy[Renewables] 2000 300 300 52 5200 Banking 1200 110 15000 Food & Beverage 13.7K 383 82100 Education 2000 55 5500 Financial & Legal 5000 75 12000 Healthcare


*Disclaimer: All shows are subject to cancellation, check the official event website on the ECN Tradeshow Calendar for the latest information.

Tradeshow Calendar Att = Attendance | CC=Convention Center | Exh = Exhibitors | Nsf = Net Square Feet


All Information Is Subject to Change*

Show The ASI Show! Chicago Auto Show RDH Under One Roof National Emergency Number Association - NENA EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Fly-In Fire Department Instructors Conference - FDIC International Municipal Signal Association - IMSA Greater Chicago Design-2-Part Show Grain Elevator and Processing Society - GEAPS Converters Expo Indiana Long Term Care Convention & Expo Midwest Security & Police Conference/Expo

Start 07/13 07/15 07/22 07/24 07/26 08/02 08/02 08/04 08/06 08/09 08/09 08/19 Ohio Health Care Association Annual Conv. & Expo - OHA 08/23 ASTA Global Convention - American Society of Travel Advisors 08/23 08/24 RetailX - GlobalShop & IRCE

End 07/15 07/19 07/24 07/29 08/01 08/07 08/04 08/05 08/09 08/10 08/11 08/20 08/26 08/25 08/25

Venue McCormick Place McCormick Place Indiana CC Indianapolis Columbus CC Wittman/Pioneer Airports Indiana CC Columbus CC Schaumburg CC Columbus CC Lambeau Field Atrium JW Marriott Tinley Park CC

City Chicago Chicago Indianapolis Columbus Oshkosh Indianapolis Columbus Schaumburg Columbus Green Bay Indianapolis Tinley Park

Greater Columbus CC Columbus Hyatt Regency Chicago Chicago McCormick Place Chicago





Industry 4422 641 90K Advertising & Marketing 150 900K Automotive & Trucking 1500 125 11000 Healthcare[Dental] 2000 Safety Aerospace & Aviation 500K 800 1M 28K 821 425K Fire and Fire Protection Government 1000 80 17K 2000 270 28K Manufacturing Agriculture & Farming 3589 438 650 100 426 65 20000 Healthcare 2300 175 28000 Police OH 3200 300 118K Healthcare Travel Industry IL 1000 200 IL 12K 760 215K Stores & Store Fittings

Visit Our Website DAILY UPDATES COVID-19, Tradeshow Calendar, 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! @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 61

*Disclaimer: All shows are subject to cancellation, check the official event website on the ECN Tradeshow Calendar for the latest information.

Tradeshow Calendar

Att = Attendance | CC=CC | Exh = Exhibitors | Nsf = Net Square Feet

U.S. NORTHEAST Show New York State Association of Fire Chiefs - Fire Industry, Rescue & EMS Expo GRAPHICS PRO EXPO - GPX Texworld USA - Summer-Hybrid International Apparel Sourcing Show Summer New York’s Best Menswear Show Philadelphia Gift Show Heart Rhythm Society - HRS Scientific Sessions-Hybrid Sea-Air-Space Exposition CurveNY County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania - CCAP NY NOW - New York International Gift Fair JA International Jewelry Show

All Information Is Subject to Change*

Start 07/14 07/15 07/20 07/20 07/23 07/25 07/28 08/01 08/01 08/01 08/08 08/08

End 07/17 07/16 07/22 07/22 07/25 07/28 07/31 08/04 08/02 08/04 08/11 08/10

Show Start Progressive International Motocycle Show - IMS Outdoors 07/16 Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Conf. - PMA 07/21 American Society for Nondestructive Testing - ASNT Digital Imaging & Ultrasonics for NDT 07/27 Northwest Foodservice Show 08/01 Central Valley Facilities Expo 08/04 Washington Association for Career & Technical Ed - WA-ACTE-HYBRID 08/08 Drive World Conference & Expo - Embedded Systems Conference - ESC 08/16 Clean Pacific Conference & Exhibition 08/17 Farwest Show 08/18 UTC Telecom & Technology 08/23 Northwest Facilities & Machine Tool Show 09/01 Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals - ASCIP 09/05

End 07/18 07/22 07/29 08/02 08/05 08/11 08/18 08/18 08/20 08/27

Venue The Onecenter Meadowlands Expo Center Jacob Javits CC Starrett-Leigh Building Park Lane Hotel Gtr. Philadelphia Expo Center Boston CC Gaylord CC Spring Studios

Hershey Lodge Jacob Javits CC Jacob Javits CC

City Syracuse Secaucus New York New York New York Oaks Boston National Harbor New York Hershey New York New York


Att 10K

Exh Nsf 400 100 4399 503 65703 655 210 26630


130 150

50K 5.8K

2.8K 456

Industry Fire & Fire Protection Printing Textiles Textiles Apparel Gifts Healthcare Aerospace & Aviation Apparel Government 545K Gifts 78243 Jewelry

City Sonoma Monterey Reno Portland Modesto Spokane San Jose Seattle Portland Portland Portland Reno






62 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

Venue Sonoma Raceway Monterey Conf. Center Silver Legacy Resort Portland Expo Center Modesto Centre Plaza Davenport Grand Hotel McEnery CC Hyatt Regency Lake Washington Oregon CC portland Oregon CC Oregon CC 09/02 09/08 Peppermill Resprt Spa Casino

Industry Automotive & Trucking 1900 201 15700 Food & Beverage Science 5000 300 Food & Beverage 1900 225 23500 Plant Eng. & Operations 800 46 3680 Education 11K 250 Computers & Apps 1000 75 10000 Pollution Control Agriculture & Farming 6000 400 Telecommunications Healthcare

*Disclaimer: All shows are subject to cancellation, check the official event website on the ECN Tradeshow Calendar for the latest information.

Tradeshow Calendar Att = Attendance | CC=CC | Exh = Exhibitors | Nsf = Net Square Feet


All Information Is Subject to Change*

Show Tennessee Safety And Health Congress - TSHC Coverings NWFA Annual Wood Flooring Convention & Expo Florida Pharmacy Association - FPA FBI National Academy Associates - FBINAA National Annual Training Conf. International Jewelry Fair/General Merchandise Show Underground Construction Technology - UCT Powder Coating Show NAMM Summer Session Southeast Building Conference - SEBC The Special Event & Catersource ICAST - American Sportfishing Association - ASA Florida Roofing, Sheet Metal & Air Cond. Contractors - FRSA Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians Annual - LAFP Associated Locksmiths of America - ALOA RetailNow - Retail Solutions Providers Association - RSPA Florida Health Care Association Annual Convention - FHCA Airborne Law Enforcement Association Annual Conference - ALEA APSCON Fire-Rescue International - IAFC AHRA - Assoc. for Medical Imaging Management - Annual

Start 06/30 07/07 07/07 07/07 07/07 07/08 07/13 07/13 07/15 07/15 07/19 07/20 07/21 07/22 07/25 07/25 07/25 07/26 07/28 08/01

End 07/02 07/09 07/09 07/11 07/10 07/11 07/15 07/16 07/16 07/16 07/22 07/23 07/23 07/25 07/31 07/27 07/29 07/31 07/30 08/04

City Nashville Orlando Orlando Ponte Vedra Orlando New Orleans Nashville Orlando Nashville Orlando Miami Orlando Orlando Sandestin Beach Resort Destin Orlando Caribe Royale Nashville Gaylord Opryland Rosen Shingle Creek Orlando Ernest N. Morial CC New Orleans Charlotte Charlotte CC Nashville Music City Center


American Academy of Dermatology - AAD Summer Meeting Florida Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists - FSHP Association of periOperative Registered Nurses - AORN Louisiana Foodservice Expo - LRA American Society for Healthcare Engineering - ASHE SuperCorrExpo National Cattlemen’s Beef Association - NCBA CATTLECON Data Center World Global Conference - AFCOM

08/05 08/06 08/07 08/07 08/08 08/08 08/10 08/16

08/08 08/08 08/10 08/08 08/11 08/12 08/12 08/19

Tampa CC



Venue Gaylord Opryland Orange County CC Orange County CC Sawgrass Marriott Rosen Shingle Creek Ernest N. Morial CC Music City Center Renaissance at Seaworld Music City Center Gaylord Palms Miami Beach CC Orange County CC Gaylord Palms

Rosen Centre Orange County CC

Ernest N. Morial CC Music City Center Orange County CC

Gaylord Opryland Orange County CC

Tampa Orlando Orlando New Orleans Nashville Orlando Nashville Orlando

Att 23K 3000 700 19K 3000 1500 16K 5500 9000 8604 2500 200 3500 1400 1000 1200 14K 1000 2607 1100 10K 9000 4000 8010 1000

Exh 120 979 280 70 100 442 200 100 496 300 360 457 209 60 200 134 275 165 500 150 140 100 500 420 279 140 271


Industry Safety 340K Building & Construction 52000 Building & Construction 5600 Healthcare 100K 125K

Jewelry Building & Construction Manufacturing 70690 Art, Music & Culture Building & Construction 160K Exhibition & Meeting Ind. 134K Fishing 31200 Building & Construction 6000 Healthcare 45000 Building & Construction 17500 27500 Healthcare Aerospace & Aviation 180K Fire & Fire Protection 52000 Healthcare 18200 10000 142K 40000 37900

Healthcare Healthcare Healthcare Restaurants & Food Serv. Healthcare Manufacturing 95000 Agriculture & Farming Computers & Apps

ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 63

*Disclaimer: All shows are subject to cancellation, check the official event website on the ECN Tradeshow Calendar for the latest information.

Tradeshow Calendar

Att = Attendance | CC=CC | Exh = Exhibitors | Nsf = Net Square Feet

U.S. SOUTHWEST Show Amusement Expo - AAMA American School Counselor Assn - ASCA-HYBRID Medtrade West Inside Self Storage Expo - ISS ISC West - Security Solutions AWFS - Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery - ASCRS Health Physics Society - HPS Annual Meeting The Americas Lodging Investment Summit - ALIS Assoc. of International Cert. Prof. Accountants - AICPA Engage Conference-HYBRID Water Quality Association - Aquatech - WQA National Court Reporters Association Annual Conv - NCRA Black Hat USA Optics & Photonics - SPIE MAGIC Las Vegas Tradeshow - Fashion Healthcare Information & Management Systems - HIMSS Medical Design & Manufacturing - MD&M West International Roofing Expo - IRE - NRCA GRAPHICS PRO EXPO - GPX WPPI - Wedding & Portrait Photographers Int’l SuperZoo International Pizza Expo National Pharmacy Purchasing Association - NPPA Society for Vascular Surgery - SVS Vascular Annual Meeting Southern California Facilities Expo American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Tech. - ASET ASD Las Vegas Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo

All Information Is Subject to Change*

Start 06/29 07/11 07/12 07/13 07/19 07/20 07/23 07/25 07/26 07/26 07/28 07/29 07/31 08/01 08/09 08/09 08/10 08/10 08/12 08/15 08/17 08/17 08/17 08/18 08/18 08/19 08/22 08/22

End 07/01 07/14 07/14 07/16 07/21 07/23 07/27 07/29 07/28 07/29 07/30 08/01 08/05 08/05 08/11 08/13 08/12 08/12 08/14 08/19 08/19 08/19 08/19 08/21 08/19 08/21 08/25 08/24

Venue Las Vegas CC Caesar’s Forum Phoenix CC The Mirage Sands Expo Las Vegas CC Mandalay Bay Sheraton Downtown J.W.Marriott /L.A. Live ARIA Resort Las Vegas CC

City Las Vegas Las Vegas Phoenix Las Vegas Las Vegas Las Vegas Las Vegas Phoenix Los Angeles Las Vegas Las Vegas Planet Hollywood Resort Las Vegas Las Vegas Mandalay Bay CC San Diego San Diego CC Las Vegas CC Las Vegas Las Vegas Sands Expo Anaheim Anaheim CC Las Vegas Mandalay Bay CC Long Beach CC Long Beach The Mirage Las Vegas Las Vegas Mandalay Bay CC Las Vegas CC Las Vegas Bally’s Las Vegas Las Vegas San Diego San Diego CC Anaheim CC Anaheim Town & Country San Diego San Diego Las Vegas CC Las Vegas Anaheim CC Anaheim


Att 6000 3600 4630 4000 37K 20K 13K 1500 3000 1000 5000 1500 6500 5000 66K 43K 22K 9337 10K 8274 10K 6842 358 2684 1000 350 40.3K 8000

Exh Nsf Industry 201 48500 Gaming & Entertainment Education 314 56800 Healthcare 300 40000 Physical Distribution 1K 292K Security 900 Woodworking Healthcare 100 11300 Healthcare Financial & Legal 345 Water 60 5000 Financial & Legal 150 Computers & Apps 280 30000 Science 4.3K Apparel 1.3K 596K Healthcare 2.2K 380K Healthcare 465 118K Building & Construction 396 43500 Printing 248 75800 Photography 1.2K 285K 474 106K Food & Beverage 114 Healthcare 144 25500 Healthcare Plant Eng. & Operations 175 50 5000 Healthcare 2.8K 684K Gifts 400 50300 Food & Beverage

• Delivery in Las Vegas, FedEx/UPS to all cities • Be a HERO use Horizon Print Solutions and make it EZ • Everything for your show or event from a top quality 25 year supplier!

Color Printing • Rack cards • Brochures • Booklets • Everything else 64 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

Meeting & Event Supplies • Lanyards & Credentials • Binders, Tabs and inserts • Tote Bags & Inserts • Tickets & Programs

Promotional Products • Giveaways • Table Drapes & Signage • Branded Apparel • Gifts & Awards

INDUSTRY SERVICE GUIDE Where to Find Professional Services, Products and Supplies—a Companion Directory to Our Online Guide: www.ExhibitCityNews.com/Service-Guide

Aadvantaged Displays 69 A Harmony Nail Spa 68 AllSpace Group 67 BWC Visual Technologies 66 CDS (Corporate Display Specialties) 70 CEP (Chicago Exhibit Productions, Inc.) 68 Champion Logistics 70 Character Talent 66 Clementine Creative Services 66 Condit 68

CorpCom CorpEvents Equip, Inc. Exhibitrac Direct Marketing Horizon Print Solutions LaborSource Las Vegas Power Professionals Lip Smacking Foodie Tours OnPoint Presenters Prism Lighting

70 67 71 71 70 69 68 69 70 69

Quality EFX Massage Roman Transportation & Logistics SISTEXPO (in Mexico) SmartSource The End Result Logistics Company TWI Group Virtual Trade Show Exhibitor Training YOR Design YOR Swag Your Event Audio

66 71 68 67 69 71 67 67 71 66

For Service Guide information and rates, call sales at (702) 309-8023. Inclusive categories are available for all your company advertising needs. @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 65


BWC Visual Technologies BWC is the leading supplier of Science On a Sphere technology and an authorized distributor for Topobox, Inside Explorer, Liquid Galaxy and backlit trade show exhibits. At BWC, we also offer personal signage, pop-up displays, banners, and much more. Do you have a new store opening up? Or your first tradeshow? Take a look through exhibitor catalog and let us know how we can help with the displays at your next event. For more info, visit www.bwcviz.com

Audio Visual Technology

Creative Design Services

Creative Entertainment Services

Creative Entertainment Services NVMT 4993

Chair Massage Foot Massage Stress Release Massage and More...

Convention Chair Massage Services

Entertainment Co. www.CharacterTalent.com

We use massage techniques & tools that surpass services provided by the competition. Massage services range from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Advanced massage services that engage the highest level of convention services.


66 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News

Call or Text (702) 336-9362


YOR Design YOR Design Group’s mission is to create tradeshow exhibits and environments that convey your brand’s image cohesively, while creating a memorable experience for your clients. Established in 2005, we have more than 25 years’ experience in local and national markets. Customer testimonials include: “Excellent design and communication, easy to work with, flexible, reliable,” “We use YOR when we need highly polished creative design” and “YOR is highly creative, professional & honest.” Exhibit Design. Virtual Booth Design. Graphic Design. Detailing. Got Design? We Got YORS! (708) 598-8100 | www.yordesigngroup.com Like us on Facebook & Instagram.

Digital Signage, AV Production & IT

Exhibit Design & Builders

Exhibitor Education

Exhibit Production

Upstate NY

Montpelier, VT

Concord, NH

Boston, MA Worcester, MA Springfield, MA

(508) 366-8594 info@corp-eventsne.com Providence, RI Hartford, CT


ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 67


CEP CEP has been transforming our clients’ sales and marketing objectives into award-winning three-dimensional environments for over 30 years. We focus on you—your needs, strategy and objectives. CEP provides full service production and storage facilities in the three largest tradeshow venues in the U.S.: Chicago, Las Vegas & Orlando. We are positioned to provide costeffective and unique solutions from start to finish for any exhibit challenge, from design & fabrication to complete on-site install & dismantle services. For more info, visit www.cepexhibits.com

6 30.378.4 8 4 8 w w w.cepexhibits.com



Exhibit Services

Facial / Massage / Wellness Spa

68 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News


LaborSource In addition to offering Installation & Dismantle labor for the tradeshow industry, LaborSource also provides direct labor contracting tailored to the specific needs of the retail/ commercial construction business. Whether it’s a renovation, remodeling, demolition, fixture installation or full build out, LaborSource is uniquely positioned to provide a wide range of services to support our clients’ needs. To learn more, please check out our new LaborSource website at www.laborsourcegroup.com


Freight Brokers


Food Tours

!"#$%&'(&)' (*!+,'-$. ',*/&), (-!( '(!0+'"$1(2 • 30 years experience • Specialized in tradeshows • Show-to-show coordination • Available 24/7 - 365 days a year • Competitive rates without compromising quality • Familiar with the industry’s general contractors





The Attention You Deserve Displays Starting at $69.95


EYE-CATCHING LIGHTING SOLUTIONS •Perfect Lighting for Exhibits, Retail Environments & Special Projects

941-758-8444 866-239-8056

Visit us online for more of our products & services

AadvantageDisplays.com @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

•Full Line of Innovative LED Products; Flexible Strip Lighting, Recessed Lights, Arm Lights, LED DMX and so much more! •Fast Connect Cable System Saving Time and Labor •Eco-Friendly Battery Solutions •Easy to Install, Plug And Play Lighting Solutions


ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 69



Exhibit / Trade Show Displays | Event Planning | Sporting Event Décor

Since 1985, CorpCom has provided tradeshow and event solutions-custom exhibit/graphic design, production and rental programs including turn-key logistics support. Corp-Event New England provides Installation/Dismantle and General Contracting services in Boston and across the Northeast. Offering local warehousing and special rentals at a moment’s notice. Our commitment is to build strong partnership through dedication—we are not a vendor but part of the team. www.CorpCom-Events.com



Attention Exhibit and Event Companies

Champion Logistics Group has a transportation division specializing in the coordination of trade shows and special events. Champion provides the most reliable and flexible trade show transportation in the industry.

Local Service for Trade Shows and Events In: Washington D.C. - Baltimore - Atlantic City Philly - NYC - Hartford - Boston All in same-day driving distance from us.

WHOLESALE Warehousing, Storage, Prep, Delivery Graphics, Supervision, & Rentals Chicago | Atlanta | Boston | Dallas | Las Vegas | Los Angeles | New Jersey

800.323.5401 | info@champlog.com | www.champlog.com


r e v l i S Color Printing • Rack cards • Brochures • Booklets • Everything else

70 July/August 2021 Exhibit City News


We Can Provide You A Local Presence Product Specialists

• Delivery in Las Vegas, FedEx/UPS to all cities • Be a HERO use Horizon Print Solutions and make it EZ • Everything for your show or event from a top quality 25 year supplier!

Meeting & Event Supplies • Lanyards & Credentials • Binders, Tabs and inserts • Tote Bags & Inserts • Tickets & Programs


Promotional Products • Giveaways • Table Drapes & Signage • Branded Apparel • Gifts & Awards


TWI Group TWI Group Inc., the premier specialist in domestic and international tradeshow shipping and exhibition logistics, is an all-in-one destination for any type of industry. The hallmark of our service is the personal attention and on-site support we provide. Specializing in exhibition freight forwarding, transportation and arranging customs requirements worldwide, TWI provides event managers the luxury of not worrying about freight shipments at 21,500+ exhibitions in 60+ countries. If your exhibiting plans include an international venue, give TWI an opportunity to prove that Delivering First-Class Service Every Time is not just a concept for us, it’s a reality. www.TWIgroup.com

Promo Stuff

Tradeshow Furnishings




W W W. E Q U I P I N C . C O M

Tradeshow Lists


7 1 9. 5 9 9. 0 3 0 0


ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 71

2021 EDITORIAL CALENDAR* *Content is subject to change



January (print & digital)

March (print & digital):

February (digital only)

April (digital only):

• America Starts with Tradeshows Rallies • Year in Review • Building Your Virtual Team Regional Focus: Southeast U.S. (Focus City: Savannah, GA) • Technology Show/Products • AV/Lighting/Graphics/Photography • Corporate Social Responsibility International Focus: Germany


• The End of an Era • How Technology Will Pave the Way Back • Road to Recovery: Pivoting to Survive Regional Focus: Midwest U.S. (Focus City: St. Louis, MO) • Exhibit Building & Design • Show Management/Kits • Vendors International Focus: Mexico


May (print & digital):

July (print & digital):

June (digital only):

August (digital only):

• Feature: The Power of Advocacy • Exhibitor Advocacy Group White Paper • On the Return to the Showfloor Regional Focus: Southeast U.S. (Focus City: Chattanooga, TN) • Mobile Exhibits • Warehousing/Material Handling • Extrusions International Focus: Hong Kong


• Survivor-themed issue • Women in the Industry • Industry Salespeople Regional Focus: U.S. (Focus City: Houston, TX)

• Insurance/Legal/Contracts • Floor Coverings/Flooring • Tension Fabric International Focus: U.K.


September (print & digital):

November (print & digital):

October (digital only):

December (digital only):

• EXHIBITORLive Preview • Giveaways/Incentives • General Contractors Regional Focus: Southwest U.S. (Focus City: Las Vegas, NV)

• Lead Retrieval v. Data Matching/CRM • Tradeshow Marketing/Traffic • Social Media International Focus: Canada

Content covered digitally and in print Jan., March, May, July, Sept. and Nov. Other months, digital coverage only.

• Special/Corporate Events • New Product Showcase • Corporate Social Sustainability Regional Focus: Northeast U.S. (Focus City: Philadelphia, PA) • Healthcare • Industry Salespeople • Security / Safety International Focus: China

Deadline / Space reservation: 8th day, or closest business day, of month prior to print issue. We would love to hear from you! Share the coverage you would like to see in future issues at newsdesk@exhibitcitynews.com

Advertiser Index 4 Productions









2, 21



Meet AC


Momentum Management



Clementine Creative Services



National TradeShow Alliance/Together Again Job Fair & Expo 74 NationalTradeShowAlliance.org

Color Reflections

Back Cover


Nolan Advisory Services (NAS)






OA Visuals (Oscar & Associates)


OscarAndAssociates.com; HelloOA.com & OAVisuals.media

CorpEvents - New England



Rosemont – RES



CORT Events



Sho-Link Inc.



Design to Print


DesignToPrint.com & Pillows4Show.com

EDPA Foundation

SMT Expo




EDPA.com/EDPAFoundation & RSMGC.org

Superior Logistics





TCF Center (formerly Cobo)





Total Show Technology (TST)










Horizon Print Solution

Las Vegas Mannequins/Las Vegas Store Supply



Hill & Partners


LVMannequins.com & LVStoreSupply.com


Full Circle Events

Labor Inc. LaborInc.ca


Exposures Ltd. Photography




Employco USA

I.A.T.S.E. Local 835 Orlando






FOR ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES Contact sales: 702-309-8023 ext. 105, sales@exhibitcitynews.com @EXHIBITCITYNEWS

ExhibitCityNews.com July/August 2021 73


August 4-5, 2021


Atlantic City Convention Center

• Together Again Networking Event (Live Music + Light Fare) Opening Night August 4, 2021

Together Again Job Fair & Expo

• “Sharpening Your Skills” – Meet Industry Suppliers and Learn What’s New – Visit our Skills Competition Area on the Show Floor August 5, 2021

Atlantic City, New Jersey is FREE to Members.

Not a Member? JOIN US visit our website www.nationaltradeshowalliance.org

Hosted by:

• Shining the Light on Our Industry Organizations and Associations and the Good Works They are Doing. • Learning from Our Labor Leaders What is Myth and Fact

The Together Again Expo was established by passionate trade show industry professionals in the summer of 2020. The event became a powerful beacon, proving that live business events can be hosted safely and responsibly. Now, gearing up for the 2nd annual event, the focus will be on getting individuals in the trade show industry back to work, sharpening skills, and supporting one another during recovery. According to Mark Yuska, co-founding director of the National Trade Show Alliance and founder of Together Again Expo, “The mission of NTSA really aligns. We created this event to bring hope to the people of our industry during really dark times. We knew it was possible to make it happen in 2021.




2021-2025 New Group or Convention Bookings

Highly-competitive Room and Meeting Cost Incentives Special Midweek Bonus Incentive Programs

Meet AC Booking & Professional Planning Support

Contact us to learn more about Meet AC’s attractive Convention Center & city-wide incentive plans! Call 1-844-855-6338 or visit meetac.com today!

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