Show cover of Trade Show Talk Podcast

Trade Show Talk Podcast

Trade Show News Network is excited for season two of the "Trade Show Talk" podcast, featuring two episodes each month, focusing on topics important to our community. Host Megan Powers leads discussions with trade show and events industry leaders. We have an opportunity to hear from our peers and industry leaders in an intimate and interesting way through this show. As we all navigate the changing times together as a community, this show will give us the insight and tools we each need to succeed.

Tracks

Ep. 53 - In Conversation with U.S. Travel Association President & CEO Geoff Freeman
U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman joined Trade Show Talk to share his experience as the leading advocate for the $1.1 trillion U.S. travel and hospitality industry. In this role since September 2022, Freeman talked about recent lobbying wins, including the Congressional passage in March of $50 million in funding for the U.S. Department of State to reduce visitor visa interview wait times — welcome news for business events, with average wait times of 400 days for top markets like Mexico, Brazil, India and Columbia. We did a deep dive into the data from a Tourism Economics forecast that revealed international inbound travel and domestic business travel will continue to remain below pre-pandemic levels in 2024. Find out what he thinks it will take to bring back international travel to the U.S. and domestic business travel to pre-pandemic levels.    Want to know more about what U.S. Travel? Here are links to recent news: U.S. Travel Applauds Much-Needed Funding to Lower Visitor Visa Wait Times Stunning New Research Ranks United States Nearly Dead Last in Competition for Global Travelers Commission on Seamless and Secure Travel Hundreds of Travel Advocates from 50 States Call for Action on Capitol Hill Top legislative priorities at U.S. Travel’s Destination Capitol Hill (fly-in): Lower visitor visa wait times, which average 400 days for top source markets Lower customs wait times, which can reach up to two hours at peak times at major U.S. airports Fully fund the office of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism for FY 2025 Advance the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill Seamless & Secure Travel Commission Field Visit to Las Vegas Spotlights TSA Innovations U.S. Travel on FAA Reauthorization Committee Passage: Get Compromise Bill to President’s Desk NEW Forecast Predicts United States will Continue to Struggle for International Inbound, Domestic Business Travel Bio As president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Geoff Freeman is the leading advocate for the $1.1 trillion U.S. travel and hospitality industry.  In this role, Freeman is charged with ensuring the industry’s full recovery from COVID-19, positioning the industry to seize emerging opportunities in a post-pandemic market environment and further establishing travel as a vital economic force in the United States. Freeman is a seasoned association CEO with a proven track record of building successful organizations that unite member interests, grow member value, increase revenue and unlock growth opportunities. Prior to joining U.S. Travel, Freeman was president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association, the trade association for America’s $2.1 trillion food, beverage and consumer products industry. During his tenure, Freeman launched a strategic campaign to transform the association into a powerful, modern advocacy organization aimed at driving growth and delivering sound regulatory and legislative outcomes that benefit industry leaders and consumers. During his tenure, Freeman grew membership by 35 percent and boosted total revenue by nearly 50 percent. Freeman joined the Consumer Brands Association after serving for five years as president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA). In that role, Freeman led a successful effort to reform and modernize the AGA, build public support for the gaming industry and open new pathways for industry growth. Under his leadership, the AGA spearheaded a multi-year, research-driven campaign to demonstrate gaming’s broad support across the political spectrum and promote the industry’s role in spurring economic growth, job creation and tax revenues in communities across more than 40 states where gaming is legal. That campaign created the tailwinds needed to advance AGA’s signature initiative achieved under Freeman – the legalization of sports betting in the United States. While leading AGA, Freeman drove a 200 percent increase in membership and doubled association revenue. Freeman previously served as COO of the U.S. Travel Association from 2011 to 2013, helping to conceive and lead a campaign that resulted in the passage of the bipartisan Travel Promotion Act, which was hailed as “the industry’s biggest legislative victory in a decade.” In the aftermath of 9/11, Freeman created a blue-ribbon panel headed by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to analyze how to improve travel security without compromising travel efficiency. This effort led directly to the creation of TSA PreCheck. Both the Travel Promotion Act and TSA PreCheck demonstrate Freeman’s ability to identify industry opportunities, craft a winning policy response and drive campaigns that succeed in gaining broad support among diverse stakeholders. Freeman’s previous experience includes roles at APCO Worldwide, America’s Health Insurance Plans and Freddie Mac. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Freeman lives in Arlington, Va., with his wife and three children. His LinkedIn profile here. Podcast Host: Danica Tormohlen An award-winning journalist who has covered the trade show industry since 1994, Danica Tormohlen is VP of Content for Informa Connect. In her role, she oversees editorial for Trade Show News Network, Corporate Event News and Exhibit News Now. These leading media brands publish websites, newsletters, social media channels, video, podcasts and online and in-person programming for the trade show, corporate event and exhibition industries. Tormohlen currently serves as a board member for Women in Exhibitions Network North America chapter. She has been a speaker and moderator at major industry events, including the TSNN Awards, IMEX, IAEE, SISO, UFI, ESCA and Large Show Roundtable — to name a few.   Thank you to our sponsor!  What if you could prove your event is working with hard facts and learn how to make it even better? With Zenus’s Ethical Vision AI, you can protect your budget and have detailed reporting. Learn how that’s all possible at Zenus.AI  
43:48 4/4/24
Ep. 52 - Smith + Stone Founder Hillary Smith: Design Thinking Process for Events
Hillary Smith joined Trade Show Talk to share her experience as a female entrepreneur in the event industry. In 2008, Hillary co-founded Koncept Events, a destination management company (DMC) that was named an INC 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America in both 2018 and 2019. After building a client base that included Fortune 500 & 100 companies like McKinsey & Company, Bank of America, Proctor & Gamble and Nike, she sold the business in 2019 to PRA, a DMC powerhouse that was itself acquired by PE-firm Eagletree Capital in March 2023. She talked about joining the PRA team for five years to establish a centralized function for strategy and creative within the organization’s 250+ people across 29 destinations. In 2023, she struck off on her own again and founded Smith + Stone. Find out why she launched this new creative leadership and consulting business and how she’s empowering organizations through innovative strategic design processes.  Our guest Hillary Smith, CMP, CSEP, has a passion and proven track record of leading and cultivating cultures of creative thinkers. She is an award-winning visionary who has mastered the Design Thinking Process, a method of creative problem solving used by megabrands like Starbucks, Amazon and Apple. Smith has more two decades of experience leading strategy in the meetings and events creative space. She is a true disruptor and change agent with the ability to follow through with tactical implementations. An entrepreneur at heart, Smith co-founded Koncept Events in 2008, a leading destination management company in North America. There, she designed events for many Fortune 500 & 100 companies including McKinsey & Company, Bank of America, Proctor & Gamble, and Nike. Koncept Events was named as one of the INC 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America in both 2018 and 2019.  Around that time, PRA acquired Koncept Events, and Smith was brought on to establish the centralized function of Strategy and Creative within the organization of more than 250 people spanning across 29 destinations. Smith is most proud of the team she assembled and the process, tools and overall methodology that ultimately facilitate a safe space for dreamers, thinkers and doers to make an impact in an industry craving rich human experiences. In 2023, Hillary founded Smith & Stone Creative Leadership and Consulting, empowering organizations through innovative strategic design processes. Recognized as a 'creative force,' she effortlessly embodies the audience, crafting custom experiential journeys. As an inspiring speaker and coach, she delivers creative engagements and workshops on journey mapping, persona and empathy mapping. About Smith + Stone ·  Smith has an insatiable hunger for new ideas, and she brings those ideas to life with the precision and exactness of a surgeon by always leading with the “why.” This ensures business strategy and objectives are intentionally and unexpectedly woven into the events she designs. With boundless curiosity and as a true ambassador of the creative process, Smith continues to innovate alongside her team and clients as the Founder of Smith & Stone Creative Leadership & Consulting. Follow the company page on LinkedIn or Instagram @smithandstonecreative Podcast Host: Danica Tormohlen An award-winning journalist who has covered the trade show industry since 1994, Danica Tormohlen is VP of Content for Informa Connect. In her role, she oversees editorial for Trade Show News Network, Corporate Event News and Exhibit News Now. These leading media brands publish websites, newsletters, social media channels, video, podcasts and online and in-person programming for the trade show, corporate event and exhibition industries. Tormohlen currently serves as a board member for Women in Exhibitions Network North America chapter. She has been a speaker and moderator at major industry events, including the TSNN Awards, IMEX, IAEE, SISO, UFI, ESCA and Large Show Roundtable — to name a few.   Thank you to our sponsor!  What if you could prove your event is working with hard facts and learn how to make it even better? With Zenus’s Ethical Vision AI, you can protect your budget and have detailed reporting. Learn how that’s all possible at Zenus.AI
50:05 3/21/24
Ep. 51 — RX Sustainability Director Helen Sheppard: Roadmap to Net Zero
Helen Sheppard joined Trade Show Talk to share her experience as Sustainability Director of RX, a public company that produces 400 events annually in 22 countries across 42 industry sectors. She’s held the position since 2022, but she joined the parent company, RELX, in 2011. She talked about RX’s Net Zero Roadmap, which was published on Feb. 29 and outlines how the company will reach net zero no later than 2040. Under her leadership, RX completed energy and waste reporting for 56 venues covering 141 events in 2023, and carbon footprints were completed for 10 events. Find out how she and the RX are implementing an accurate and consistent measurement and reporting system – which is no easy feat.   Our guest Helen Sheppard joined RX in January 2022 to lead sustainability globally with a focus on implementing the Net Zero Carbon Events commitments. In her current role, she leads an internal Global Sustainability Council. She has launched an RX Sustainability Playbook and more recently RX’s Net Zero Pathway.   She is an experienced sustainability leader, having worked at RELX for 10 years prior to joining RX.  During her time with the RELX corporate responsibility team, she was responsible for human rights, engagement on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including the management of the RELX SDG Resource Centre, and advancing inclusion and diversity.  She launched a flagship women in technology mentoring programme to improve diversity in the growing technology workforce. She led RELX’s modern slavery statement commitments including living wage assessments and conducted human rights due diligence for the business.  She is experienced in ESG (Environmental, Social Governance) indices and benchmarks and has increased transparency in corporate reporting. Sheppard is a fellow of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability and holds an MSC in Development Studies from Birkbeck, University of London. She is an active member of the Net Zero Carbon Events taskforce.  She lives in Hertfordshire with her two children, husband and two dogs.  Her LinkedIn bio can be found here.   About RX  The company produces 400 events in 22 countries across 42 industry sectors. Some of their most well-known brands include: the PGA Show for the golf industry in Orlando, the JCK Show for the jewelry industry and the National Hardware Show (NHS),  in Las Vegas, IBTM World 2023 for the meetings and events industry in Barcelona, and the ISC brand - which stand for the International Security Conferences & Exhibitions, held in the USA (Las Vegas and New York), Mexico and Brazil – to name a few.    On its web site, the company says: RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people.  RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.    RELX serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs more than 35,000 people over 40% of whom are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges.   RX Sustainability achievements so far: • Energy and waste reporting: 56 venues covering 141 events in 2023; 36 venues covering 128 events in 2022. • Carbon footprints completed of 10 events. • Production material library developed.   RX goals in 2024: • Implement an accurate and consistent measurement and reporting system (carbon model) and align with RELX and RX reporting. • Improve and expand energy, waste and production data collection, prioritising events at top 30 venues. • Establish clear event-related scope 3 reporting boundaries and baseline; prepare to externally report event-related emissions and align with RELX.   Podcast Host: Danica Tormohlen An award-winning journalist who has covered the trade show industry since 1994, Danica Tormohlen is VP of Content for Informa Connect. In her role, she oversees editorial for Trade Show News Network, Corporate Event News and Exhibit News Now. These leading media brands publish websites, newsletters, social media channels, video, podcasts and online and in-person programming for the trade show, corporate event and exhibition industries. Tormohlen currently serves as a board member for Women in Exhibitions Network North America chapter. She has been a speaker and moderator at major industry events, including the TSNN Awards, IMEX, IAEE, SISO, UFI, ESCA and Large Show Roundtable — to name a few.   Thank you to our sponsor!  What if you could prove your event is working with hard facts and learn how to make it even better? With Zenus’s Ethical Vision AI, you can protect your budget and have detailed reporting. Learn how that’s all possible at Zenus.AI
44:57 3/7/24
Ep. 50 – In Conversation with BlueHive Group President Caitlyn Correia
Caitlyn Correia joined Trade Show Talk to share her experience as President of BlueHive Group, a private, family-owned corporation that serves as the parent company for BlueHive Exhibits, Continental Woodcraft, Trigon Creative and Lime I&D Services. She’s held the position of president since 2021, but she got her start in the industry a number of years ago. She talked about growing up in the industry, as the third generation of a professional trade show family. Under her leadership, BlueHive is set to have its best year yet, serving 150 clients at 1,000 events across the globe in 2024. Last summer, the company expanded its operations by opening a facility in Las Vegas. As we prepare to head to the ExhibitorLIVE in Nashville, Correira gave us a sneak peek into BlueHive’s presence at the trade show.  Our guest As the third generation of a professional trade show family, Caitlyn Correia has been in the industry all her life. Caitlyn was first exposed to the exhibit industry at age four when her father started bringing her to work at the family-owned business and continued to learn about and work in the family company during summer vacations as she grew.  After graduating from Endicott College with a BS in Sports Management and an MBA, Caitlyn recognized her passions for working with people and brands and for bringing conceptual ideas and design to life with tangible experiences and event settings, and officially joined the BlueHive Group in a professional manner.  During her years at BlueHive, Caitlyn has held a position in almost every department of the company; from the shop where exhibits and event structures are built, to accounting, account management and client services, and marketing. These roles submerged her in the day-to-day operations of the trade show world and the marketing industry, readying her for her current role as President of BlueHive Group and affiliate brand BlueHive Exhibits. As President, Caitlyn oversees the daily operations of the entire BlueHive Group organization and affiliate brands. Along with the CEO, it’s her responsibility to ensure BlueHive Group is following its mission, policies, and procedures, keeping BlueHive relevant, competitive, corporately responsible and financially responsible, as well as supporting innovation and growth in BlueHive Group services and capabilities. Caitlyn is renowned for her keen attention to detail, flexibility to work with different aspects of the company and exceptional interpersonal skills. Her infectious smile is a mainstay of the Hive. Her LinkedIn bio can be found here.   Podcast Host: Danica Tormohlen An award-winning journalist who has covered the trade show industry since 1994, Danica Tormohlen is VP of Content for Informa Connect. In her role, she oversees editorial for Trade Show News Network, Corporate Event News and Exhibit News Now. These leading media brands publish websites, newsletters, social media channels, video, podcasts and online and in-person programming for the trade show, corporate event and exhibition industries. Tormohlen currently serves as a board member for Women in Exhibitions Network North America chapter. She has been a speaker and moderator at major industry events, including the TSNN Awards, IMEX, IAEE, SISO, UFI, ESCA and Large Show Roundtable — to name a few.   Thank you to our sponsor!  What if you could prove your event is working with hard facts and learn how to make it even better? With Zenus’s Ethical Vision AI, you can protect your budget and have detailed reporting. Learn how that’s all possible at Zenus.AI   
35:44 2/22/24
Ep. 49 – In Conversation with Tahaluf CEO Mike Champion
Mike Champion joined Trade Show Talk to share his experience as CEO of Tahaluf, a joint venture between Informa PLC, the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), and the Events Investment Fund (EIF). As head of Informa's Saudi operations and Tahaluf, he has grown revenue from $2 million per annum to projected more than $125 million in four years.  How? With two of the largest B2B events in history: Cityscape Global and LEAP. In November 2023, Cityscape Global debuted with 350 exhibitors, more than 10,000 international investors, an impressive lineup of more than 300 speakers and an astounding 160,000 visitors.  After launching LEAP in 2022, the second edition of the annual tech event, dubbed the Digital Davos by Wired, took place Feb. 6-9, 2023, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Over four days last year, LEAP hosted more than 172,000 visitors, 900 exhibitors, 700 speakers from 50 countries who spoke on 11 stages, 500 start-ups and 1,026 investors.  With LEAP and Deep Fest 2024 set for March 4-7 — about 4 weeks out — Champion told us registrations are tracking 3X higher than they were last year at this point, and he’s excited about the fact that 53% of attendees are international. In December, Tahaluf announced plans to launch 20 new sectors-specific trade and consumer events in the Kingdom within 18 months. The expansion is estimated to generate more than $1 billion in economic impact in Riyadh through exhibitor and delegate spending on travel and hospitality.  Find out how he is recruiting and ramping the team at Tahaluf to support the Kingdom's Vision 2030 objective to become a truly diverse economy in six years, creating high-value employment opportunities for Saudi citizens.  Champion shares the company’s ambitious plans to leverage Informa's global expertise to create a world-class events sector in the Kingdom to advance economic diversification, provide access to new markets for international businesses, attract foreign investment and support the modernization of business activity in Saudi Arabia.   Our guest Mike Champion is CEO of Tahaluf, a joint venture between Informa PLC, the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), and the Events Investment Fund (EIF). Champion is Co-Creator of LEAP and @HACK (Now Black Hat MEA) — two of the most exciting and large-scale tech events in the Middle East, with extensive experience in commercial conferences and large scale exhibitions. As head of Informa's Saudi operations and Tahaluf, he has grown revenue from $2 million per annum to projected more than $125 million in four years. And the team has won multiple awards, including: 🏆 Best International Show (Middle East and Africa) for LEAP - AEO Excellence Awards 2023 🏆 Best International Conference for LEAP - AEO Excellence Awards 2023 🏆 Organiser Team of the Year for Black Hat MEA - AEO Excellence Awards 2023 🏆 Best Marketing Campaign for LEAP - Middle East Event Awards 2023 🏆 Leading The Way - Regional IM Awards Winner 2023 🏆 Moving Mountains Award for KSA Tech - Regional IM Awards Winner 2023 🏆 Best Marketing Campaign for LEAP - Middle East Event Awards 2022 🏆 Marketing Campaign of the Year - Best in Biz Awards 2022 🏆 Best Tech Event - Stevie® Awards 2022 🏆 Best B2B Event - Stevie® Awards 2022 🏆 Best Launch Event - Stevie® Awards 2022 🏆 Best Conference - Stevie® Awards 2022 🏆 Best Exhibition Experience - Stevie® Awards 2022 🏆 Event of the Year - Best in Biz Awards 2022 🏆 Best Marketing Campaign for @Hack - Regional IM Awards Winner 2021 🏆 'Fresher Thinking' Award for the @Hack Marketing Campaign - Global IM Awards Winner 2021 He has worked in the events industry since 2010, getting his start at an organization called IQPC, a global producer of more than 1,500 events annually around the world. In 2016, he joined the Dubai World Trade Centre as the Director - Exhibitions, where he worked for more than three years.  Champion joined Informa in 2019 when he was appointed Regional EVP - MEA Informa Markets, in Saudi Arabia. In January 2023, he was named CEO of Tahaluf. He has more than 13 years experience working throughout the Middle East, North and West Africa, and developing a deep contact network. In January 2024, inc. arabia published a feature story on Saudi Arabia's ambitions to become a regional hub as part of its Saudi Vision 2030, and how innovation across the region is creating opportunities for growth and collaboration. Rachel Sturgess, Group Director at Tahaluf, and Chris Speller, Vice President at Informa, were featured on the cover of the January issue talking about the first edition of Cityscape Global Saudi Arabia, and how the kingdom is quickly becoming a global events hub. Want to know more? Check out these YouTube videos:  #LEAP23: One Giant Leap with Mike Champion (CEO, Tahaluf) Launch of Tahaluf - Mike Champion - Saudi Arabia   His LinkedIn bio can be found here.   Podcast Host: Danica Tormohlen An award-winning journalist who has covered the trade show industry since 1994, Danica Tormohlen is VP of Content for Informa Connect. In her role, she oversees editorial for Trade Show News Network, Corporate Event News and Exhibit News Now. These leading media brands publish websites, newsletters, social media channels, video, podcasts and online and in-person programming for the trade show, corporate event and exhibition industries. Tormohlen currently serves as a board member for Women in Exhibitions Network North America chapter. She has been a speaker and moderator at major industry events, including the TSNN Awards, IMEX, IAEE, SISO, UFI, ESCA and Large Show Roundtable — to name a few.   Thank you to our sponsor for supporting this content! What if you could prove your event is working with hard facts and learn how to make it even better? With Zenus’s Ethical Vision AI, you can protect your budget and have detailed reporting. Learn how that’s all possible at Zenus.AI  
38:32 2/8/24
Ep. 48: In Play: Toy Association EVP Global Market Events Kimberly Carcone
Ep. 48 – In Play: Toy Association EVP Global Market Events Kimberly Carcone   The Toy Association EVP Global Market Events Kimberly Carcone joined Trade Show Talk to share her experience overseeing the association’s flagship event, Toy Fair. In 2023, the 118th Toy Fair returned last fall to New York City for the first time since 2020. Held at Javits Center, Toy Fair 2023 attracted about 20,000 attendees to see tens of thousands of products on display by 1,021 exhibiting companies, including nearly 400 first-time exhibitors. The trade show brought buyers from nearly 100 countries together to shop, explore, and see the latest trends and innovations in toys and play across the equivalent of nearly eight football fields filled with toys and games.  Carcone shared insight into why the association’s leaders looked to move to New Orleans but then ultimately decided to remain in New York after the announcement of the move was met with strong feelings of tradition and enduring memories of toy business conducted in New York.  Find out how she and her team worked closely with Javits to confirm the first available opening in 2025. The next Toy Fair will be held March 1-4, 2025 at Javits Center. The show has confirmed dates in February in both 2026 and 2027.   Our guest Kimberly Carcone, Executive Vice President, Global Market Events joined the Toy Association in September of 2007.   She has more than 30 years of experience in non-profit and corporate management, event development and execution, sales, marketing, and publishing, in both New York City and Washington, DC.  Carcone is a seasoned professional who has succeeded in numerous industries including performing arts & cultural affairs, interior design & architecture, hospitality, travel, pharmaceutical, the legal arena and for the past 17 years, the toy industry.  Prior to joining the Toy Association, Carcone served in various leadership positions at ALM Events, a division of American Lawyer Media, E.W. Williams Publications, Miller Freeman, Inc., VNU Business Media, The American Society of Interior Designers and the NYS Council on the Arts for the City of Long Beach.   She is a founding member of the Women in Exhibitions North America Chapter, has served on the NYIAEE Board of Directors and was recently named Vice Chair of the newly created UFI North America Chapter. Kimberly currently serves on the Jacob K Javits Customer Advisory Board, the NYC&Co. Tradeshow & Events Committee, UFI Global Congress Advisory Board, Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Advisory Board, and United Inventors Association Advisory Board.  She studied Association Management at the George Washington University in Washington DC and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Buffalo State University. In addition to her professional pursuits, Carcone has been a producer of anindependent film, a breeder of thoroughbred racehorses, is a strong supporter of the Arts and remains an avid beach lover. Her LinkedIn bio can be found here.  
43:29 1/26/24
Ep. 47 – CEO John Hense: Combining & Growing Nth Degree & Fern Expo
Last June, Nth Degree and its PE owners, MSouth Capital, bought Fern Expo. John Hense, who joined Nth Degree in 2018 as CFO and was elevated to CEO in late 2021, now serves as CEO over both companies.  Hense brings 20 years in leadership roles in growth-oriented companies. His previous three leadership roles were technology-focused with logistics-intensive companies, including Flash Global Logistics, Diligent Delivery Systems and most recently Ship Supply.  In this episode of Trade Show Talk, Hense shared his experience as a leader with PE-owned companies from outside the industry and how he’s putting those skills to use in the event and trade show sector. He and Podcast Host Danica Tormohlen talked about the recent acquisition and integration of Fern Expo.  Context: Nth degree serves its clients at more than 13,000 event and trade show projects annually while Fern Expo services more than 1,400 events annually, including many top 100 shows and dozens of Fortune 500 companies.  Hense told us Nth Degree has doubled its revenues and events since 2019 by implementing technology and a new lead strategy. He talked about how he sees a similar growth trajectory with Fern Expo over the next few years. Find out how the general services contracting company is expanding its services to achieve this aggressive goal.   Our guest As CEO of Nth Degree and Fern Expo, John is laser-focused on customer experience and improving it through the initiatives the leadership team takes on. He brings to the role 20 years in leadership roles in growth-oriented companies. His previous three leadership roles were in logistics-intensive companies with a heavy technology focus—Flash Global Logistics (where he was also COO), Diligent Delivery Systems, and most recently Ship Supply. He joined Nth Degree in 2018 as CFO and became CEO in late 2021. He originally comes from Alberta, Canada but lives in Atlanta. John is an active outdoorsman, whitewater kayaker, scuba diver and woodworker. His LinkedIn bio can be found here.  
41:49 1/11/24
Ep. 46 – Marsha Flanagan on Taking the Helm as IAEE President & CEO
After 11 years with the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), Marsha Flanagan was promoted to president and CEO in November, and she officially took the helm on Dec. 1, during the move-in of the association’s largest event of the year.  In this episode of Trade Show Talk, Flanagan shared her experience as a 25+ year association professional. She and Podcast Host Danica Tormohlen talked about the recent IAEE Expo! Expo! Annual Meeting & Exhibition, dubbed The Show for Shows. Held Dec. 5-7 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center Dallas, Expo!Expo! 2023 grew year over year, attracting 1,900+ industry professionals (pending verified audit), compared with 1,476 in 2022, and 241 exhibitors in 35,500 net square feet, compared with 233 exhibitors in nearly 31,000 net square feet in 2022.  In her first podcast as IAEE president and CEO, Flanagan told us the IAEE team beat all the event’s goals set by its board of directors. While the numbers are still being crunched, Expo!Expo! 2023 might be one of the association’s largest trade shows in terms of revenue on record, she revealed. We also talked about: Her decision to apply for the position and the support from her family How she ended up in the event industry after deciding law school wasn’t the right career path for her What it means to her to be the first woman to lead the 95-year-old association whose members are 65%+ female How and why the association deployed new event tech, like Zenus, to improve the attendee experience with data-driven metrics What’s first on her agenda as she begins her new role: Filling her previous position, succession planning and restructuring Reflections on achievements in 2023 and challenges as the industry gets set to begin 2024 What she learned from her predecessor, David DuBois, and how she plans to create a culture of belonging, passion and purpose Our guest As IAEE’s president, Flanagan is responsible for the management of IAEE’s full-time professional staff, producing the annual business operating plan and budget, overseeing the support of all meetings of governance units, leading business development, directing fundraising efforts, advocating for the industry and the organization’s members, providing organizational leadership and strategic counsel to the board. Also, she serves as the association’s representative with industry coalitions, partner organizations and strategic alliances. Prior to joining IAEE, Flanagan was the Director of Content Strategy and Development at the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), where she was responsible for steering strategy and the development and delivery of all PPAI professional development and editorial offerings. Flanagan spent 6 years in the medical industry serving in various roles overseeing operations, purchasing, revenue cycle management, marketing and business development. Flanagan began her career with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and spent 12 years in various roles including Executive Vice President of Professional Development where she oversaw operations, including all strategic partnerships, the design and delivery of all professional development offerings and meetings management. She was named one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry by Successful Meetings in 2017 and named to BizBash’s Inaugural Top 500 in the Events Industry in 2018 and 2019. In 2021, she was listed in Meetings Today as a 2021 Trendsetter. In 2021, she obtained her GBAC Trained Technician Certificate of Completion from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA. Flanagan received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University and her master’s in education from the University of Arkansas specializing in Meeting, Tourism and Recreation Management. She obtained her Certified in Exhibition Management designation in 2021. Flanagan is a 5th generation Texan, loves sports and the outdoors and spending time with family.  
33:48 12/14/23
SEMA's Vice President of Events Tom Gattuso: In the Driver’s Seat
Ep. 45 – SEMA's Vice President of Events Tom Gattuso: In the Driver’s Seat With a 12-year track record at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), Tom Gattuso shared his experience as VP of Events for SEMA Show, the annual trade show for the automotive aftermarket industry. Held Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center — right before Formula 1 debuted on the Las Vegas Strip — SEMA Show attracted 2,200 exhibitors and more than 150,000 attendees — that’s more attendees than CES in January (115,000) or CONEXPO/CON-AGG in March (139,000+).  We talked about: The size of market: $51.8 billion in 2022, according to the 2023 SEMA market report. The industry is expected to grow 4-5% annually in 2024 and beyond. Economic impact: Last year’s SEMA Show generated $256 million, which is expected to go higher in 2023.  For the first time ever, SEMA Show, the annual trade show in Las Vegas, opened to the public on its last day in 2023.  Established in 1963, SEMA has 7,000+ member companies in the business of customizing cars and trucks. The association added a new membership category for consumers who are car-crazy fanatics, rugged overlanders, vintage car restorers, adrenaline-fueled racers,  grease-monkey gearheads, "cars and coffee" connoisseurs, or weekend warriors looking for automotive adventures. The launch of SEMA Fest, a consumer event held Nov. 3-4 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds.  16,000 tickets were sold to see a star-studded roster of musical talent, featuring performances by Imagine Dragons, Incubus, Wiz Khalifa, AJR, Third Eye Blind, Bush, Walk the Moon and more. The event featured immersive automotive lifestyle events, a consumer marketplace, foods and drinks, world-class drifting, motorsports competitions and freestyle motocross. How SEMA show attracts 3,000+ media How he’s already preparing for the 2024 show while the Las Vegas Convention Center is under construction SEMA is one of the few associations that has acquired a show — and been successful with these impressive stats in 2022: 1,000 companies and 3400 booths — up 10% YOY. Purchased from the founder in 2012, Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show runs it annually in Indianapolis. To close out the year, PRI Show rolls into Indianapolis from Dec. 7 to 9. For the first time, the show will have a go-kart track and competition at Lucas Oil Stadium. Podcast host Danica Tormohlen also shared the top five new stories from Trade Show News Network, Exhibit News Now and Corporate Event News. Our guest Tom Gattuso has been involved in producing automotive events for more than 25 years and currently serves as SEMA's Vice President of Events. With a background in both trade and consumer shows, Gattuso brings a unique perspective to building the optimal environments to connect people within the automotive industry.  Throughout his career, Gattuso has had a role in every aspect of event production from sales to marketing to operations to management and has lead teams that turn show concepts into reality. A consummate student of shows and events, he also serves on volunteer Boards for the Trade Show industry on both the regional and national level. Gattuso holds a bachelor's degree in Marketing and English from James Madison University.  
44:33 11/30/23
RX Group Vice President Sarin Bachmann: Taking Luxe to the Next Level
Ep. 44 – RX Group Vice President Sarin Bachmann: Taking Luxe to the Next Level RX Group VP Sarin Bachmann shares her experience as a member of senior leadership team at RX, a public company that produces more than 400 events covering 43 sectors in 22 countries. She shines a light on the RX jewelry portfolio that she oversees — one of the few at RX that includes several events like JCK, Luxury and JIS, as well as digital and print media products for the JCK brand — JCKonline.com and JCK Magazine. We talked about: Her recent appearance as a speaker on the stage at the recent UFI Global Congress in Las Vegas where she talked about risk management and her experience with events during hurricane season in Miami, home of JIS How her team was able to achieve an impressive 24% increase in attendance at the JIS Fall Show in October in Miami Beach: Marketing the destination and capitalizing on the bleisure trend Bringing back in person: How she led the team that produced the first show for RX US in March 2021 in the jewelry sector that soared during Covid What’s hot in digital in her portfolio: Everything, but especially the launch of a holiday gift guide The theme for the 2024 JCK show at the Venetian in Las Vegas: Love … she revealed What she’s looking forward to in 2024: Adding a sustainability summit at JCK, which is on pace to sell out again  Giving back to the industry through the JCK Industry Fund, which has awarded more than $300,000 in grants this year  Our Guest Sarin Block Bachmann, Group Vice President of RX, is a member of RX’s Senior Leadership Team and oversees RX’s jewelry portfolio including JCK, Luxury, and JIS events along with the digital and print elements of the JCK brand—JCKonline.com and JCK Magazine.  One of RX’s largest and most important events globally, JCK has thrived under Bachmann's leadership. Bachmann directly manages JCK while overseeing Event Leaders on both Luxury and JIS and has steered JCK to become an industry leading, award-winning event in the trade show industry, and the most important jewelry buying and educational event globally for the jewelry industry. Luxury, the curated, invitation-only event taking place alongside JCK has also been reimagined under Bachmann’s portfolio as the event for the luxury jewelry community.  JCK and Luxury bring over 30,000 industry professionals together, including 18,000+ vetted attendees from over 100 countries and 2,000 exhibitors, ranging from designers, manufacturers, and gemstone wholesalers to packaging companies and technology service providers. The show covers 1.2 million square feet of exhibition space at the iconic Venetian Expo and The Venetian Las Vegas.  Under her leadership in event strategy, planning, execution, sales, attendance, acquisition, marketing, public relations, operations and special events, Bachmann has achieved all-time high ratings for both exhibitor and attendee satisfaction, loyalty and net promotion for both JCK and Luxury, increasing scores between 15 to 20% and over 30 points in NPS overall.  Furthermore, under her strategic and creative direction, JCK has led the way in becoming a top experiential event that attendees not only consider necessary for their business but also eagerly anticipate attending. In the digital realm, Bachmann led the team in bringing JCK to the industry virtually in 2020, with the JCK Virtual show being a pioneer in launching digital offers in light of the pandemic limiting face-to-face events. In March of 2021, Bachmann led the team to bring back the first show for RX US, JIS, and continued to forge the team ahead in bringing back in-person JCK and Luxury events in August as some of the first large scale trade shows returning to face-to-face, all to great success.  New to Bachmann’s achievements are leading the JCK team in exceeding pre-pandemic 2019 show levels before most shows, in both sales revenue, attendance, and much higher NPS and customer satisfaction scores, with the 2022 edition marking a milestone year in the event’s history and winning Trade Show Executives Gold 100 “Greatest Trade Show” of the year award. This was then followed up under Bachmann’s leadership with the 2023 edition continuing to grow to a sold out show floor and increasing attendance once again. As a member of RX’s senior leadership team, Bachmann plays a critical role in shaping event leaders across RX US, leading bi-monthly Event Leader meetings where key issues are discussed and best practices are shared across the division leaders.  Bachmann also leads the way with activations and experiences, playing a crucial part of JCK and serving as a model for other B2B events, along with increasing the focus on DE&I in all the industries she serves forging partnerships with key members of diverse groups including the Black in Jewelry Coalition and leading by example at her shows and RX.  Bachmann utilizes her experience in change management by serving as the Executive Sponsor and liaison for the show teams with the digital team during RX’s roll out of a new registration system across RX US. Bachmann currently serves on the executive boards of the American Gem Society, Jewelers’ Security Alliance, 24 Karat Club of New York, Women’s Jewelry Association and UFI Global Congress Advisory, as well as on the GEM Awards committee and chair of the JCK Industry Fund committee.  Ms. Bachmann holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Albany and the prestigious honor of having been invited to participate in the GE Management Development Course. She was also one of a select few to be chosen for the Reed Elsevier Business University.  Her career trajectory began in consulting as a Process Design Consultant with Andersen Consulting (Accenture). She expanded into communications as a Six Sigma certified Master Black Belt for General Electric at NBC and later became the Director of E-Business for NBC’s Broadcast and Network Operations Division.  Now serving close to two decades in show management, Bachmann is a well-rounded and well-known professional, highly regarded throughout the jewelry and trade show industries. When she is not achieving record breaking results in the industry, Bachmann is spending time with her husband, visiting her two sons in college, taking a workout class, or relaxing on a beautiful beach. Awards & Accolades for JCK and Luxury under Bachmann’s Leadership (Present – 2019): Trade Show Executive – 2023 Gold 100 Grand Award “The Greatest Trade Show” of 2022  RX GLOBAL – Building Business Awards: 2022 Show of the Year  RX USA – Team of the Year Award 2022 Trade Show Executive – 2022 Fastest 50 in all three categories for JCK – Attendance, Exhibitors, Square Feet, and all three shows JCK, Luxury & JIS receiving Fastest 50 Awards AEO Excellence Awards (UK) Short List Finalist for 2022 Best International Show – Americas  Trade Show Executive – 2022 Gold 100 Grand Award “The Show Must Go On” for 2021 event Tradeshow News Network (TSNN) 2022 Comeback Award, Outstanding Attendance for 2021 event Trade Show Executive – Grand Award Gold 100 “Return to Normal” for 2020 event Tradeshow News Network (TSNN) Best of Technology Award for JCK Match program 2019 Podcast Host: Danica Tormohlen  An award-winning journalist who has covered the trade show industry since 1994, Danica Tormohlen is VP of Content for Tarsus Group, which was recently acquired by Informa for $940 million. In her role, she oversees content for Trade Show News Network, Corporate Event News and Exhibit News Now. These leading media brands publish websites, newsletters, social media channels, video, podcasts and online and in-person programming for the trade show, corporate event and exhibition industries. Tormohlen currently serves as a board member for Women in Exhibitions Network North America chapter. She has been a speaker and moderator at major industry events, including the TSNN Awards, IMEX, IAEE, SISO, UFI, ESCA and Large Show Roundtable — to name a few. Thank you to our sponsor!  Zenus What if you could prove your event is working with hard facts and learn how to make it even better? With Zenus’s Ethical Vision AI, you can protect your budget and have detailed reporting. Learn how that’s all possible at Zenus.AI  
42:31 11/16/23
UFI President Michael Duck & UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf: Launching a North America Regional Chapter
In an exclusive interview, we had the opportunity to talk with UFI President Michael Duck, who serves as executive vice president, commercial development of Informa Markets, and UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf, to get the inside scoop on the breaking news that UFI kicked off its first Global Congress in U.S. with the launch of a North America Regional Chapter.  We talked about: Why the regional chapter was formed in North America and why now What UFI regional chapters do and how they support members Who will lead the North America Chapter (volunteer and staffing) What benefits members will receive from the chapter Why is UFI different from the U.S. based associations When and where the chapter will meet next On Nov. 1, UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, kicked off its 90th UFI Global Congress in Las Vegas — the first time for the global gathering to meet in the U.S. — with a member vote during its annual General Assembly to approve the launch of a North America chapter.  Exhibition Place Toronto General Manager Laura Purdy will chair the new chapter together with vice chairs Kim Carcone, executive vice president, global market events for the Toy Association, and Pepe Navarro, director general for Tarsus/Informa. UFI will work with MAD Event Management, a trade show management company led by President Martha Donato and CEO Marty Glynn, to manage the activities for the new North America chapter.  Back story As an integrated part of the industry association ecosystem, UFI has long been active across North America. More than 65 national and international exhibition end events industry associations — including the Society of Independent Show Organizers and the Exhibition Services and Contractors Association in the U.S., AMPROFEC and AMEREF in Mexico and Canadian Association of Exposition Management in Canada — are UFI members.  “UFI is a trailblazer for collaboration among industry associations – and has been for more than 20 years, with great success around the world,” Hattendorf said.  “Having seen multi-year stable growth in membership from across North America, UFI opens a North America chapter to ensure these members are well represented in the organization,” said Duck, who helped UFI open its first regional chapter more than 20 years ago. At the time, that regional chapter covered Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.  As of today, UFI will have five regional chapters, including North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Latin America. At least 5% of its global membership is based in each of these regions, Hattendorf said. “We have seen our membership numbers rise constantly across North America,” Duck said. “North America represents a vital and growing share of UFI membership, with 7% of UFI’s 830 member companies based in the region and more than 25% of UFI members with active business in the region.” Major trade show companies, like Informa, RX and Clarion, are part of the European chapter, as their headquarters are located in Europe. “Through the chapter, we make sure that the voices and needs of UFI members from Canada, U.S. and Mexico are well represented in UFI’s governing bodies, including the Executive Committee and the Board, as well as through the Chapter leadership,” Duck said. Hattendorf added, “We can also serve our members and the industry in the region better through the chapter structure and its corresponding regional office.” Podcast host Danica Tormohlen also shared the top five new stories from Trade Show News Network, Exhibit News Now and Corporate Event News as November begins. Our guests   UFI President Michael Duck is Executive Vice President – Commercial Development of Informa Markets and Informa Plc.  He joined the business in 1994 in Hong Kong and has worked in various leadership roles, focused on building up the company’s presence in the Asia region, especially in China and India, and expanding events into the Middle East and Africa.  He founded and chaired the regional chapter Asia, Middle East and Africa, as well as the Sustainability chapter for UFI. At Informa, he is working across the global markets business, which spans 30+ international markets, acting as a main point of contact for building relationships and a pipeline of growth activity particularly in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and beyond, through M&A and the internationalization of products and brands. He also supports the wider Informa Group divisions, with commercial activity in Asia. Michael has volunteered with UFI for 20 years, and he has also been an Executive Committee member of the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) for over twenty-five years and was Chairman from 1998-2000.  Connect with him on LinkedIn here.   Kai Hattendorf is Managing Director / CEO of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. He is responsible for UFI activities and events globally, as well as the operation of its Paris headquarters and the offices and presences in Bogota, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. From 2019 to 2021, Kai served as Honorary President of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), a global Council of international and global associations serving the Business Events Industry, where he remains on the Board. Prior to his current role, Kai worked in the exhibition industry for numerous years in senior management positions at Messe Frankfurt’s global headquarters, focusing on transformational issues ranging from digitisation to marketing and communications. Kai’s work in the events industry has been recognized through various awards and recognitions around the world. Most recently he was named “Business Events Strategist of the Year” by PCMA. His previous career also includes leadership positions in marketing/strategic communications as well as in strategy and product development in the ITC and Media Industry for the Deutsche Telekom Group, the dpa Group (the German Press Agency), and a fintech start-up. A journalist by education, Kai has internationally reported and worked for the WDR and Radio Bremen broadcasters in Germany, at Euronews in France, the BBC in the UK, and the Voice of America. He holds a Master’s degree from the American University, Washington, DC. He also studied in Dortmund and Edinburgh.  Connect with him on LinkedIn here. Podcast Host: Danica Tormohlen An award-winning journalist who has covered the trade show industry since 1994, Danica Tormohlen is VP of Content forTarsus Group, which was recently acquired by Informa for $940 million. In her role, she oversees content for Trade Show News Network, Corporate Event News and Exhibit News Now. These leading media brands publish websites, newsletters, social media channels, video, podcasts and online and in-person programming for the trade show, corporate event and exhibition industries. Tormohlen currently serves as a board member for Women in Exhibitions Network North America chapter. She has been a speaker and moderator at major industry events, including the TSNN Awards, IMEX, IAEE, SISO, UFI, ESCA and Large Show Roundtable — to name a few. Thank you to our sponsor! Zenus What if you could prove your event is working with hard facts and learn how to make it even better? With Zenus’s Ethical Vision AI, you can protect your budget and have detailed reporting. Learn how that’s all possible at Zenus.AI 
34:06 11/1/23
Flatworks Displays CEO Josh Rifkin: From Exhibitor to Exhibit Builder
We had a conversation with Josh Rifkin, CEO of Flatworks Displays, about his experience leading a U.S. manufacturing company that sells a custom flatpack weight bearing trade show booth systems that assembles with no tools.  With 25 years of experience, Josh knows what goes into preparing for trade shows. In fact, he was an exhibitor for more than a decade when he served as sales director for a major publishing company, exhibiting in dozens of shows a year. As an exhibitor, he found that renting booths was expensive, especially the costs for labor.  He launched Flatworks Displays in 2017 to solve this problem. He truly believes that focusing less time, money and energy on building the booth to display a product is the key to increasing a company’s bottom line. Flatworks Displays is based in San Diego, CA.  A few of their exhibitor clients: Rawlings Sporting Goods, Franklin Sports, Magna-tiles, Toysmith, Honey Stinger, Blue Buffalo Pet Food, Nixon, Richardson Sports, Alteryx, Hape, Safari, Chronicle Books, Corkcicle, PADI, Bron Tapes, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, Outset Media, Pineapple Express, Wrangler, Crazy Aaron's, Rothco and Nexbelt.  
37:41 10/19/23
AEM’s John Rozum: Federal Funding Powers The Record-Breaking Growth of The Utility Expo
In this episode, we had a conversation with John Rozum about his experience producing the record-breaking The Utility Expo, fueled by federal funding from historic and transformative legislation passed in 2021. In fact, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is expected to increase federal spending on infrastructure by about $550 billion over the next decade, nearly all through grants to state and local governments, which own much of the nation’s infrastructure. The biennial trade show returned to Louisville, Ky., with more than 21,000 utility construction professionals from all 50 states and 60 countries. The trade show, held Sept. 26-28 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, featured more than 900 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and solutions for the utility construction industry. Exhibits covered a record 1.5 million net square feet, and the event featured equipment test drives and interactive product demonstrations.  The Utility Expo is owned by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, a North America-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide.  The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 2.3 million jobs and contributes roughly $316 billion to the economy every year. In addition to The Utility Expo, AEM also owns and produces CONEXPO-CON/AGG, The International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE), and the Commodity Classic. We talked about: How The Utility Expo increased attendance by 30% over its last show in 2021 and by 10% over its previous attendance record in 2019  How the biennial show grew from 1.3 to 1.5 million square feet of exhibit space The new community zone that debuted in 2023 Why the show has made its home in Louisville since 1987 What’s trending in utility equipment: Sustainable equipment and accessories The state of the utility industry: Strong due to infrastructure investments, which are expected to increase in coming years And so much more! Podcast host Danica Tormohlen also shared the top five new stories from Trade Show News Network, Exhibit News Now and Corporate Event News that were published in mid September 2023. Our guest John Rozum, Senior Director, Ag & Utility Exhibitions and Events for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), is a self-described “event nerd” with more than two decades of experience leading some of the largest trade shows in the United States. He plays a critical role in the planning and execution of industry-leading trade shows such as The Utility Expo, CONEXPO-CON/AGG and The International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE), as well as the Commodity Classic. Rozum is currently serving as chairperson of the Major American Trade Show Organizers (MATSO) and president of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA). Rozum joined AEM in 2013 as the organization’s attendee acquisition manager, and he currently serves as Show Director for The Utility Expo and IFPE. Prior to joining AEM, he worked in several sales and event management consulting roles, including more than a decade spent leading the trade show for the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. john earned a Bachelor of Science in both Ag Journalism and Poultry Science from the University of Wisconsin. Connect with him on LinkedIn here. Podcast Host: Danica Tormohlen An award-winning journalist who has covered the trade show industry since 1994, Danica Tormohlen is VP of Content forTarsus Group, which was recently acquired by Informa for $940 million. In her role, she oversees content for Trade Show News Network, Corporate Event News and Exhibit News Now. These leading media brands publish websites, newsletters, social media channels, video, podcasts and online and in-person programming for the trade show, corporate event and exhibition industries. Tormohlen currently serves as a board member for Women in Exhibitions Network North America chapter. She has been a speaker and moderator at major industry events, including the TSNN Awards, IMEX, IAEE, SISO, UFI, ESCA and Large Show Roundtable — to name a few.   Thank you to our sponsor! Zenus What if you could prove your event is working with hard facts and learn how to make it even better? With Zenus’s Ethical Vision AI, you can protect your budget and have detailed reporting. Learn how that’s all possible at Zenus.AI 
43:46 10/5/23
Leading the Pack: A Conversation with Jim Pittas, President & CEO, PMMI
Ep. 40 – Leading the Pack: A Conversation with Jim Pittas, President & CEO, PMMI In this episode, we had a conversation with Jim Pittas about his experience leading PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, an organization representing more than 1,000 manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, components and materials for the $10.2 billion packaging machinery industry in the U.S. After joining the exposition team in 2000, Pittas rose through the ranks at PMMI and has led the group as its President and CEO since 2018. We talked about how PMMI connects consumer goods companies with manufacturing solutions through its PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows, including PACK EXPO International, PACK EXPO Las Vegas, PACK EXPO East, PACK EXPO Southeast, EXPO PACK México and EXPO PACK Guadalajara After producing the largest PACK EXPO Las Vegas in history in September, Pittas shared insight on the event’s record-breaking turnout with nearly 32,000 attendees and more than 2,300 exhibitors spread across a sprawling 1 million net square feet of exhibit space. We talked about: The story behind the growth PACK EXPO Las Vegas: the number of exhibiting companies grew but space grew even faster   Find out why PMMI is considering adding a fourth day to PACK EXPO Las Vegas in 2027 The scoop on data that led to the launch of PACK EXPO Southeast, a regional trade show that will debut in Atlanta in 2025  The hottest topics in the packaging and processing industry right now: talent, automation and sustainability Best practices on taking the unusual step of forming PACK EXPO Services in 2004 to serve as the general contractor for its domestic PACK EXPO portfolio Lessons learned from launching a vertical show and then retiring it  The state of the packaging and processing industry: Despite a slowdown from record highs for the industry during the pandemic, the industry grew year over year and isn’t seeing signs of a recession. And so much more! Podcast host Danica Tormohlen also shared the top five new stories from Trade Show News Network, Exhibit News Now and Corporate Event News that were published in mid September 2023.   Our guest Jim Pittas was hired at PMMI in 2000 as Director of Expositions and was responsible for the operations and management of PMMI’s No. 1 asset – the PACK EXPO Shows. Due to his proven track record of success in increasing revenues, project management skills, and increasing member engagement in the association, Pittas was promoted to vice president in 2003.     During his tenure as VP, he grew the established PACK EXPO shows, but also successfully launched two additional shows and assumed the responsibility for the management of the Mexico City show (EXPO PACK México). In addition, Pittas was instrumental in PMMI establishing a tradeshow general contracting company called PACK EXPO Services (PES) in 2004, which is used for all domestic PACK EXPO shows.    In October of 2014, Mr. Pittas assumed the role of Senior Vice President and in addition to his responsibility for the Show Department, he was part of PMMI’s senior management team and responsible for the execution of PMMI’s strategic plan and served as Staff Liaison to the PMMI Board of Directors.   In April of 2017, Mr. Pittas was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and on February 1, 2018 assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer for PMMI.  Mr. Pittas also serves on the PMMI Executive Committee and the Board of PMMI’s Education Foundation which distributes an average of over $200,000 each year in education scholarships.     Mr. Pittas graduated from Roosevelt University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Sociology.   He has been active in several Professional Organizations including serving on the Board of Directors for The Major American Trade Show Organization (MATSO), an active member of IAEE, NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations, Chicago Customer Advisory Board and the Chicago Labor Council. Mr. Pittas has completed the TriMetrix Executive Coaching Program (2011/2012) and completed a Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organizational Management (IOM) course at Villanova University (2014).   PMMI is the leading international trade association representing over 1,000 packaging and processing solutions providers including machinery, components, materials and containers companies.  With offices in Herndon, Virginia, Chicago, Illinois and Mexico City, the organization’s primary programs and services bring buyers and sellers together utilizing multiple sales channels including tradeshows, online communications, magazines, digital products and online directories.  In addition, the organization supports its members through a comprehensive statistics and surveys program and extensive networking opportunities.  PMMI also provides Association Management Services to Seven outside associations, including The Contract Packaging Association (CPA), the Cold Pressure Council (CPC) and Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP).  Get his full bio and connect with him on LinkedIn here. Podcast Host: Danica Tormohlen An award-winning journalist who has covered the trade show industry since 1994, Danica Tormohlen is VP of Content forTarsus Group, which was recently acquired by Informa for $940 million. In her role, she oversees content for Trade Show News Network, Corporate Event News and Exhibit News Now. These leading media brands publish websites, newsletters, social media channels, video, podcasts and online and in-person programming for the trade show, corporate event and exhibition industries. Tormohlen currently serves as a board member for Women in Exhibitions Network North America chapter. She has been a speaker and moderator at major industry events, including the TSNN Awards, IMEX, IAEE, SISO, UFI, ESCA and Large Show Roundtable — to name a few.   Thank you to our sponsor! Zenus What if you could prove your event is working with hard facts and learn how to make it even better? With Zenus’s Ethical Vision AI, you can protect your budget and have detailed reporting. Learn how that’s all possible at Zenus.AI 
46:23 9/21/23
Scaling Success: A Conversation with Gareth Bowhill, CEO of CloserStill Media
In this episode, we had a conversation with Gareth Bowhill about his experience leading CloserStill Media, a UK-based B2B media company that produces 80 exhibitions annually, as its CEO since 2020. After coming off a record year of revenues of $120 million in 2022, he talked about how the company has closed three acquisitions so far this year (with more in the pipeline), growing to 600 employees globally. CloserStill’s expansion into the U.S. market began in 2017 with the organic launch of New York Vet, a geo-clone of its flagship event London Vet Show. Led by former RX exec Yancy Weinrich, who serves as the company’s North America president, has grown rapidly in the last two years to 100 employees. Find out why the U.S. market is currently his No. 1 priority.    We talked about: How the company emerged bigger and better post pandemic with a record year of trading in 2022 and expectations to beat that in 2023  How the three acquisitions in 2023 (so far) have impacted the business and their prospects for growth Insights into the M&A landscape right now (active How the company’s private equity ownership by Providence since 2018 has supported its growth Challenges right now: talent and economic uncertainty And so much more! Podcast host Danica Tormohlen also shared the top five new stories from Trade Show News Network, Exhibit News Now and Corporate Event News that were published in the first half of August 2023.   Our guest Bowhill is CEO of  CloserStill Media. He joined the company as CFO  in November 2019 before being promoted to CEO in may 2020.    Prior to that, he served as Head of M&A and Group Treasurer at Chime Communications Limited for 3 years from 2016 to 2019.    He’s also worked at CSM Sport & Entertainment as International Group Finance Director and Director of Strategy and Corporate Development for a little over 2 years.   Here’s a backgrounder on Bowhill on CloserStill’s site.   Get his full bio and connect with him on LinkedIn here.   Thank you to our sponsor! Zenus What if you could prove your event is working with hard facts and learn how to make it even better? With Zenus’s Ethical Vision AI, you can protect your budget and have detailed reporting. Learn how that’s all possible at Zenus.AI   TSNN PODCAST: TRADE SHOW TALK Trade Show News Network is excited to share our ‘Trade Show Talk’ podcast which features two episodes each month focusing on hot-button topics. Each episode kicks off with a news round up before host Danica Tormohlen leads discussions with trade show and events industry leaders. If you'd like to be a guest or you have a topic to suggest that we cover, please let us know by emailing podcast@tsnn.com. If you would like to sponsor a podcast series, please contact jrice@tsnn.com  Subscribe for all the latest episodes on Apple, Deezer and Spotify.
44:24 9/7/23
Case Study: Outsourcing Marketing with ESCA’s Julie Kagy & epIQ Creative Group’s Bill McGlade
In this episode, we had a conversation with Julie Kagy, director of operations for the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA) and Bill McGlade, president of epIQ Creative Group, about their experience in working together as partners on marketing. They shared advice and lessons learned after partnering now for more than one year.  Kagy shared insight on what it was like to put together an RFP, evaluate vendors, hone in on the scope of the association’s needs, get buy-in on budgeting and execute the strategy with an outside partner. McGlade talked about developing the strategy, prioritizing the client’s needs, rebranding an ESCA product, establishing benchmarks, sharing thought leadership, driving engagement and marketing business-to-person. The results: Attendance at ESCA’s Summer Education Conference 2023 was up 13%, and social interactions increased 344% year over year. Here are a few marketing samples: Podcast host Danica Tormohlen also shared the top five new stories from Trade Show News Network, Exhibit News Now and Corporate Event News that were published in the first half of August 2023. Our guests ESCA’s Julie Kagy After graduating from Purdue University Northwest, Kagy started her career at the Ritz-Carlton Four Seasons Chicago. The hotel was awarded Top North American Hotel by Conde Nast Traveler four times during her tenure. Taking these customer service skills, she began her career in the tradeshow industry with GES. During her 12-year tenure with GES, she held various roles, such as Exhibitor Services Manager, Director of Account Management and Vice President of National Account Management.  She has been Director of Operations with the Exhibition Services and Contractors Association (ESCA) since 2015. It’s a role she truly loves as she gets to work on a vast scale with key industry leaders, working to shape the future of the trade show industry.  epIQ Creative Group’s Bill McGlade McGlade is the co-owner and President of both epiQ Creative Group and Community Leaders Institute. He has spent 17 years embracing the ever-changing world of nonprofits, associations, events, community, marketing and sales. With a proven track record of successfully selling three companies and acquiring two more, he has a knack for transforming a lean team with a limited budget into a powerhouse that scales 5 to 10 times. McGlade received the  2017 IAEE Young Professional of the Year award. He’s been a speaker and presenter at a number of events and conferences, including IMEX Frankfurt, IMEX America, IAEE, ASAE, PCMA, AMPS and more. Thank you to our sponsor! Zenus What if you could prove your event is working with hard facts and learn how to make it even better? With Zenus’s Ethical Vision AI, you can protect your budget and have detailed reporting. Learn how that’s all possible at Zenus.AI   
47:16 8/24/23
NAB's Chris Brown: Driving innovation and growth for 25 years
In this episode, we had a conversation with Chris Brown, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Global Connections and Events, for the National Association of Broadcasters. After 25 years with the association, Brown recently announced he’s leaving the organization following the 2024 NAB Show.  Under Brown’s stewardship, the NAB Show portfolio has continually innovated to provide a superior event experience for broadcast, media and entertainment industry professionals.  Brown talked about his departure from NAB and what might be next for this industry leader. He reflected on the 100th NAB Show held earlier this year in Las Vegas. The 2023 NAB Show recorded double-digit growth year-over-year in both attendance and exhibitors with 65,013 attendees and 1,208 exhibiting companies.  He also offered a sneak peek into the plans for NAB Show New York in October and for the 2024 NAB Show in April. Plus, find out how NAB Amplify, the association’s digital platform, has evolved under his leadership. Podcast host Danica Tormohlen also shared the top five new stories from Trade Show News Network, Exhibit News Now and Corporate Event News that were published in the first half of August 2023. Our guest Brown has accumulated more than 35 years of experience in the non-profit sector, serving various industries by building programs designed to inform, educate and drive business transactions. Much of his career has been focused on producing large-scale trade shows and events.   For the last 25 years, he has served the broadcast and wider media industry by shaping and leading NAB’s Global Connections and Events (GCE) Team, which is responsible for serving NAB’s membership and the wider media industry, through creating events, digital products and other services that drive industry innovation and growth.   Among the major events produced by the team are the NAB Show, an annual convention for the media and entertainment industry, and NAB Show New York.  The team also produces and manages NAB Amplify, a year-round digital hub for the media and entertainment sector.   Brown is an active leader within the live events industry and has served as past chair of the International Association of Exhibition and Events (IAEE; www.iaee.com) and the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR; www.ceir.org). He holds a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an Executive Masters of General Administration from the University of Maryland University College.  He and his wife, Sherry, live in Fairfax, VA and are the proud parents of four amazing children and the proud grandparents of three even more amazing grandchildren.     
62:31 8/10/23
A Conversation with 2023 TSNN Industry Icon Award Winner: ANDMORE Chairman & CEO Bob Maricich
In this episode, we had a conversation with ANDMORE Chairman & CEO Bob Maricich, who was recently named as the 2023 Industry Icon Honoree by TSNN. He shared insight into the company he founded in 2011, built over the last 13 years and rebranded with a new name in 2023. Maricich talked about the transition of ownership from Bain Capital and Oaktree Capital Management to Blackstone, which has supported the company’s expansion and acquisitions since 2017. Find out how and where the company is investing to transform ANDMORE into an omnichannel wholesale marketmaker for the gift, home furnishings and apparel industries. Podcast host Danica Tormohlen also shared the top five new stories from Trade Show News Network, Exhibit News Now and Corporate Event News that were published in the second half of July 2023. Our guest Bob Maricich is the Chairman and CEO of ANDMORE – formerly International Market Centers (IMC) – the premier omnichannel wholesale marketmaker for the gift, home furnishings and apparel industries.  Maricich was instrumental in envisioning and developing the strategy for the creation of International Market Centers, L.P. In 2011, he founded IMC with sponsors Bain Capital and Oaktree Capital Management raising more than $1B to fund the purchase of the International Home Furnishings Center, the ShowPlace properties, and the Market Square properties in High Point, NC, and merging them with the World Market Center in Las Vegas to form the world’s largest operator of premier permanent showroom and tradeshow space for the furnishings, home décor, and gift industries. During the next five years IMC built or purchased five additional buildings in High Point, NC, bringing their total to 17 buildings.  In 2017, Maricich led IMC’s transition to new ownership by Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms, and Fireside Investments. In 2018 he directed IMC’s acquisitions of AmericasMart in Atlanta, GA, and the subsequent acquisition of the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC), creating a compelling portfolio spanning the east and west coasts of the United States that now encompasses more than 22 million square feet of world-class B2B exhibition space.  With the AmericasMart aquisition, IMC also became the managing partner of LightFair, North America’s largest architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference as well as owner and operator of the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart which hosts dozens of outside events, meetings and conferences each year. In 2020, despite the Covid shutdown, IMC constructed the 315,000 sf Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas, addressing the lack of downtown Las Vegas exhibit space. In 2022, IMC acquired luxury tradeshow Shoppe Object and has since expanded it dramatically. In 2023, IMC rebranded to ANDMORE repositioning the company as a fully omnichannel marketmaker utilizing digital tools to extend the value of physical markets and fuel year-round opportunities for buyers and sellers to connect and grow. Under Maricich’s leadership, ANDMORE serves more than 350,000 global wholesale buyers through its physical markets, design centers and digital channels. It presents some 34 apparel, furniture, gift, home décor and lifestyle markets and buying events – in permanent showroom space and trade show exhibits – in Atlanta; High Point, NC; Las Vegas; and New York. Some 2,200+ exhibitors showcase their products in permanent showroom spaces. It brings in an additional 7,000+ temporary exhibitors in 2 million sf of trade show exhibit space each year. It serves the design trade year-round through showroom offerings and programming at ADAC, AmericasMart and the Las Vegas Design Center. Additionally, it offers digital innovations that optimize the physical market experience.  Maricich joined World Market Center as CEO in January 2008. Prior to that, he spent 11 years as CEO of Century Furniture Industries, a leading luxury furniture manufacturer. From 1989-1996 Maricich was President and CEO of American Drew Furniture and American of Martinsville, at the time the largest manufacturer of furniture for the hospitality industry. Additionally, he was an executive with Flexsteel Industries, R.S Bacon Veneer Company and Texaco.  In 2015, the Anti Defamation League honored Maricich with the American Heritage Award. In 2016 he was honored as Man of the Year by the Tri-State Home Furnishings Association. In 2017, Maricich received the American Heritage Distinguished Service Award from the American Home Furnishings Alliance. In 2019, he was named a Furniture Industry Icon by the International Home Furnishings Representatives Association. Marcich was listed among The Atlantan Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People in Atlanta, and also was included in Atlanta Magazine’s 500 Most Powerful Leaders in Georgia. In 2021, Maricich was inducted into the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest honor.  Maricich has been an active board member for numerous charitable organizations including City of Hope, Opportunity Village, and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Maricich is a graduate of Montana State University with a degree in Civil Engineering. He and his wife, Ande, have been married for 50 years and have three grown sons. He especially enjoys his lifelong passion for fly-fishing.  The Maricich’s reside in Key Largo, FL, and Kennebunkport, ME. Connect with Bob on LinkedIn here.  
36:13 7/27/23
Creating Places for Clients with Moss Inc.’s Jason Popp
Jason Popp, President and CEO of Moss Inc., shared insights about the unique services and accomplishments of the company during a recent interview. Moss specializes in providing specialist production services for the trade show industry, working with various stakeholders in the value chain such as general service contractors, design and build firms and event agencies. The company takes pride in being placemakers, focusing on creating three-dimensional environments and building structures for their clients. One notable achievement highlighted by Popp is Moss's role in introducing tension fabric to the trade show industry 40 years ago. The company’s founder, Bill Moss, patented the first pop-up tent made of fabric, which revolutionized the industry by offering a lightweight, flexible and sustainable alternative. Tension fabric has since become a primary method for creating space and structures on trade show floors worldwide. Popp also discussed the evolving challenges in the industry, particularly the shrinking lead times for decision-making and the influx of new talent. To adapt to these changes, Moss has made investments in faster printers and brought certain production activities in-house to meet the time constraints faced by clients. When asked about sustainability, Popp emphasized that Moss is committed to minimizing waste and reducing their carbon footprint. The company offers sustainable products like SustainaTex Ocean, a fabric blend produced from upcycled marine plastic, post-consumer waste and recycled polyester. They also focus on minimizing their carbon emissions by using renewable energy sources, implementing energy-efficient practices and offsetting any remaining carbon through accredited programs. Reflecting on his experience joining Moss during the pandemic, Popp acknowledged the initial challenges but also highlighted the industry's rapid recovery. The company has grown its staff and navigated supply chain disruptions to meet the increasing demand. Looking ahead, Popp sees continued opportunities for Moss in the trade show industry, including the adoption of sustainable products, incorporating lighting and acoustics, and expanding into retail and sports markets. As the CEO, Popp's vision for Moss includes leveraging their expertise in tension fabric, addressing industry trends and maintaining a commitment to sustainability. The company aims to be at the forefront of providing innovative solutions for clients while minimizing their environmental impact. Podcast host Danica Tormohlen also shared the top five new stories from Trade Show News Network, Exhibit News Now and Corporate Event News that were published in the first half of July 2023.  
43:54 7/13/23
Building And Leading Two Trade Show Businesses with Jennifer Hoff
What does it take to launch and build not one but two trade show businesses? Our guest on this episode is event producer, Jennifer Hoff, CEM, CEO, Taffy Event Strategies, LLC and President, Trifecta Collective LLC, who provides insight on how she started and now leads two trade show businesses.  As part of her client roster at Taffy Event Strategies, her team recently produced Coverings 2023 that exceeded expectations with a 50% year-over-year increase in attendance. Nearly 27,000 eventgoers gathered April 18-21 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.  Hoff shared the details behind the Coverings 2023 event that rivaled pre-pandemic levels and was one of the most dynamic expositions and conferences in its renowned 34-year position as the leading event in the tile and stone industry.   We take a deeper dive into how she is working with PE company Greylion and Rick McConnell to acquire and build shows through Trifecta Collective. Plus, she explained her biggest challenges as we continue to emerge from the pandemic. Hoff has decades of industry experience, and she earned the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Woman of Achievement Award. Find out what excites her most about working in the events industry after all these years. Tormohlen also shared the top headlines and new stories from Trade Show News Network, Exhibit News Now and Corporate Event News that were published in the second half of June 2023.
44:20 6/29/23
Episode 33: Recap of the Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF) with Sam Lippman
What’s trending among association and independent executives of exhibitions and conventions in Q2 2023? Our guest on this episode is event producer Sam Lippman, president of Lippman Connects, who provides an inside look at the 2023 Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF), held May 30-31 at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Lippman produced the 22nd edition of ECEF with record attendance in 2023. In this episode, he shared the origin story of ECEF when it launched in 2002. ECEF is one of nine events founded and produced by Lippman Connects. His most recent launch, the Midsize Show Roundtable, will be held for the second time later this year in Pittsburgh.  We take a deeper dive into the takeaways from ECEF with Lippman, offering actionable insights and best practices to improve your business. Plus, he shared his biggest challenge — attendee acquisition — and what’s working now to overcome this obstacle. Lippman has three decades of industry experience, and he earned the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Merit Award. Find out what excites him most about working in the events industry after all these years. Tormohlen also shared the top headlines and new stories from Trade Show News Network and Corporate Event News that were published in early June 2023. Quotable by Sam Lippman: “We have to educate our first-time points of contact on the value of lead nurturing. In today's world of deep fakes and ChatGPT, people don't know what's real anymore. So when you are at a trade show, when you're at a convention and you're face-to-face with people. Whether it's one day or six days, these are impressions, in-person impressions that can be favorable for your company, for your  brand, and a favorable impression can turn into a prospect. A prospect can turn into a lead. And a lead can turn into a customer.”  
41:33 6/15/23
Resilience in Events with World Football Summit's Jan Alessie
We know the pandemic had a huge impact on the meetings and events industry. (We know this like we know we breathe air!) Our guest on this episode is an event organizer who gives us a really interesting viewpoint after having gone through the thick of it and come out the other side in an even better position. Jan Alessi has a passion for football (the soccer one, U.S. friends!), and has managed to merge his love of the sport with his love for brining people together all over the world. They have cracked the hybrid model! "So with the online, we were able to basically reach a lot more people, and that's obviously very beneficial for the speakers and for the partners because it allows us to to reach a much bigger audience." World Football Summit is one of many ventures Jan has helped to found, and he gives us some really cool insight into how they have grown the show -- and how they are still figuring things out. It is refreshing to hear when others also don't have "it all figured out." Our guest Jan Alessi Jan is a co-founder and Director of World Football Summit. On a day-to-day basis he’s in charge of the general operations of the company, relationships with clients, speakers, and collaborators and any new business ventures and ideas that they decide to embark on as a company. In this role and previous ones in the past, he has worked in Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, identifying and building partnerships at the highest level of foreign governments and the private sector, organising high-profile forums, negotiating and closing commercial deals, producing branded content, managing global media projects, and leading commercial teams. He is also the founder of Nexus Fostering Partnership, the company responsible for the development of World Football Summit and was a founding member of South Summit, Spain’s largest event for startups, entrepreneurs, and investors. He is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian and is proficient in French. And his favorite hobbies are traveling, discovering new restaurants and watching movies and binging online streaming. ~*~*~ The "Trade Show Talk" podcast is publishing two episodes per month, tackling the most important issues the meetings and events industry is facing. If you'd like to be a sponsor or a guest, or you have a topic to suggest, please let us know by emailing podcast@tsnn.com. And we'd love it if you'd SHARE, rate, and review episode 32, & the show!
39:06 6/5/23
Talent Retention in Events with Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes
One thread that's been pulled through the majority of episodes since we began this podcast is the need to acquire and keep (or bring back!) talented people in the industry. Our guest on this episode is a great marketer, she hires people who are -- or develop into -- great marketers, and she keeps them! Or they boomerang back. "There is something inherently sexy about an agency and working in the events business, so we have developed a lot of our interns, and we transform them into full time employees." Without question, providing great services to clients is essential to maintain a successful business for so many years, and MDG and Kimberly's team have clearly done that. Through this conversation we get to learn how they manage to keep a robust and happy staff through times when that has been difficult for many organizations. Happy employees make clients happy, and Kimberly shares the many ways she and her staff manage to do just that. She shared some insightful research on "attendee sentiment" during the interview -- it turns out that is not published, but they shared a 2023 Q1 trends report, HERE. We also have TSNN's Danica Tormohlen who shares some industry news. Our guest Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes As president and chief marketing strategist of mdg, the nation’s leading marketing and public relations agency specializing in audience acquisition, Hardcastle-Geddes and her team provide solutions that increase attendance and exhibitor participation for category-leading events such as CES, NAB Show, World of Concrete, the International Baking Industry Exposition, and many, many more. Kimberly is an IAEE Krakoff Leaders Institute alumna, has a monthly column in PCMA’s Convene magazine, and frequently presents to industry groups on strategic marketing planning. She’s also a Navy wife, the mom of a TCU Horned Frog, an avid reader, and is equally as addicted to her Peloton bike as she is to junk food. ~*~*~ The "Trade Show Talk" podcast is publishing two episodes per month, tackling the most important issues the meetings and events industry is facing. If you'd like to be a sponsor or a guest, or you have a topic to suggest, please let us know by emailing podcast@tsnn.com. And we'd love it if you'd SHARE, rate, and review episode 31, & the show!
34:07 5/11/23
EventTech Evolution with Kiki L’Italien
If you are in the meetings and events industry, you have heard of our guest on this episode. She can talk about ALL things in our space AND she is a key thought leader in the association world. KiKi L'Italien founded "Association Chat", which is one of the first Twitter chats EVER. She then evolved it into a live broadcast, and then a podcast. She knows her stuff, there's no question!  On this one we talk through the changes and strategies we've seen in EventTech over the last three years, and how boards and executives of associations, particularly, are approaching their EventTech stack now.  Our guest KiKi L’Italien Founder & CEO of Amplified Impact (formerly Amplified Growth) & host of Association Chat As CEO and Host for Association Chat, an online community and media platform for the association industry, KiKi L’Italien reaches over 72k industry professionals monthly. Amplified Impact is a consultancy specializing in digital strategy and values-based strategic planning for the association sector. She is also a founding board member of SocialOffset, a nonprofit organization that provides a socially conscious alternative to event and destination boycotts. KiKi is a creative, community, and trust expert with over twenty years of experience in organizational positioning, reaching key audiences while driving revenue. She regularly speaks to audiences about cultivating trust for teams and organizations. ~*~*~ The "Trade Show Talk" podcast is publishing two episodes per month, tackling the most important issues the meetings and events industry is facing. If you'd like to be a sponsor or a guest, or you have a topic to suggest, please let us know by emailing podcast@tsnn.com. And we'd love it if you'd SHARE, rate, and review episode 30, & the show!
38:37 4/27/23
Business Events Industry Advocacy with Tommy Goodwin
Our guest on this one is front and center, representing us in DC and beyond. Most folks know we've had the Meetings Mean Business coalition since the events of 2008-2009, and now we also have the organization Tommy Goodwin represents, Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance, advocating for our industry. On this episode we talk about the challenge of getting Visas to enter the U.S. and the impact that has had on our industry, the Kentucky legislature (failed) attempt to tax space rental for exhibitors and sponsors, the entry of the Exhibitor News Network onto the scene, and MORE.  "While the average international attendee that comes to a show in the US spends about $13,000, the average exhibitor who comes over spends $36,000." Legislative Action Day is on The Hill on June 1 and anyone is welcome to attend and have their voice heard. Go to ECALegislativeActionDay.com to sign-up and they will set up meetings for you with the legislators who matter on this front. Our guest Tommy Goodwin Tommy is VP, Government Affairs for the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA), a newly-formed association dedicated to the advancement of the face-to-face business events industry. In this role, he leads ECA’s advocacy on behalf of ten industry associations that represent the interconnected ecosystem of exhibitors, show and event organizers, suppliers, venues, and that comprise the business events sector. Prior to joining ECA, he spent more than 20 years leading a wide range of government relations and public affairs efforts for several globally-recognized organizations, including Oracle, AARP, and the Project Management Institute (PMI). Recognized by The Hill as one of Washington, DC’s “Top Lobbyists” each year since 2020, he was also recently named a 2023 Leading Association Lobbyist by Association TRENDS and CEO Update. And in 2022, he received the Industry Support award from TSNN, the Association Innovation Leader award from DCA Live, and was named a 2022 Changemaker by MeetingsNet. ~*~*~ The "Trade Show Talk" podcast is publishing two episodes per month, tackling the most important issues the meetings and events industry is facing. If you'd like to be a sponsor or a guest, or you have a topic to suggest, please let us know by emailing podcast@tsnn.com. And we'd love it if you'd SHARE, rate, and review episode 29, & the show!
29:44 4/6/23
Mindful Leadership with Holly Duckworth
Mindfulness is something we can all do to improve our personal and professional lives. If you're not sure where to start or think you might need a refresher, our guest on this show is the perfect person to set us all on the path of mindfulness -- or awarefulness, as she mentions. Centering, examining, being intentional, and grateful are just a handful of practices we can do. We named this one "Mindful Leadership," but it all applies to all of us, whether in leadership or not. "You know, as you're taking one actionable nugget from this podcast, maybe that's the one: I'm going to take mindful use of my technology and invite a mindfulness app on your phone... or if you have one and you haven't used it, maybe bring it back to life." The digital download Holly promised us -- "The Mindful Mini-Poster" with seven practices we can use to be a mindful leader in the events industry -- is HERE. Our guest Holly Duckworth, CMP, CAE, CWMF has been called the trailblazer of mindfulness for leaders.  Owner of Leadership Solutions International, for 20+ years she has worked to change how we think about the impacts of stress and meetings. As a certified workplace mindfulness facilitator, she leads the global mindfulness efforts for the meetings industry. She is founder of the American Mindfulness Association to advance mindfulness as a key strategic business practice. As author of 4 books at the intersection of leadership, sales, and mindfulness, she is a sought-after global keynote speaker. Look for Holly as a featured live mindfulness trainer on Insight Timer App, or as the host producer of the Everyday Mindfulness Show with more than 150 episodes. She has been recognized by Smart Meetings Magazine and BizBash for her innovative approach and commitment to the health and wellbeing of meetings for planners and participants. ~*~*~ The "Trade Show Talk" podcast is publishing two episodes per month, tackling the most important issues the meetings and events industry is facing. If you'd like to be a sponsor or a guest, or you have a topic to suggest, please let us know by emailing podcast@tsnn.com. And we'd love it if you'd SHARE, rate, and review episode 28, & the show!
37:40 3/23/23
Improve Your Trade Show Image with Marlys Arnold
The word "image" can mean different things to people. When thinking about improving your trade show image, this can be viewed from the organizer level, the exhibitor level, and the attendee level. Marlys helps us understand the importance of focusing on how to improve our image from each of these perspectives. Who are the best people to work your booth, for example? "Sometimes some of the best people to be in the booth are the customer service representatives, because they're the ones who field all the questions." We can all make improvements, and Marlys literally wrote the book on the topic. As always, we'd love to hear your perspective on our conversation! Our guest Marlys Arnold With experience as both an exhibitor and show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. Over the past two decades, she's consulted and taught workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos, to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She's written two books on the subject: “Exhibit Design That Works” and “Build a Better Trade Show Image” (the updated edition just debuted). She's the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café and Exhibit Marketers Academy, an online education community. In addition to being a familiar industry voice in various publications and podcasts, she also hosts the Trade Show Insights blog and podcast. ~*~*~ The "Trade Show Talk" podcast is publishing two episodes per month, tackling the most important issues the meetings and events industry is facing. If you'd like to be a sponsor or a guest or you have a topic to suggest we cover, please let us know by emailing podcast@tsnn.com. And we'd love it if you'd SHARE, rate, and review episode 27, & the show!
36:04 3/9/23
Love for Volunteerism with Tina Marie Honor
There are hidden gifts in volunteering. I've heard it said we can improve our lives through "addition by subtraction," and it hit me recently that volunteerism is "addition by addition." By giving back, as some would call it, we also receive. Of course, volunteerism doesn't just show itself in professional arenas, but when we do step up and into these roles for our professional associations, magic can happen. Our guest on this show is proof that getting involved won't only improve our professional lives (it does), but also has a positive impact on our personal lives. She has shot up through the ranks in the San Diego MPI chapter and in her career after learning early in life the benefits that coming from saying yes. What is the secret to getting people to volunteer? ASK. (no, really, it's that easy) We also have TSNN's Danica Tormohlen who shares some industry news! Show sponsors: SMT - PipeAndDrapeSucks.com and epIQ - epIQCreativeGroup.com Our guest Tina Marie Honor Her love for the Meeting and Event industry started at 12-years-old when she joined student body leadership as class president. Professionally, after years focusing on wedding venue sales, she joined the Live Nation team at House of Blues San Diego in 2018. Tina Marie now thrives as National Account Manager for Live Nation Special Events, representing 150+ venues! Knowledgeable about the clubs, theaters, amphitheaters and House of Blues venues within the Live Nation portfolio, she’s thrilled to be her client’s single point of contact for 150+ Live Nation venues across North America - offering unique event spaces, state-of-the-art production and branding capabilities, as well as an experienced staff ready to exceed expectations. Tina Marie has served in several leadership roles in the San Diego MPI Chapter since 2018. After serving as Director of Recruitment, Director of Strategic Partnerships, and then VP of Finance, she is now President Elect, getting ready to take the helm in July.  ~*~*~ The "Trade Show Talk" podcast is publishing two episodes per month, tackling the most important issues the meetings and events industry is facing. If you'd like to be a sponsor or a guest or you have a topic to suggest we cover, please let us know by emailing podcast@tsnn.com. And we'd love it if you'd SHARE, rate, and review episode 26, & the show!
23:08 2/23/23
Set Diverse Speaker Line-Ups at your Events with Troy Sandidge
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and BELONGING… All things that are important with regard to how and why conference organizers select their speakers. Troy does a great job of helping us understand his perspective as a Black man and Megan adds gender equity into the conversation. We talk about speaking up about diversity on stages – solidarity also enters the chat.  While we absolutely need more women and people of color on stages at our events, it’s important that you have them talking about what they are subject matter experts on, and not just about DEI (Troy talks about this towards the end). We also have new TSNN team member Danica Tormohlen who is now joining us to kick off each show with industry news! Show sponsors: SMT - PipeAndDrapeSucks.com and epIQ - epIQCreativeGroup.com Our guest Troy Sandidge is an award-winning growth marketing strategist, startup growth advisor, and B2B RevOps specialist known as the Strategy Hacker® who builds strategies, systems, and solutions for emerging brands to become more sustainable, scalable, and profitable. The author of Strategize Up and host of the Webby-nominated podcast iDigress, has generated over $175M in revenue for clients worldwide. Troy is the Founder of Strategy Hackers, COO at No Middle, and a keynote speaker who has spoken at over 600 events on five continents. His mission is to empower 1,000 marginalized businesses over the next five years. ~*~*~ The "Trade Show Talk" podcast is publishing two episodes per month, tackling the most important issues the meetings and events industry is facing. If you'd like to be a sponsor or a guest or you have a topic to suggest we cover, please let us know by emailing podcast@tsnn.com. And we'd love it if you'd SHARE, rate, and review episode 25, & the show!
31:45 2/9/23
Reclaim Your Trade Show Through Relationships with Jefferson Davis
The last few years have brought plenty of change, and trade shows have especially had challenges! Our guest on this episode has a ton of experience around helping exhibitors and show organizers alike tackle ways to make their trade shows better experiences. "Relationships are the currency of business" is one of the many quotes Jeffferson gave from many sage business people. Relationships ARE at the center of everything we do, and we should keep that as the focus as we build commerce and community around our trade shows. Our guest Jefferson Davis - President of Competitive Edge Jefferson has been serving the exposition industry since 1991 as a consultant, trainer, and author. Jefferson brings a unique and in-depth experience and perspective on working with exposition producers and companies who exhibit at expos. His focus with event producers is about helping them get, keep, and grow relationships and revenue. With exhibitors, he helps them convert their exhibiting program from expensive appearances to productive, profitable investments. His client base reads like a “who is who” in the events industry, having worked with over 250 Association and for-profit show producers – many for 10, 15, & even more than 20 years. With exhibiting companies he's worked with, he’s been able to trace over $800 million in results from their exhibiting investments. If there's one thing people will tell you about Jefferson is that he is extremely passionate about exhibit and event marketing, and he's results-focused and process-based. ~*~*~ The "Trade Show Talk" podcast is publishing two episodes per month, tackling the most important issues the meetings and events industry is facing. If you'd like to be a sponsor or a guest or you have a topic to suggest we cover, please let us know by emailing podcast@tsnn.com. And we'd love it if you'd SHARE, rate, and review episode 24, & the show!
40:22 1/26/23